At the request of some of my Twitter followers, this weeks blog is about one of my many obsessions, watches. As promised to my Twitter peeps, all images for the article were shot with my iPhone 4s…. enjoy.
A few years ago, time meant little to me, not as societal function, but as a concept. It was before I read endlessly of the the space and distance that is the scientific color of time. Whether the absence of research was out of non-motivation or sheer lack of … well… time, my life had lacked that dimension (at least in the esthetic sense).
I looked to those with the watch obsession as slaves to fashion, or rather lost in the idea that pointless complexity should drive financial ventures to the degree of accessory. Friends would show me watches made by some Frenchman that once made a watch for some foreign dictator and my reply usually hovered in the, “digital is easier to read” realm. The truth of the matter is that watches frustrate me. My dyslexia makes it hard for me to read the time on the standard watch face, so the functionality of the leashless collar had no appeal to me.
Then came an ill fated trip to the Caribbean with my wife a few years back. I had time, to relax, to think, to imagine. I imagined past generations where a mechanical device kept an imaginary measurement with such precision that records would be held against it and endless endeavors would be made to minimize it. This idea romantically transformed into an adoration of the watch.
So there I stood in a shop in St. Lucia, with some lady speaking a derivative of English woven with the island candor that my wife and I had longed to escape to. In front of me she held a Maurice Lacroix watch. It hit me, all this wonder that had surrounded the precision of such a timepiece was lost against the physical appearance, it was striking. Simplicity wrapped in elegance, I was helpless, and obsessed. This is the watch.
Now if you would have told me that this one piece would have started a horological passion that would factor into daily life beyond the occasional weekend outing, I would have dismissed you as the extra glass of wine talking at the end of a long day. However, four Maurice Lacroix’s and a plethora of other watches later, I either have swag or a diagnosable condition (my thoughts lean towards the latter).
Is it a waste of money? Perhaps. But someone who determines the opportunity cost of a watch collection must prove where the line of luxury resides before he can judge those who have not crossed it. At the end of the day it is art in the eye of its beholder that captivates an audience of one. Whether or not it is a wall of luxury that one hides behind in a sense of self worthiness depends on the barer of the object and it’s intentions.
I write this blog fully realizing the criticism that may materialize in it’s wake, but want to clarify my passion in watches. In this post, as in future posts, I may talk about watches, watch brands, watch styles, but never price. For the person that buys an item for its price is owned buy that item.