Monday, December 17, 2007

The case against watch-collection

I recently came across two watch-crazy individuals. While one was extremely proud of his collection of watches, the other claimed that the first thing she observed about any person was the brand that he/she was sporting on their wrist. “An Omega is like so up there and a Swatch is like so down-market,” she observed.

Now, I don’t have anything against any watch collector. Hell, a couple of years ago, I too liked watches which were more showpieces than mere indicators of time.

But now, I’ve changed.

I feel buying watches of different priceless brands is a waste of money. A Swatch here, an Omega there or a Rolex thrown in is fine…but actually going out of your way to get a collection… nah, not my cup of tea.

Here’s my reasoning.

Essentially, you buy a watch to tell the time. Two solid hands with a third needle-like hand to tell the seconds and you pretty much have the whole house going for you. Watches from different companies are still going to tell you what o’ clock it is according to the local meridian.

It is fine by me if you’re buying an extremely expensive watch and know in detail the technical detail of the fancy styling; for example, the exactness of the time that the watch shows you (but in any case, how wrong could you go with 1/500th of a second…you’re still going to be late for that early morning meeting with your boss if you left your house late) or the intricate design on a piece of metal. However, more often than not, people pay too much for the brand that they are sporting rather than for the effectiveness of the features of the watch.

Do not get me wrong; I might be writing this post in Left-dominated Kolkata, but I certainly don’t have anything against brands (hell, even as I write this, I’m wearing a Louis Philippe jacket over a Lacoste t-shirt and a pair of Lee jeans), but there is an extent to which I’ll pay for the brand and the features.

For me, the essence of the watch remains the time that it is showing, and of course, the emotion which it carries with it. For example, I’ve been wearing a Timex for two and a half years now, and I don’t think I’ll be deserting it soon because it means a whole lot more than any Rolex could…it is the watch that Dad bought me as a gift a couple of days before I left for Ahmedabad to do my MBA. Call me a romantic at heart, but whenever I look at the watch when I have a minute to spare, I remember Dad’s arm around my shoulder when I selected the watch. In fact, he didn’t approve of the watch and wanted me to go in for a more classic looking model. But when I said that I wanted a slightly sporty looking watch and this was it, he just gave in with the resigned sigh and the smile of a knowing father who realises that his son has grown up and has his own set of likes and dislikes.

That to me, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of the watch.

Mr. Mukesh Ambani might as well walk up to me tomorrow morning and promise me half his business empire, but I ain’t trading this watch for anything.


arpana said...

I have a non branded, sturdy dial encrusted in a bracelet-types steel band.

The kind of person I am, delicate watches go bang the minute they hit my hand, this one - I can throw down three stories, walk down calmly, pick it up, wear it and walk away, with it ticking away, showing the correct time. I like it rough :D

another use being, this saves me the trouble of actually wearing a bangle round my hand, since it looks like a bracelet itself; so gran khush too.

me will neva let go of this one, no titan raagas or dainty guccis for me (which as a matter of fact I had picked up during my first visit to manila and which, lasted exactly 6 months. Rs28K in 6 months, versus Rs300 in 2 years (not out) - you do the math ) :D

Shekhar said...

arpana: Well done.. Simple, elegant and yet effective. Bravo !! :)