Friday, 22 October 2021

Image borrowed from Showing at WatchTime New York 2021: MB&F Legacy Machine 101 | WatchTime – USA’s No.1 Watch Magazine

RABBIT HOLE 1: WRIST WATCHES

Preface: The reader might note here the introduction of a sub-category in my blogs titles, which is called Rabbit Hole. I have added the number 1 to indicate that I suspect that other rabbit holes will appear. Merriam-Webster denotes a rabbit hole thusly: a complexly bizarre or difficult state or situation conceived of as a hole into which one falls or descends…especially one in which the pursuit of something (such as an answer or solution) leads to other questions, problems, or pursuits. (www.merriam-webster.com)

I entered into a rabbit hole this morning as I started to think about something that has long intrigued me. Through the years, I have been struck by the advertisements for expensive watches. Billboards, for example, that advertise the luxury watch Rolex. In every edition of the New York Times, there are small, but purposefully placed, advertisements for Mont Blanc watches or those of Tourneau or Bucherer1888. Frankly, it always struck me as odd that heavy advertising would have to be given for such a small, albeit a can-be-luxurious item as a wrist watch. I don’t think I have ever seen a billboard advertisement for a cheap watch.

I entered the rabbit hole when I googled my question. It led me directly to multitudinous websites which concern themselves with the wristwatch industry, which is a HUGE and SERIOUS business. For watch enthusiasts, a watch is not just a time piece. In fact, I stumbled upon and went further down the rabbit hole when I was introduced to WatchTime. This magazine was founded in New York City in 1999 by an Ulm, Germany publishing group. The magazine is called America’s number one watch magazine and has sister magazines around the world.

WatchTime is published bi-monthly and by its own self-described mission covers several fields:

In fact, the magazine is co-sponsoring an international convention at New York’s Gotham Hall from today through the 24th. Other co-sponsors are BMW, Tourneau and Bucherer1888 There are over 28 watch manufacturers participating in the event. Of the 28 listed on the event’s website, I recognized only a few…like two.

I dug a little further in the hole that I had entered and found that expensive watches are part of a competitive market. So, it makes sense that high-priced watches would be advertised in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, but billboards? Perhaps, expensive watches are kept in public view to press the point that you really should have one too or at least desire it.

How about a Rolex Yacht-Master II (an 18k yellow gold men’s luxury watch) that sells on line for the sale price of $54,995.00. The product description of this watch is found at http://www.authenticwatches.com.

– With Manufacturer Serial Numbers
– Swiss Made
– White Dial
– Square Hour Markers
– Polished Solid 18k Yellow Gold Ring Command Bezel
    Blue Cerachrom Ceramic Insert with Gold Coated Numerals on Bezel
– Regatta Chronograph Feature
    Programmable Countdown with Mechanical Memory
    On-the-Fly Synchronization
– Small Seconds Sub-Dial at 6 O’Clock
– Stop-seconds Feature for Precise Time Setting
– 72 Hour Power Reserve
– Self-winding Automatic Movement
    COSC Superlative Chronometer Certified
– Rolex Caliber 4160
– Vibrations Per Hour: 28,800
– 6 Year Warranty
– Guaranteed Authentic
– Certificate of Authenticity
– Manufacturer Box & Manual
– Polished Solid 18k Yellow Gold Case
– Brushed with Polished Solid 18k Yellow Gold Oyster Bracelet
– Scratch Resistant Sapphire Crystal
– 100 Meters / 330 Feet Waterproof
– 44mm = 1 3/4″ Case, 6.5″ Adjustable Bracelet
    Will Fit Up to 7 1/2″ Wrist
– Bidirectional 90 Degree Rotating Bezel
– Chromalight Blue Luminescent Hands & Hour Markers
– Screw Down Crown with Triplock Triple Waterproofness System
– Screw Down Case Back
– Folding Oysterlock Safety Clasp with Easylink 5mm Comfort Extension Link

This particular watch along with its details and including the manufacturer’s box and manual might be a bargain for a watch enthusiast or for anyone who has the money available for a nice watch to wear or in which to invest.

I don’t remember my first watch, but chances are good that it was a play watch. Later, I probably had a Timex (that takes a licking and keeps on ticking…remember that slogan?). My current watch is a French brand, Louis Pion. It did not cost more than $90.00 and it caught my eye when I went out looking for a watch. I also have a watch by Fossil. It’s more expensive than the Louis Pion and was received as a gift from my master barber in Phoenix. I wear them intermittently. By the way, I have long worn a silver watch because my dad cautioned me that a gold watch should never be worn by a man over 25 or so. I guess gold is garish on an old wrist.

Some retired people I know who have ridded themselves of their watches. It’s a proclamation of liberty from time’s demands. Something that has replaced many a wristwatch is the cell phone, which many people carry in their hand…all day long. The technical rage these days also seems to be the Apple watches which I guess is like carrying a computer on your wrist. It tells time and keeps you in touch with the world in real time.

Watches have also taken sides in the battle of the sexes. There are men’s watches and there are women’s watches and never the two should meet. Women’s watches tend to be smaller in circumference although through the years they are getting bigger. My mother’s watch was so small I don’t know how she was able to read it. My dad’s watch was larger, but simple in design. I think it had the elegant sweeping second hand and showed the date. For which ever wrist a watch is designed, I have never heard of a watch company being accused of sexism.

This rabbit hole I fell into was an interesting search, but the only answer I came up with to my basic question is speculative. Expensive watches are advertised to make a sale in a competitive market. I just had no idea that watches were such a hot commodity that falls into so many economic levels. Clearly, I have been at the bottom of the expense level for all of my life. And that’s ok. I have a basic idea of what time it is all through the day and strangely enough, I rarely look at my own watch. The time is found on my wall, at my bedside, above my desk, on my computer and tv screens. Further, I have lots of church bells around me that joyfully mark the hour and quarter hours throughout the day. If I’m desperate, I have my trusty wristwatch which I put on everyday lest I feel undressed.

Published by Thomas

Retired from active priestly ministry in the Catholic Church; former Benedictine monk; francophile; Holocaust researcher; Delta One Million Miler; Ex-Patriated American to the Republic of Panama

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