John Mayer in an episode of Talking Watches on Hodinkee, said to Ben Clymer that you don’t have to accommodate this “rich-bitch lifestyle” to own a great watch. You can always take this high-style culture and adopt it into your own. Keeping what Mayer said in mind, Tabitha had done exactly just that. She is a teacher by profession, and loves collecting watches at the same time. She is the living example who shows that you don’t need to be super rich to own a great watch. Let us read about her experience on how she got into the world of watches.
This is EP28 of #wristalk.
It’s more than the actual information provided by the watch. It’s history, it’s craftsmanship, it’s the story of each piece I own.
How it all started?
When I was a teenager my mom worked at a jewellery store. I went to visit her at work one day and she took me around, showing me the jewellery and watches that they sold. When we got to the watch cabinet I was amazed. I remember being completely smitten by a Wittnauer, and shocked that it cost almost $800.
I stayed looking at watches longer than the other jewellery combined. That Christmas my mom bought me my first “adult” watch. It was a women’s gold tone Seiko. Boy did I love that watch. I wore it every single day.
I still have it to this day because I could never part with it, even long before I started becoming involved with the watch community. It’s obviously only worth my sentimental attachment, but that is what makes it so special.
What was your first watch?
It was a women’s gold tone Seiko given to me by my mom as a Christmas present.
What do watches mean to you?
A lot of my friends and family don’t understand my love for watches. I get the usual “I can use my phone to tell time” excuse. It’s more than the actual information provided by the watch. It’s history, it’s craftsmanship, it’s the story of each piece I own.
For example, one of my vintage Seiko pieces were won on eBay while walking down the streets of NYC with @Fremstar. I was eyeing this watch very closely. It was made on my birth year and I liked the dial. We stopped so I could check how much time was left on the auction and we stayed standing still on the sidewalk until it was over and I had won. That watch, while only worth about $100, will always be special because of the memories tied to it.
As our age goes digital I feel it is important that we not lose the craftsmanship associated with watches. It is like art. When I went to visit the Bovet boutique I was in awe towards the amazing work and detail that goes into each piece. From the inside out every detail is amazing. I had my loupe out and just watched the pieces move in smooth mechanical harmony for several minutes.
What is the focus of your collection?
I’m not a high end collector. Most of my pieces are very affordable on any budget. I have several Swatches and G-Shocks. They stand the test of time, and can survive my sometimes crazy day at work with my students. I like to have fun and enjoy my watches, which probably explains my love for the Swatch brand. I also own a few vintage Seikos, Bulova, and Citizen. I have a watch that was made by hand in upstate New York by RD Horology. I was able to pick the dial, color of the hands, and where the seconds dial would be placed. I love that it was made just for me. Being a teacher, my watch budget is small. Unless it’s a special occasion or to celebrate a milestone I tend to stay in the practical range of under $500.
What was the last watch you bought?
The last watch I bought was my Omega Speedmaster. It was to celebrate finally getting my Master’s degree. I bought it from a friend of mine @slrdude who runs the watch forum in which I am a member. I have been wanting this watch for as long as I can remember. It’s classic and beautiful. It has great presence without being overbearing on my small wrist.
What is the dream watch?
This is a hard one. The Speedmaster was my most coveted watch and now that I have it I really haven’t been looking for another “grail”. I do however love the Rolex Oyster Perpetual with the grape dial. Purple is one of my favorite colors. Maybe one day if it’s meant to be.
Which is your favourite watch in your collection?
This is a tie. I obviously love my Speedmaster. The other would be my Seiko Monster. It was gifted to me by a friend in my watch forum @gmtsandsubs. I was not expecting it and when I opened the package I almost started crying. The note attached said “Everyone needs a monster in their collection, even girls”. It will forever be in my collection as a reminder of the friendships I’ve made through this common interest of watches.