I have been a watch person all my life. I just love the feeling of being connected to the steady beat of time. My watch makes me feel in control of my life and schedule, but also calm in the understanding that there is a bigger force out there. People change, life has has unexpected ups and downs, but throughout it all time keeps on moving, predictably and reliably.
The most important watch I remember from my childhood was my father’s ‘Rolex’ which I later discovered is actually a Tudor Oysterdate with a Rolex crown logo on the caseback. My mom used to mention how it was really expensive to get it serviced. I wondered why she always felt the need to mention this watch and how important it was. To me, it was just an object. Later in life I realized he must have spent a lot of his hard-earned salary on it, which was a big thing as my parents were very frugal.
Most of my life I wore cheap quartz watches because I didn’t know there were any alternatives. I loved the look of them but also loved that, unlike jewelry or handbags, they were under the radar and went virtually unnoticed.
Earlier this year, I started a new job and was approaching a milestone birthday. I decided to invest in a nice watch, which for me is no small feat because I am very particular when picking out a big purchase for myself. I put a lot of thought into the overall feeling it gives me and what it represents. I think it’s because I’m quite a minimalist so anything I add to my accessories collection has to be ‘just right’. I saw a gorgeous watch in a fashion magazine and it was a Breguet Classique with a dark brown alligator strap and rose gold case. It was very simple and classic, feminine, and reminiscent of an earlier time. I went to a jewelry and watch store that carried Breguet, naively thinking that they carried Breguet watches in a lower price range. The store associate gently told me that Breguet would be 3-4x my budget and that I may be interested in their Cartier watches.
The first watch I tried on was the Cartier Tank solo in rose gold. I thought it was stunning but wasn’t sure about the price, and I also hoped to get something more unknown. For weeks, I did a lot of research online and scrutinized every feature that caught my attention. My wish list was a mother-of-pearl dial (white rather than rainbow-hued), in either steel or rose gold or both, in a simple classic design, smallish case size and without diamonds so I could wear it everyday.
I fell for the Baume and Mercier Classima based on the online photos alone, which is surprising as most watch photos don’t do the timepieces justice. It has a beautiful steel bracelet and case, with a white mother of pearl face, elegant roman numerals at the 6/9/12 and a discreet date window in place of the 3, and diamond markers. I was unsure about the latter until the associate suggested I view it in natural light as their store lighting makes the diamonds appear super sparkly. It turned out to be perfect and at 31 mm was much smaller than the giant watches that dwarfed my 5 1/4″ wrist.
A good watch represents who you are and the Classima is classic, elegant yet distinctive which feels very me. It seems to me that most women are no longer interested in watches. All the women my age and younger either don’t wear watches or wear an Apple watch or Fitbit. It doesn’t deter me at all as I like vintage pieces and watches are as vintage an accessory as you can get. My Classima watch can be worn with various outfits, though to me it works best as a work watch paired with dresses, blazers, blouses and dress pants. The quartz movement creates a slim profile that sits close to the wrist. I would have preferred an automatic or manual wind movement but with women’s watches, they are much harder to find in the lower price points. It’s my most sentimental watch and one that I spent so much time looking for. Once I bought it I thought it could be my only watch for life.
Little did I know I was going to embark on a new hobby. Most surprisingly, I would see the person who I thought I knew better than myself change from “I’ll never wear a watch because I’m a leftie” to become a full-on watch enthusiast (he is the reason why I even know that term) in just a short few months. More to come.