Now where to begin with this one? As a watchmaker, there are times when I feel this little tingle of joy when a rare and valuable watch comes across my desk. I also feel grateful to the owners of these treasured objects for entrusting me to give their watches the care that is needed.
This puppy is a family heirloom and checked all the boxes for me. I dream of owning many watches, many that are way out of my budget, and this one is on the top of that pile. Oh the stories they could tell. If you want to learn more about this reference, check out this similar watch that was featured on A Collected Man
The watch was no longer winding and the crystal was quite scratched. I opened her up and discovered no evidence that the watch had ever been serviced. Watches of this vintage, usually have service marks scratched on the inside of the case-back. The markings rarely give any real information, sometimes a date, but usually it’s just a signature of sorts. There were no such markings, and the movement was almost brand new, except for the dried out lubricant and dirt that had collected over time. I was confident that once I popped in a new main-spring and serviced the movement, it would work great without the need for any serious repairs or adjustment. I was right, once I cleaned it up and put all the parts in place, It came alive like Encino-man. I cased her up, polished up the crystal, and that was that.
A highlight for me was the opportunity I had to make a custom leather strap for it. The owner wanted a fresh vibe and called on my leather crafting skills to add some vintage spirit. We decided the veg-tan with matching brown stitching would be the right fit. I think it turned out pretty nice. Over time, this strap will get that sweet sweet patina.
Sometimes, when I have to give back such a great watch, this song goes through my head.
This has been a really great couple of weeks for me on the bench because I’ve had the pleasure of servicing some classic and beautiful chronographs. Last week was this beauty, and this week was the infamous Omega 321!
This beauty came across my bench like a celebrity sighting of Scarlett Johansson. As a watchmaker and a watch lover, it’s hard not to get a little flush when in the presence of such a gorgeous watch. The owner of this watch has such an amazing collection of Gallets (among other awesome brands) that I affectionately call him “The Gallet Guy”.
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.
I often get asked by people, as a watchmaker, what watches do I collect and why. We all love to talk about our watches, so I thought I’d take this as an opportunity to go in depth and talk about the watches in my very own collection. I wanted to talk about these 10 watches, how I chose them and why they’re important to me. So sit back, grab a coffee and have a go. Click on the watch you’d like to read and about, and please, let me know what you think. Happy reading!
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.
I think of John Cusack’s advice in “High Fidelity” about the do’s and don’ts of making a mix tape. You want to start out strong for the first song and then take it up a notch for the second. This was my thinking when I decided that this watch should be the second installment in this blog series.
This watch has a special significance for me as it was a gift to me from my wife when I graduated watchmaking school in December of 2016. We had moved from Montreal to Vancouver and I had just started working with Jason at Roldorf and Co. It was a couple of months of living in Vancouver before she gifted me this watch because she knew I had become increasingly difficult to shop for when it came to watches. As a watchmaker, my tastes change so much that she didn’t want to take the chance and surprise me with something. So she told me her intention to gift me a watch and then we started looking at different options together. I think this is a fail safe way to gift something. We looked at many brands and it wasn’t easy. I knew this would be a watch I would keep forever and that definitely added some pressure to the decision.