Posted 6 years ago
This is going to be one of my signature excessively long posts, riddled with esoteric references and a pretentious flair that I readily admit I have. You have been warned. I welcome criticism as much as I welcome compliments. Mainly because I love filibustering my opponents. Enjoy!
When it comes to collecting, those that know me on this site know that I am a cufflink guy. Regardless of brand name, precious metals, or monetary value, I am just a whore of a cufflink collector. I will take any links, regardless of era, style, color, composition, and design. I have a few super fancy pairs and mostly just Swank and other $2 swap meet pieces. All are outstanding in their own way, much like the other Fraternities at Faber.
When it comes to timepieces, though, for me it is pure nostalgia and good old fashioned haberdashery.
I have always liked the style of a hanging chain from a waistcoat (vest), and since my career allows for good old fashioned formal business dress, I am able to justify (even if only in my own meandering mind) that wearing a waistcoat replete with hanging chain from my vintage pocket watch seems to blend quite well in the rather boring financial industry.
Having said that, I do not wear my Waltham Hunter Pocket watch, assembled in 1900 solely as an accessory piece or so I have a strong of gold chain hanging from my front side embracing a gentlemanly swagger of the days gone by. No, ma'am. I use it to tell the time.
When I wear my waist coat and have my Waltham model 1899, manufactured in 1900, I do not wear a watch nor do I carry my Cel phone in the office. I pop open the lid and check out the time on my Waltham. And may I say that it does keep fantastic time, to the half second (so long as I remember to wind it daily ;)
I wish I could say that this pocket was was a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation back when my great great grandfather was a conductor for the railroad lines in the early 1900's, coming upon a happenstance meeting with Clara Clayton and Doc Brown working on their weather experiment with their boys Jules and Verne. But alas, I would only be living in a fantasy dream world of Norman Rockwell small town life.
Reality is that I got this pocket watch on eBay a few months ago for like $80, and I was thrilled with the price and the fact that it works splendidly and keeps great time and looks exactly how I wanted it to look.
There was a little surprise thrown in that the eBay seller did not realize, though.
The casing of the watch is not gold. It is gold plated, sure, but most certainly not gold. The after market chain, however, is actually very discreetly marked 14k.
I took it into a jeweler friend of mine once I discovered this obvious seller oversight, and sure enough the jeweler confirmed that the chain was indeed a 14k vintage pocket watch chain that probably dates to the early mind century. He then offered me well over the price of the watch for just the chain itself. An offer I politely declined.
I wear this to work about once or twice a week, 100% of the time that I am wearing a waistcoat. Though there was at least once that I decided to go Gomez Addams style and wear it in my coat chest pocket, with the chain connected to my lapel button hole. Because I didn't just want it sticking through the hole, I added a white carnation to the lapel that day, which made for a nice old school touch.
I work in the financial industry and spend a lot of time in and out of banks. I miss the banks from the days of yore. Not the one that Henry Bemis worked in that involved strict presidents that wouldn't let you read and died violent deaths when the bomb exploded, but classic city banks. Marble countertops, large white pillars, and green glass hood lamps. Men in Three Piece Suits and women tellers in long skirts and dresses.
Large wooden desks, no computers, and timepieces on their wrists, and in their waistcoat pockets that actually both accessorized and told correct time, whenever needed.
I am living in the wrong decade, I realize, and when I look down to tell a client the time, I don't look at my iMac or even the wall clock, I simply pull out my Waltham and click open the top and let him know the time. Some clients remark or start a conversation regarding my obvious lack of modern technology in my timekeeping, but most simply say thank you and with a slight smile or nod of agreement with body language saying that they approve of my anachronistic tendencies and perhaps meeting with me is a form of old fashioned nostalgia.
As long as they vote for McKinley, they are A-Ok in my book.
Speaking of which, my esoteric reference to the Presidential election of 1900 demands one further tangent. I miss the justice timeline of those days. You realize that McKinley was shot on Sept 4th, 1901. He died as a result of the gunshots on September 14th and Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in. The assassin was tried, convicted, sentenced, and executed vis electric chair on October 29th of that SAME YEAR.
That was SWIFT justice. And I bet the guard that pulled the lever down to initiate the charge was timing the ordeal on his Waltham pocket watch. I am truly proud to own this piece of American History.
On a a side note, when my family visited Boston over the Summer, aside from going to Cheers and hoping Diane would come back, we actually stayed in Waltham at the Embassy Suites. Very nice little city. It was that trip that cemented that my next pocket watch would most certainly be a Waltham. And the rest is buried in esoteric and long winded history.
Thank you for reading everyone!