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  • Writer's pictureRaymond

The Wonders of Watches

"If your objective is to tell time, you will not buy a mechanical watch. You have the time on your phone."

- Ricardo Guadalupe.

Mechanical watches to a watch enthusiast are probably just like specially curated jewelry pieces to a discerning lady. A watch could be priceless to a trained eye but completely worthless to an untrained one. It is not easy to explain why. I'll attempt to highlight a few points that may shed some light.

I myself came to appreciate mechanical watches about 30 years ago, when my dad gave me his old Seiko mechanical watch after he won a brand new one from a company's lucky draw event. I was stuck with it as I need to tell time in a digital-less era especially when I'm in school. I remembered feeling a tad miserable wearing an adult's dress watch when my friends were all with their fancy and colorful quartz watches. But I soon came to appreciate the immense quality and longevity of this Seiko as my friends' watches wouldn't last half as long as mine. So the quality stood out for me.

I soon forgot about mechanical watches as other more 'exciting' things like partying and sports grabbed my attention during my university years. For the most part of my working years, I relied on quartz watches. Up until about 5 years ago, I decided to relook into mechanical watches, and I bought my first one, a Ball Watch. It was a huge 45mm, tough, full stainless steel piece that I quickly found out that it was too large for my skinny wrist.

After having bought and sold about 20 mechanical watches over the past few years, I developed a sense of what case sizes and lug to lug distances that suit me best. Most importantly, I honed my taste for the looks that I like best. My taste veered towards vintage designs, such as traditional case shapes and indices, unique dials with clear design languages, champagne dials, and quirky things like heat blued handsets and enamel application. So looks of a mechanical watch is probably the most important factor for me.

There is a geek residing inside all of us, so naturally the mechanical movement that runs without batteries intrigued me big time. I was hooked on the delicate components, the tiny gears, the balance wheel, mainspring, escapement and other parts that I would take macro photos all day long.

Finally, of course, the heritage. The feeling of owning something that has a rich history and knowing that other people appreciate what I appreciate, elevates the mechanical watch collection experience to another level. So there you go, the wonders of mechanical watches. Enjoy the journey!

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