To many, time is a mundane fact of life and one of the few guarantees. It affects everyone and everything in one way or another and yet for many, it is not given a second thought the majority of the time. What is the attraction to tools such as watches then? For the most part, they are simply blobs of metal.
To truly understand watches, one must look at what they represent on a larger scale. To many, watches are gifted or obtained at meaningful moments in life, passed down through generations, or people purchased a watch at a milestone in ones life. Speaking for myself, I can vouch that this is the case. This is what leads me to explain the truly unparalleled impact watches have had on me.
I’ll make no secret of the matter- I’m a fairly boring guy. Besides cars and watches, I don’t have too many interests or hobbies. James Bond has always influenced me and watching Top Gear and the Grand Tour growing up only added to my love of cars and of course watches as well. For me, watches have always been that exciting way of making sense of what can quickly become an easily forgettable fact of life.
A few months ago, a friend and I had the good fortune of spending the evening at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC with Daniel Craig as he chatted about his experiences as James Bond. As I was already in the city, I stopped by the Omega boutique on 5 ave. Much to my excitement, they had the new James Bond Omega from the upcoming film. Much to my chagrin, it’s price tag was also present, shown proudly right across the strap. I felt an immediate sense of doom- $9,200. My heart sank as I knew this watch wouldn’t be joining my collection anytime soon.
At 24 years of age, my watch wish list is extensive however my watch box is a bit more modest. In high school, I inherited a few Seiko’s from my grandfather which I wore all of the time. Now, I have a few Swiss timepieces, however, since I first saw James Bond strap on an Omega, I knew I had to have one. Seeing the No Time To Die edition in person did not help matters. As soon as the sales lady helped me try it on, I knew I would be saving for it (I still am for the record).
Upon returning home, I told my fiancé about the watch. Without skipping a beat, she asked me “how much?” Sheepishly, I bowed my head and whispered the price. Immediately, the cost was equated to her Camry being cheaper. And this is what leads me to the point- how have watches, made from the impressive yet not exactly exciting stainless steel, be asking the prices of a decent used car? I don’t have the answer in terms of logic but I do know the emotion which watches evoke. Cars are useful, they take us from A to B however watches are the one tool which remain pertinent until the day we die. Is it a bit silly how high some of their prices are? Absolutely. However, to some, a watch is more than a measure of time. They are memories of loved ones, memories of exciting milestones, and companions which join us on our journeys throughout life. A watch, be it a Casio or an Omega, $50 or $50,000, is a reliable companion to journey through life with and in a world of uncertainty will never let you down.