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The watch appreciation thread

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About a week ago, while lying in bed about to go to sleep, I saw on YouTube a scheduled livestream of Berkshire Hathaway's AGM. It was not immediately obvious what local time it begins at, which made me think how nice to have a world time watch, say a JLC Master Control Geographic. Which, alas, I will never own because I will never buy another 40mm watch. I've come to realise I like my watches small.

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I eventually figured out it will start at 5am. I watched some Netflix and such, and at around 5am, I tuned in to the livestream. It was just Buffet and Abel, without any audience in the hall. It was a virtual AGM. 

The first thing to strike me was that it is Buffet's last AGM. He looked very old, frail, and tired. His voice was raspy and indistinct. Buffet has left the plateau, and is quickly going downhill. He has this characteristic bloat that afflicts some people in their last years of life. Gianni Agnelli was one such. 

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His voice was nonetheless so sweet and happy. This is an intrinsically happy person. I fell asleep listening to his spoken version of "letter to shareholders". 

In subsequent days, snippets of his AGM appeared in my YouTube feed, and in one of them, I saw he was wearing a gold watch. It had to be a Rolex Day-Date, I thought.

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I did some searching, and indeed, Buffett has only ever been seen wearing a Rolex Day-Date with a silver sunburst dial. Except, and this is remarkable, it seems he has been wearing this watch for decades. Whenever there is a picture of Buffett with his watch showing, it is this watch. No other. 

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The strap is most exerent. In person, it is darker than in pictures. This is a great colour that makes watches look aristocratic. I think it's a colour that goes with all watches, steel or gold. Because the strap colour is itself quite bland, it makes the watch head stand out. 

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The dimensions I gave turned out to be great. 

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There's some truth to that; this is the first series of pics of said seiko that accentuates its chunkiness and angles. I very much like the watch now.

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I've had such a tough time getting this beige to show accurately. After adjusting exposure, tint, and temperature, and boosting the red channel, this comes quite close to how the eye sees the colour. Phew. 

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Is that an IWC or a Stowa? I asked the customer. Stowa, he replied. 

Is that a real Isophrane strap? I asked. Yep, he said. 

I think I know too much about watches. 

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Look, in an ideal world not filled with primates like ourselves, everything would make sense. Watches would be appropriately sized, very ergonomic, not prone to arbitrary fashions, and resilient in construction, etc.

In reality however, if bell bottoms are the craze, you have to wear bell bottoms otherwise you'd have nothing to wear.

If one eschews 40mm and larger watches, there'd almost be nothing to wear. Lots of cool watches are 40mm and up. The smart way to deal with such trends, it occured to me, is to just join them. Who says watches must "fit" a person? After all, one does not buy a car to fit one's size. So why a watch?

I see people wearing enormous Daniel Wellingtons all the time. It never occurs to them a watch must fit a wrist.

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A customer was wearing a solid rose gold Chopard. It's enormous, maybe 43mm. I remarked that it's very uncommon to see a Chopard. He said its a gift from the parents-in-law. 

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Many months ago, I set the time on my Grand Seiko quartz to the one on my phone. Because it is battery-powered, there has been no need for me to set the time since. (Unlike my mechanical watches, which keep running out of power.) 

I was reading an article about Arby Li and his Journe quartz watch, how is it barely off by a second per year. This made me curious about how my Grand Seiko has performed. 

I checked it against my phone and I can't tell if there is any deviation. It seems to be accurate to within a second. 

Arby Li was saying how he values functionality in his watches. His favourite watch is the Patek Aquanaut Travel Time in rose gold on a rubber strap, because he travels so much and because it is wearable even when golfing and swimming. 

I considered what I want my watch to do for me, and here they are:

a) reminds me that man-made objects can transcend their function and be lovely and beautiful and congruous

b) reminds me that acts of management created the organisation that created the watch, not any lone watchmaker. Therefore, Jeremy, be a great manager. Try. 

c) reminds me that while a low manufacturing budget requires compromises, if executed earnestly the resulting watch can still be very satisfying. You don't have to slather butter on everything (or sprinkle truffle flakes, etc). 

d) I really would like a big Day-Date on my watches. Because with increasing age, I can't see small things. So either a magnified date, or a "big" date display. And the day, so I know exactly. 

e) small, thin, light, resilient 

f) be really legible, yet, the design should be humanistic, not "instrumentation", not "tool" (ah, the Americans). 

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The original Oyster case, for instance---the sort on a Datejust---is a "humanist" case design. It is slender, sinuous, curvaceous, etc. It is not any less resilient than any slab-sided, square-lugged case. 

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The Marathon General Purpose Quartz. Inside is an ETA quartz movement, the same one used in Omega quartz watches and such. This watch is supplied to the US Army for general use. 

The case is fiber-reinforced plastic. The crystal is sapphire, supposedly thicker than in most watches for more shatter resistance. Tritium tubes are used as hour markers like in Ball watches. It uses a pass through strap only---there are no spring bars. 

Its only 34mm and weighs almost nothing. 

Alas, it is Rm960 and has no date. I tried this on at Habib in Ampang Point. My ideal Marathon is this variant. Sage green with date. 

WW194015-SG-NGM-IMG1-Hero_361x@3x.progre

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On my wrist, the Speedmaster Mark 40. A chronograph with a triple calendar function. 39mm, under 45mm lug to lug. This here is completely unpolished. The tritium markers on the dial have mellowed to a natural orange. 

I wonder if I should kop. 

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