When the watch fund runs dry

Sometimes – actually, quite often – there’s not enough in the watch fund to scratch that perennial itch. And it doesn’t really matter how happy we are with the watches we have, that need for something new, something different, just won’t go away.

That, my friends, is the time to reach for the ubiquitous Bergeon. Because the next best thing to a new watch is an old watch that looks… well, new.

Evolution of a watch collection

One cold morning at the turn of this year, I was looking at my two watches – a Rolex OP date and a Tag 6000 chrono – and wondering if I really needed them both. My girlfriend walked into the bedroom whilst I was musing and said that it was about time I sold the Tag, which she didn’t like at all, and just stuck to one watch. I mean, who needed two anyway?

Now, I hadn’t discovered the little corner of the Interweb that’s home to the various watch forums I now frequent, so – in my state of blissful ignorance – I decided that a change was as good as a rest. By April, I’d made up my mind that I wanted a Sub, and just a Sub and I proceeded to track one down, barely used, and to pay an inordinate sum to get it on my wrist. I was in heaven, looking at it dozens of times a day but almost always without having a clue as to what time it was. My brief flirtation with high-end watch buying had come to a swift and expensive end.

Well, that’s what I assumed. However, from the point of “forum enlightenment” onwards (say, late May/early June) I think it’s fair to say that things didn’t go quite according to plan. I’d never even dreamt of seeing so many gorgeous and diverse watches, all in one place and all available. I wanted them all, and I proceeded to act like a kid in a sweetshop with said girlfriend looking on all the while in total bemusement and wondering what the hell I was thinking of.

All in all, it’s been something of a horological journey, condensed into what seems like a nanosecond of time. And as I can be a little self-indulgent (bearing in mind that write the posts on here) I thought I may as well document that journey by way of a few photographs (oh, and I’ve ignored the dozen or so that were flipped before they had a chance to leave any kind of impression on my wrist. But the good news is that I think I’m now pretty focussed, in that I’d just like (one day) to pick up a nice new or minty Grand Seiko and to add one or two more vintage pieces (probably Omega and/or Heuer, or perhaps a nice GMT) to the collection. At the moment, though, I’m pretty happy.

And I also have my G, of course, for those occasions when only a G will do!

PS I think my photos are getting a little better too.





Errr, still October


The much flipped Glycine

Glycine is one of those manufacturers that those without an interest in watches are likely never to have heard of, but the company has been producing timepieces from its factory in Bienne (yes, that Bienne), Switzerland since being founded in 1914. Very soon, they were producing extremely precise, small movements for ladies watches, clad in precious gold and platinum cases, often studded with diamonds. But more was to come.

The legendary Airman line dates from the year 1953, when the first 24-hour watch with that name was launched on the market and sold by the thousands to the American armed forces. The Lagunare diver soon followed; the Incursore, claimed by the company to be the first real oversized watch, triggering the market trend towards big time keepers; and –since the early 60s – the Combat range. Precise automatic and chronograph movements, high-grade steel construction and classic design.

The first I knew of the Combat SUB were the stunning photos reproduced below; credit for them goes not to me but to Gary (“Omegary” on TZ-UK) but I could never have taken any better. I had, and loved, this watch for a while but in the end it went to make room for something different. The fact that I bought the exact same watch three times in total testifies, I think, to how much I liked it. Here… see why for yourself.