Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Continuing Fascination With Watches

My daily watch... the Hamilton Khaki King Automatic.
Ever since I wrote the post a couple of weeks ago about some of the family timepieces that I have, I have been thinking about the strange (or not so strange) fascination that I have with watches. I guess it all started with the pocket watch that my dad handed down to me. I never gave much thought prior to that about the numbers strapped to my wrist but when I looked at the mechanical movement I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the beauty, engineering, and design that keeps the world on schedule. Contrary to what the Emcee tells you, it is time that makes the world go round.

As I said before, I wear a Hamilton Khaki King Automatic every day. I have never had to worry about the battery dying and it keeps great time only requiring a slight adjustment every couple of months. The only thing that I have had to do over the last near decade is replace the leather band a couple of times. That was definitely not the case before I started my Hamilton as I usually ended up buying a new watch almost every year with the exception of a couple Swiss Army watches that lasted two years.

However, lately I have been thinking about changing things up a bit. There are a lot of different watches on the market which have Swiss automatic movements and many of them can be found at a reasonable price. Of course, there are others that are priced much higher. So I have started looking around at comparable watches on the market to my current timepiece. As a starting point, my current Hamilton is toward the lower range when considering the Swiss automatic watch market. However, there are a number of companies producing the same and sometimes slightly better quality than Hamilton while remaining in the same neighborhood price wise.

So far, Oris, Frederique Constant, Gevril, Tissot, and lightly used Raymond Weil watches seem to be the best options. The offer watches at roughly the same price point but can better accompany more formal attire. Obviously they all house Swiss automatic movements (most of which are mass produced by Swatch) and they all come with leather bands (steel bands for a few dollars more). It is a bigger decision than one would think as these watches are made to last a lifetime and I plan on keeping them just as long. But, in the end, they all hold their value so if you catch them at the right time or pick on up with some light wear you can probably get your money back in the future is needed.

I have never been a proponent of spending a lot of money on a watch like a Tag Heuer, Omega, Breitling, Rolex, and Cartier or on the truly luxury brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Patek Philippe, and A. Lange & Söhne. Unless you have the means to do so, these time pieces don’t make much sense to me. After all, these are still utilitarian items in addition to being works of art and amazing pieces of classical engineering. After all, this is one of the best accessories that a man can have regardless of the budget within which they are looking. But, for now, I will keep enjoying my stalwart automatic while the search continues for the right watch.