Thank you for sharing that most personal story. To me, that's the beauty of an heirloom watch that will last from generation to generation. About a year ago my son graduated from Marine Officer Candidate School, just as I did over 30 years ago. It was the most meaningful day of my life. (And yes, I know I'm supposed to mention my wedding and the birth of my first child here, but...) I presented him with a Sea Dweller, engraved with his name, and "Marine" and the date of his graduation. It brings me great joy to think of him giving it to his son some day and maybe telling a story about his old man.No need to edit your comment! I appreciate and welcome the feedback. Are Datejusts really that bad with tailoring? It seems very normal to me.
I've thought about buying another watch, but mostly to wear with workwear. So I've thought about buying a Sub. But I keep putting off the purchase. A Sub would be even larger than my Datejust and more obviously a sports watch, but I would mostly wear it with casualwear.
One of the reasons why I wear this Datejust is because it has sentimental value, but it doesn't feel right to me with my casualwear. So I keep it to tailoring.
My father bought the watch in the 1960s after he graduated from college (with an architecture degree). Shortly after he returned home to Saigon, the Tet Offensive happened. Both sides of my family -- mom and dad -- were at risk if the communists took over. One side of my family owned land and several factories; the other side was involved in organized crime. They knew things were going to be bad for them if the communists came, so they made plans to leave.
Everyone had to figure out their own way out of the country. My dad ended up buying a fake ID and posed as an international student. He then bought a cardboard box and sliced the pieces open. Between the cardboard, he slid sheets of thin gold, taped up the box again, and filled the box with books, so he could hide the weight. He then packed a small suitcase with clothes (things that would look appropriate for a student), and left with just that box of gold and the suitcase. The only thing of personal value he kept from his "old life" was the Rolex Datejust.
The first stop was Cambodia, where his brother/ my uncle, was eventually killed by the Khmer Rouge. After that, they escaped to Iran. And then the Iranian Revolution happened and they had to flee again. They eventually made it to Canada and after that the United States. Each time, he had this Rolex on him. Some decades later, my dad got robbed in a store, where someone came in, masked, and holding a shotgun. Somehow, he was calm enough to slip the Rolex off his wrist and throw it into the corner. The robber stole everything in the cash register but missed the Rolex.
When I turned a certain age, my dad gave me his Rolex, and up until that point, I had never seen it off his wrist. I don't always wear it with tailoring because sometimes I'm afraid of losing it or getting robbed, and the sentimental value is important to me. But when I do wear it, I only wear it with tailoring because most of my casualwear is very workwear-y or causal (e.g. leather jackets, trucker jackets, and the like).
The Sea Dweller has justifiably taken a few knocks here. Fine. I like it better than the Sub because it's bigger on my large wrists. I also like the story, and the ridiculous over-engineering. No, I don't dive. But I do beat the hell out of it and use the dial as a timer almost every day. (How long have I been walking? How long has my wife been telling me about her day? Is the steak done?)
I'm a watch guy, and feel naked without one. I could never bring myself to wear an Apple Watch.