Everyone makes bad decisions. Mine happen to be watch related. After acquiring the Aquis, I wore it for over a month straight. Nothing else was on my wrist during the honeymoon with my Aquis. Every watch nut knows that the honeymoon won’t last forever, no matter how much you love the watch. Once this wore off and I was ready to start wearing my other watches again, I also wanted to buy another watch.
I settled on the black dial Tissot Visodate. A favorite among collectors of watches under $500, the Visodate is watch that makes you smile. The clean look and retro Tissot logo applied to the dial give the watch charm usually reserved for the likes of Patek and Breguet. As much as I enjoyed the Visodate, I found I didn’t wear it often. The black dial combined with high polished hands and markers made it difficult to read. I wore it to a friend’s wedding and sold it soon after. I found that purchasing something so quickly, just to have another watch, didn’t make me happy.
Hunting for the Next Watch
My next bad decision was not buying another watch, but rather selling one. I loved my Aquis so much that I decided to explore what else Oris had to offer. I discovered the Big Crown Pro Pilot. An easy to read dial and knurling on the bezel and crown made the watch unique. I was turned off to black dials after my escapade with the Visodate so I bought the gray dial version. The sunburst gray dial was a wonderful compliment my Aquis and the build quality was just as good.
Around the time I bought this watch, the internet watch community was in a love affair with the Sinn 104. I fell into this love affair with the Sinn 104 as well. An opportunity came up to trade my Big Crown for the Sinn 104 and I thought I was making out on the deal. Don’t get me wrong, the Sinn 104 is a cool watch but it didn’t live up to the hype for me. I regretted getting rid of the Big Crown and to this day is one of the only watches I regret selling.
After parting with the Sinn, I went through quite a few watches before I found what would make me happy. I hit all the big brands trying to find my next watch. I had a Seiko Cocktail time, a Hamilton X-Wind, another Oris Big Crown but none of them did it for me. Then I discovered microbrand watches…
While listening to the Worn and Wound podcast, they mentioned their watch fair called Wind Up was coming up in a couple weeks. It was in NYC which is close to me and I convinced my fiancée to tag along. If you have never been to Wind Up, it is a dream come true for those looking to find a watch that stands out from the herd. Coincidently, the only “large” brand there was Oris – but every other brand there was a micro. Usually run by one person or a small group, microbrands can execute designs and ideas the larger brands won’t touch. Their audience is so niche and they are so in tune with them that their watches are always something you haven’t seen before.
This was a world I did not know existed at the time. Strolling through Wind Up I found a brand called “Mercer.” They hail from my home state of New Jersey and were located only 15 minutes from where I grew up. It was so amazing that a watch company could be in my own backyard. I walked away from their counter with a new watch. I purchased the Brigadier Chronograph. The openness and ability to talk directly with the person who made your watch make microbrands a special thing for watch collectors.
Stay tuned for the final part of my watch story!