Now this is a unique story in the world of watch repair. However, I feel that over the next few years, this type of anecdote may not be such a rare occurrence. The world of counterfeit and fake watches is a billion dollar a year industry, and it is positioning itself as a very real competitor for those established and historic watch brands. In some cases, such as this, the established brand shoots itself in the foot by producing a sub-quality product under an assumed standard and the counterfeiters have no choice but to out-perform.
Now, I waited to showcase this watch not because it’s #10 but really, because it’s #1. This is the watch I “go to” when I want to wear a watch but have nowhere “to go”. The conversation among watch lovers is that we all dream of the One watch and most of us never really find it, no matter how much we spend or how long we look. There’s always another one waiting down the road (this opens up a conversation about the expectations we have on material things to bring us joy. I’ll save that for another blog entry). This watch for me will always be a one of a kind and cherished keepsake, not just because its rad, but because I had the honour of being part of its conception, development and manufacturing. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
It’s no secret that I love chronographs. It’s the one complication that I just can’t get enough of. There are countless variants and approaches and I love the beauty and complexity of the differing systems of levers and springs. I’m amazed at how many different styles and types of chronographs are out there. All doing a similar function of timing something. Column wheels and vertical clutches, cam systems and automatic integration. It’s poetry really.
Some watches you just gotta have while others grow on you. Some you regret buying and others you could never afford. Some watches don’t make an impact but others define you. But can a watch take you hostage? That’s exactly what this Vulcain Chronograph did to me.
This 1969 Omega Cosmic is the watch I wore when I got married two summers ago. Now, being a watchmaker, the choice of which watch to wear for such an important day comes with an added pressure. It’s gotta be technically advanced and socially interesting. It has to have some of my own DNA in it as well as a fresh perspective. It needs to look amazing and it needs a good story. Check!
Finding yourself interested in watches has many roads. For me, it was a mechanical route as I first caught the bug from seeing a movement in an old Omega pocket watch. For some, it’s a combination of influences like style, history, and just plain coolness. It’s always an interesting conversation when someone new to the hobby questions why one watch is very expensive and a watch that seems identical or similar, is drastically cheaper. This is a question that I still can’t answer. Yes, quality in many instances, is dramatically different, but sometimes the reason cannot be rationalized. We all know that more than not, the brand on the dial is the most valuable thing.
Now it may appear that I am a big Bulova fan here, being that my third watch is yet another Bulova. Well, I guess you’d be correct as there are a few other vintage Bulovas that I also have my eye on. At the moment though, my collection is capped at 2.