Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vatch Ze Vatch!

As I was about to check my overnight earnings from this blog, it occurred to me, assuming that I had become filthy rich overnight, that I might paradoxically have to have a watch custom-made for me which looked very conventional. I say that because so many new high-end watches seem to have weird "contemporary" faces which I don't like and find hard to read. Then there's the Roger Dubuis Excalibur, which I had to look at for a very long time before I could see that it has an hour hand and a minute hand at all. (Still haven't found the second hand, if it has one, or any other dials. There are some round things there which if they are dials I don't know how to read. $13,000.)

The watch Liam Neeson gave to Diane Kruger in Unknown looks like it might be more what I want, and it looks like what t3 half-disparagingly calls "big and clunky" and soooo 2 decades ago. Neeson's character says you can tell by the weight that the watch is "the real thing," which to me suggests gold and/or platinum, in the case and maybe in the metallic flex band as well. Maybe the watch snobs at Forbes and t3 snicker behind their fists at the taste in watches of Neeson and/or the other makers of Unknown. On the other hand, maybe Liam and the boys laugh right in the watch snobs' faces. A part of me sort of hopes they do. Maybe what I want is much easier to find than you'd think by reading the watch snobs.

Then again, maybe that watch Liam was wearing isn't what I want at all. Maybe it has 5 dials on the front and 3 more on the back and they all blend into their backgrounds so well that I'd never find half of them, let alone figure out what each one meant, and maybe the watch snobs all cream when they see that watch in that movie.

What is this "what I want" I'm talking about? Lots of heavy metal: maybe a combination of platinum and rose gold, (Is rose gold the leisure suit and sun-dried tomatoes of the 2010's? Will people shake their heads in dismay at rose gold in 2025 and ask what people possibly could've been thinking? I'm guessing: no, because I always hated leisure suits and never particularly liked sun-dried tomatoes. Which may indicate that in 2025 people will look at these unreadable dials on luxury watches being made now, and shake their heads and ask what people possibly could have been thinking.) big thick heavy case, perhaps heavy metal again in the band, in short: go ahead, TRY to make it heavier than I'd like.

And of course, a dial that's extremely easy to read. Maybe only one dial on the face. I'm still weighing that. It might actually be cool even to me to have some sort of multi-dial chronometer set-up. Just: not at the expense of the readability of the hours, minutes and seconds where I am at the moment. People should be able to read the time on my wristwatch across a crowded and dimly-lit ballroom while I vigorously do the monkey.

Of course, this is all assuming that I don't concentrate exclusively on pocket watches after becoming rich. (Didn't happen overnight last night.) But the choice of new high-end wristwatches is vastly greater than that of new high-end pocketwatches. And I'm wondering how high the high end in new pocket watches is. So far, I've found exactly 2 count em 2 makers of new luxury pocket watches: Audemars Piguet, a solid-gold variety of whose Royal Oak wristwatch t3 mocks as big and clunky and soooo 1990's ($69,200), and Patek Philippe. A new 18k-gold Patel Philippe pocket watch will set you back $35,000, give or take. Audemars Piguet is currently offering 1 new pocket watch, a hunter's watch, which is not the style I'm looking for. (A hunter's watch is a pocket watch with a cover which must be sprung open in order to read the time. Then the cover is snapped shut again before the watch is pocketed. I don't want that cover. I don't know why a hunter would want it either. I'm not a hunter, but it seems to me that the last thing a hunter would want would be little springing and snapping sounds to scare away the game.) I don't know how much the Audemars Piguet pocket watch costs. Looking for that info on the Internet, my search is swamped by depressing things like "replica" (fake, but honest enough to come right out and call themselves fakes) Audemars Piguet watches. And it seems to me it would be tacky somehow to call up a Audemars Piguet boutique and ask. (I'm afraid to call, okay? I came right out and said it.) I'm guessing that their hunter's watch is very low 6 figures, or 5 figures. There are quite a few wristwatches which sell for 7 figures, and probably some which sell for 8 figures. Up there at the top end of wristwatches, some watches are custom-made to order. Would the makers of such timepieces be at all interested in making new pocket watches? You know, you pay that much, you want the craftsmen to be inspired, not just drudging along for the sake of the money alone and then sneering at you behind your back after you've bought the ugly white elephant you made them attach their name to. (Their NAME!)

Does it make any sense at all to spend over $10,000,000 on a watch? It seems that many of the boutiques of luxury watch brands today are located in the same places where the most numerous and tallest skyscrapers are going up. And that aint Switzerland, or LA or SF or anywhere in Germany or England or Russia, or anywhere in the Western Hemisphere south of Miami. Perhaps an Audemars Piguet or Greubel Forsey boutique in some place like Dubai would happily quote me 7-figure prices on their finest items. Perhaps making ridiculous rates of consumption as conspicuous as possible is one of the absurd points being made by whoever shops in boutiques like those. It's a bit different from me going to Kroger's or Meijer's, or, on a special occasion, Plum Market or the mall.

For $30,000, give or take, depending on the price of gold that day, I could just buy a 20-troy-ounce ingot of 24k gold and carry that around in my pocket. It wouldn't tell time but it would be nice. A conversation piece fer sher. What's that you say? Eccentric? I wear a cheap pocket watch. Sometimes, at the same time that I'm wearing the cheap pocket watch -- at this very moment, for example -- I also wear a very old self-winding Timex wristwatch which I got at a yard sale for two bucks. That man who recently said to me, "You can only wear one watch at a time anyway--" that guy doesn't know me very well. The eccentric ship sailed a while ago. I like who I am, and that really is the main thing.

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