18 Aug 2021 – @FurryWristAbroad
BASELWORLD 2014 should have been a warning for collectors such as myself. Though Omega released their beautiful vintage-inspired Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial Chronometer resulting in me rushing out to put my name down on one, many other brands such as Tudor, JLC, and others did the same. Seven years later, there has not been a major release from such brands introducing an entirely new design language for the entry-level luxury watch market. Omega continues to mainly reiterate designs from decades past. Tudor continues to roll out new versions of their Black Bay. Rolex continues to release the same model lines with technical improvements seeing only minor changes to their dimensions. Oris continues to evolve their Aquis and Pro-Diver lines with their bespoke lug design language.
The entire market seems rather stale as a result. Microbrands continue to issue their takes on historic timepieces with Autodromo, Brew, and Dietrich being the exceptions. Hold on to the thought about Dietrich for a minute as we shall return to them soon. However, some of us are not only collecting watches because of their design or new technical improvements; we purchase a watch, new or used, for its history and continue to enjoy sharing life experiences with it as we wear it. This last point offers a glimmer of hope as a collector, for it is not only the watch that we could be collecting, but their inherent history and all that it brings.
After taking the Nodus “AvaMatick” Avalon on its first dives in Bonaire, I gained a new appreciation of and direction for my collection moving forward. The Avalon resulted from two years of hard work by the two founders of Nodus Watches with whom I had become friends. The AvaMatick was a collaboration between Nodus and the The Matick blog. In the last year, I have shifted my focus to watches that have a history with my friends.
First was the Tudor Ranger owned by my good friend @jwit94. This watch and its smile dial mirror the youthful energy and strength he brings to every room he enters. As a paramedic and a Renaissance man, Jake is the kind of person that one would like one’s children to emulate. As a result, to this day I wear his Tudor proudly reminded of the standard he sets and aim to do the same.
Second was the Marathon Chronograph Search and Rescue which was owned by designer Matthew Smith-Johnson. Those of you who frequent The Matick are already familiar with Mr. Johnson. From his appearance on the KC and JonJon Show podcast, everyone got the sense of exuberance and joy with which he approaches everything. In person, he does the same with a pure heart and uncontaminated intentions that are a breath of fresh air in the days of misinformation and shrewd decision-making permeating every facet of one’s life. Matthew wore this Marathon on a couple of charity endurance bike races in years past, and when he mentioned that he was letting go of it, I sprung into action and took it off his hands. Today I wear this decidedly rugged tool watch on very hectic days for recording elapsed time for invoicing, and when my sense of humour has run dry. It is during these times that I not only look down at this watch for time-telling purposes, but to be reminded of what a kind heart, an appreciation for details and how those details have relevance in the past and in the future, all bring to the table. As a result, hectic days when I wear this watch are enriched with a level of sentience that would otherwise be unavailable to me.
A couple of days ago, I placed a pre-order for the Dietrich Skin Diver. Dietrich has his own design language, and I fell in love with it after reviewing his Pure Time – Time Companion Series designed in collaboration with Matthew Smith-Johnson. Due to its not having a chronograph or a dive bezel, I passed on the opportunity to pick one up. Little did I know that our very own Marshall of Team Matick was working on this Skin Diver with Emmanuel Dietrich. After hearing about how they came to design this timepiece, I had to have one. I mentioned on the first episode of The KC and JonJon Show podcast that I had appeared on why I choose to write for The Matick. Unlike other blogs and sites, it is headed by working professionals who time and again exhibit an admirable sense of morality and duty. I imagine myself looking down at the carefully executed dial of my incoming blue Skin Diver and being reminded of the exemplary humans behind this watch.
This is how I have lately started to derive joy from watch collecting. The humans behind the timepieces, and carrying a piece of them and what we admire about them, is what gets me excited about watches now. To be honest, I have never enjoyed this hobby as much as I do now that there is deeper meaning to me.
(Since the time of writing this article, I have bought two more watches from close friends and my passion for this new manner of collecting continues to grow)
For Team Matick,