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Thread: Step out of your watch comfort zone

  1. #1

    Step out of your watch comfort zone

    Try something different.

    Thatís something that everyone should do with movies, desserts, beers, vacation spots, teas, book genres, games, and restaurants.

    Nobodyís life has been enriched by just reading the same kind of book, a mystery novel for instance, and only that kind of book. Nobody has fully explored their sense of taste by sticking to pasta at every meal. Nobody has become enlightened by vacationing in the same place over and over again.

    Trying something different is important with watches, as well. But way too often you hear watch collectors say things like, ďI wear only dress watches,Ē ďDiver watches are the only kind of watches that I like,Ē or ďAll of my watches are Breitlings.Ē Those are limiting thoughts.

    Itís fine to like a particular brand or genre of watch. Itís great to have a favorite. Itís fun to specialize, to know all that there is to know about Seikos, Rolexes, Omegas, or some other brand. But just because you wear a wool suit to work every day, doesnít mean that you have to own or wear only dress watches.

    Letís take the wool-suit-to-work thought for a moment and digest that a little more. Watch collectors often say that 1) they donít care if anyone else notices their watch and 2) nobody notices their watch, anyway. If thatís trueóif thatís even 5 percent trueóthen why in the world would you feel that you must wear a slim, gold dress watch under your shirt sleeve every day? Whoís going to notice? Whoís going to care, other than you?

    And what if you did wear a Seiko Monster or Mr Jones Sun and Moon watch instead of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control or Piaget Altiplano? What do you have to worry about? Would you lose your job? Lose a client? Somebody might think less of you? Not a chance.

    Even James Bond didnít wear the same watch all the time. On Bondís wrist youíll see a Rolex Submariner in Dr. No., a Breitling Top Time in Thunderball, an Omega Seamaster Professional Co-axial in the 2006 version of Casino Royale, a Seiko memory calendar watch in Moonraker, and a Seiko H357 analog watch with digital display in For Your Eyes Only. If different watches are good enough for James Bond, then theyíre good enough for you.

    Of course, owning a watch that breaks from your regular pattern doesnít mean that you have to wear that watch in places where you donít think itís appropriate. I was just explaining that unlike drinking with friends until 2 AM and going to work the following morning, wearing a watch that you think isnít right for work is actually fine for work.

    Buy something different and wear it when you want.

    Never mind the fact that youíll learn about different watches when you buy something different. Never mind that youíll appreciate watches in general more when you wear something different. Never mind that youíll like your favorite watch kind more by wearing something different. The main reasons to step out of your watch comfort zone is that a different watch will enlighten you, enchant you, and entertain you. Simply put, wearing a watch that breaks your rather rigid mold is fun.

    How do you do this? There are so many different kinds of watches that you can wear, so how do you choose something thatís completely different, especially because thereís going to be this natural tendency to gravitate back to the watch style or brand you like?

    Go vintage. If your watches are mostly modern, find a watch that was made over a quarter-century ago.

    Choose a watch with a different color. If your watches are mostly white-faced with gold hands, then think green, orange, or blue.

    Make a short list of companies that make watches different from yours and buy your next watch from that list.

    Think country. Do you have only Swiss watches? Then look at Japan, the US, or England.

    Buy a watch in a very different price range. If your watches usually cost $1,000, buy a watch for $200. If youíre a $10,000 watch person, then also buy a watch for $200. By restricting the price, youíre going to have to buy something different.

    Donít limit yourself to mechanical watches. Sure, watch movements are importantótheyíre everythingóbut if youíre willing to take a chance with quartz, you will find all sorts of new watch vistas open up in front of you.

    Think museum. What museum would that different watch fit into? A classical art museum? A museum of modern art? A museum that specializes in things surreal?

    Look at watches around you. The next time youíre anywhere, put away your phone and see what other people are wearing, especially people who are dressed entirely differently from you.

    Surprise yourself with a new watch thatís just not the same old stuff. Just like that first time you ate a hot dog with mustard instead of ketchup, went camping, read a scary novel while all alone, or ended up on a television channel youíd never spent more than a passing second on before, you might actually like what you get.

    (This is a preview of an article that I'll be posting on A Better Wrist later. I try to abide by these words, as well.)

    Bill Adler


    Name:  Mr Jones Sun and Moon Watch.jpg
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    Mr Jones Sun and Moon watch: This could be your "different" watch to wear.

  2. #2
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    That's never been a problem for me, but I agree.

    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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  4. #3
    Big Member Chase's Avatar
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    I continually and intentionally do or purchase things, and not just watches, that take me out of my comfort zone. Keeps me healthy.
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    Spending hundreds of pounds on a watch that I don't like just on the offchance that it might appeal would to me feel like bored decadence. My watches have a relatively narrow range of styles because I've thought carefully about what I want, and have looked closely at what the market offers: the whole process is one of sharpening definitions and understanding appeal, of enjoying tastes coming into focus.

    A common theme on IWL is that you should wear what appeals to you. The other side of that coin is: don't expect anyone to like what you like.

    Similarly: choose a breadth of range that's right for you. And the other side of *that* coin is: don't expect what's right for you to be right for anyone else.

    Personally I would rather lose my senses than have my aesthetic choices informed by what is worn by a fictional character, but I'm aware I'm in the minority. Those in the majority would do well to remember that minority choices are not merely in need of being tolerated, but are equally valid.

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  8. #5
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
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    I'm more in agreement with DA myself. I don't see the appeal in buying watches I wouldn't normally consider in the hope I might find them appealing somehow especially when I have a great long list of watches I want anyway

    Of course there's nothing wrong with your approach but neither is there anything wrong with a highly focussed collection of only one style, brand or even model if that's what appeals to you.
    Watch centric instagram: @tempocalypse

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  10. #6
    Member scottjc's Avatar
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    I did a similar thing recently, albeit in a limited way.
    I used to only collect scratchproof Rados but one day I decided to try one of the stainless steel Alpine series, and that really opened things up for me.
    If the supply of ETA movement parts affects you please complete this survey:
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  11. #7
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywatch View Post
    That's never been a problem for me, but I agree.

    yes been thinking about getting one of the mother Russian T*** but the price seem to high but one day
    one night I dreamed I was locked in my fathers watch, with Ptolemy and twenty one ruby stars mounted on spheres and the primum mobile coiled and gleaming to the end of space and the notched spheres eating each other's rinds to the last tooth of time and the case closed - John Ciardi ...

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    ЖИЗНЬ НЕ ОСТАНАВЛИВАЕТСЯ, ПРОХОДИТ ТОЛЬКО ВРЕМЯ.
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  12. #8
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Superb post, Bill.

    Mind or taste broadening can be done mentally, though. It's just a matter of loosening those little screws that keep our perceptions fixed in one plane.

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  14. #9
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    A nice read, Bill - your prose flowed well. Even if I disagree in that simply if I like a watch I like it, and vice - versa, I do think people should try on more watches and do not discount them *necessarily* by pictures. I mean obviously some absolute rotters aren't likely improve in the metal, but my nomos for example I was ambivalent about until I tried it on then wow.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottjc View Post
    I did a similar thing recently, albeit in a limited way.
    I used to only collect scratchproof Rados but one day I decided to try one of the stainless steel Alpine series, and that really opened things up for me.
    I can't tell if you're being ironic or not!
    Follow IWL on instagram! https://instagram.com/iwatchleague

  15. #10
    Member scottjc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    I can't tell if you're being ironic or not!

    Not at all mate, the styling of the Alpines differs substantially from the Diastars and Balboas and has added a nice variety to my collection.
    If the supply of ETA movement parts affects you please complete this survey:
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/swiss_watches

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