- Feb 11, 2009
- Reaction score
Lovely watch, moving story. I've this Omega automatic my dad got from his parents when he got into the Italian Army Military Academy in the early 50s and which he wore for many years as a sort of field watch. If it weren't so fragile by now and if I weren't too afraid of losing it it would make a great one-watch:I don't know very much about watches, but my "one watch" collection would be this Rolex Datejust. I inherited it from my father, who bought it in the 1960s shortly after graduating college. My family is from Saigon, and they escaped the Vietnam War, then the killing fields in Cambodia, and then the Iranian Revolution. Each time when fleeing, my dad had this watch with him. One time, my dad got robbed while in the US and someone pointed a shotgun in his face. Right before they approached, however, he had the calmness of mind to slip his watch off his wrist and throw it into the corner (his hands were under a counter and they couldn't see). Some years later, he gave it to me when I turned 30.
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I love the watch and it's easily the most important material thing I own. However, I only wear it with suits and sport coats. I find it too dressy for my casualwear, which goes between workwear (e.g. vintage Lee trucker with raw denim jeans and an RRL flannel) and some contemporary stuff (e.g. Margiela five-zip). I even find it too dressy for some CM-adjacent casualwear, like stuff from Kaptain Sunshine. Been thinking about buying a Rolex Submariner for casual outfits (mostly workwear and Kaptain Sunshine type stuff).
I have a friend who's really into clothing and watches, and I admire his taste. Sometimes we meet up for dinner and drinks when he's in San Francisco. When I mentioned to him my plan to buy a Rolex Sub, he said that he thinks I should buy a Rolex Explorer (1016) instead. He thinks it suits my personality better. I've been mulling on it.
Now, two questions for you Derek, if you have the time:
1. Is the cloth in the background your summer tweed? It's been ready for a first fitting at my tailor since before Covid, sigh.
2. A modern Submariner? Do you really want to wear the watch that every other midtown bro buys with his first bonus?
More seriously, I really don't see the appeal of modern Rolexes: it's a company that became famous because of its modernist, no-nonsense design values, and now they're a maker of shiny jewellery. This is an unpopular view, but I think the last real Rolex was the Oysterquartz.
Having said that, the 1016 is a fantastic, older design and many cite it as a do-anything watch. But it went out of production in 1989. I'd love to get a 1980 one (my birth year) but I genuinely don't know whether its waterproofness could still be trusted, even if serviced properly. Also, the prices of those old steel pieces are frankly a bit extreme these days.