Remember the days when we bought a watch to wear everyday and need not worry about scratching it and we didn’t actually feel bad when scratches did occur. Those days are long gone and now what enters the equation is preserving the condition for resale value, rarity, auction results, current Chrono24 price and other impure thoughts.
These days, and I fully admit it too, we buy watches based on rarity, on the perceived unobtainability and what the hype tells us is a hot watch.
And even when we obtain that so called grail watch, we baby it like well, a baby’s bottom. We protect it from harm’s way, shield it from the elements and anything that will potentially wallop it even though it may be only a minor scuff. A baby I can understand because they are fragile and unable to protect themselves, but most watches are manufactured to be rugged and withstand a beating. Instead we treat them as the most delicate pieces of tissue even though they are made of hard metals.
When we are blessed to receive a highly sought after piece, for example a Pepsi, because we know it’s worth and it’s extreme unavailability we tend to shield it from the world and not want any undue proximity to anyone or anything that could potentially ding the damn thing. But not only that, we project into the future as well. Will it have a good resale value if scratched and then have to be repolished? Will it fetch a good price at an auction twenty years down the road and what is it even worth now on Chrono24 in mint or unworn condition? Those thoughts when they cross into the mind definitely make one quite upset if they scratch a watch or even worse dent a watch.
When I obtained my Batman in 2014 before the supply-demand craze, I had all the intention to wear it as an everyday watch and beat it to oblivion which I did. And I have absolutely no regrets for having done so because the watch carried a different importance to me. It was important in telling the time and to be with me in all important moments of my family’s occasions. At the time, it was not important in terms of price appreciation or resale value.
Nowadays though, being aware of the current watch situation, there is no way I would have abused a brand new Batman equivalent the way I treated it nonchalantly before. Nowadays, any situation where I feel my Aquanaut is at risk like yardwork, or handywork or anything that involves metallic objects, I distance my watch. It is a shame because a watch, I feel, should be worn at all times for exactly what it was intended for, to tell you the time, at all times. Instead, a by-product of the current market has made us wary and scared of resale condition/value, what price it will fetch should I ever sell it and whether it will appreciate appreciably.
That is why I would like to purchase a decent new mechanical model where I won’t have to worry about these future worries and projections. And I would like something rugged but with elegance. Fulfilling these criteria, I am glad that Tudor just released their blue Black Bay 58. It is a relatively inexpensive watch with great quality, accuracy and important elegance. The blue is understated yet regal and the metal is brushed so as not to scratch or draw too much attention unto itself.
It is a watch that I would really enjoy looking at without worrying about the resale value if I ever dinged it which I most certainly will. And at its price point, damaging it wouldn’t cost much if any emotional equity.
It is a watch that has a retro feel to it. The lugs are tapered more than the Rolex Submariner and the bezel is tapered more peripherally which I prefer as opposed to the less tapered Rolex ceramic bezels. I also prefer the more refined knurlings compared to the Rolex knurlings.
Of course I say these words as a hypothetical. In the pre-craze days I would purchase this watch and use it as a tool, an everyday wearer, a beater. And I would use it as such without having any secondary thoughts.
But solely because of the current shark watch frenzy, the reality is that this watch is very sought after and quite a rarity even though it only just was released a few days ago. And because of that reason, if I ever do get an opportunity to purchase the Tudor, I would probably end up babying it for the reasons I mentioned above, like the hypocrite that I am. And I also presume most of the new owners would as well which only serves to strengthen and prove my point that desirable watches have become much too valuable to wear carelessly nowadays.
The way we view our timepieces has changed forever and there will never be a personally desired mechanical timepiece that won’t beg the primary concern, future price earnings. It dawned on me, desirable watches have become common stocks – or priceless art masterpieces. The sad truth is that we buy watches because we want to wear those beauties but when we actually obtain them we actually don’t wear them as originally intended.