My Passion For Watches

Apr 17, 2018

It's been coming on for years. I could feel it. I fought it. I tried to ignore them. I'm ready to admit it now.

I love watches! There. I said it. 

I'm a life-long antique seeker. I love a good antique show. I have always been amazed at the watch collectors. Show me a case of vintage watches and there will be a huge crowd of watch collectors around it. Said crowds will almost always be comprised of men and no women. These people are intense collectors that know everything, I mean everything about the watches that they collect. I call them The Watch Geeks. I have been attending a particular antique show since 1983. There is a watch geek there that wears a cardboard sign that covers his chest and back for all to see that he is looking for old watches. He's done that since 1983. Same damn sign too. I swear. 

I have always loved a pretty watch. My first watch was timex with a Cinderella blue band that I had to wind every day. That was about 1966.  The first pretty watch was a Seiko quartz with a faceted crystal in that I got in 1975. Wish I still had it. I'm like everyone else and in my jewelry box I have the Timex watches that I wore to work and the fashion quartz watches that I bought over the years. You know how it happens, the battery died and I was tired of it anyway, put it in the box and got a new watch. I have a small collection of Peyote bird watches because I love them, all with dead batteries. I hate that part. Don't you? I bet you have a small collection of battery dead watches in your jewelry box too. 

And so it went. Get a new watch...a pretty Fossil watch and wear it until the battery died. Maybe replace the battery once but the next time, put it in the jewelry box with the others and get a new one. 

Then we all got cellphones and many of us quit wearing a watch because of the time display on our phones. I went years without a watch on my wrist. Did you do that too? I started wearing a watch again when I got the Apple watch. It was great for answering my phone while riding my horse. I didn't have to take a hand off of the reins to get my phone out of a pocket.  I wore that for 2 years until it started coming un-paired with my phone all day long. So annoying.  It's in the jewelry box now with the others. Went back to not wearing a watch.

Then, when cleaning out Dad's estate when he went to live in the memory care center, I found his old 1960s Hamilton watch that had been sitting in a drawer for nearly 30 years. It was beat up and not working. It reminded me of my Dad when I was a little girl. I slipped it onto my arm for emotional reasons and went about my day of cleaning and sorting. Later that day I noticed that my Dad's old watch was ticking away! How could this be? I started to research this watch and so it began. 

The learning curve started that day. Learned about automatic watches, how the movements work and the precision of said movements. Also learned was about the "Quartz Crisis" of the 1970s and 1980s. While all of this learning took place, my Dad's watch was restored and I started to wear it every day.  

The learning about watches has continued, in fact it has only begun. 

When the Rolex book arrived I looked at all of the photos and then started reading cover to cover.

Had to have one! After careful research the vintage and style was chosen and I set out to find one. Why I chose the watch that I did is the subject of my next post. 

I recently purchased my first Rolex (pictured above) and I love it. So well made and like a piece of the finest jewelry. It's sporty enough to wear with my turquoise and dressy enough to wear with gold. Unlike Dad's watch I can get it wet at the ranch and it doesn't fog up because it's an "oyster" and waterproof. I can wear it with a stack and the sapphire crystal will not scratch. I never have to wind it and it does not take a battery. Perfect. So, I'm hooked. 

A couple of days ago I attended my favorite antique show. I took a deep breath and walked up to the watch geek crowd to join them for the first time; The only woman in the crowd, the only one. Feeling confident, I now knew that one of my favorite watch expert, a young guy that has traveled the world buying and selling vintage watches was wearing a Rolex referred to as a "Pepsi". So proud of my newly found knowledge. I was able to have a limited conversation with these very smart people...until I asked a guy what his favorite watch was in his collection. I have no idea what he was talking about. I just smiled and agreed that was a very cool find. Gawd, they speak a different language. Need more books. 

All I know is that it's time to admit it. I am officially a female Watch Geek in training. 






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