The picture above was taken at the ripe old age of 21 while stationed in Germany. Loved that car.
My story begins in the mid-80’s hanging out in the east suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Even though I was a bus rider in middle school, I chose to make the 1.5 mile walk to and from school. On my way home from school, I stopped to hang out with the cheerleaders and play video games. I was forgiven for coming home late a few times. A few reprimands later, I invested in a watch.
At the time, Swatch had rolled out its line of stylish, budget-friendly watches. The first watch I bought was the Swatch Black Diver in 1984. In the course of my remaining school years, I owned at least a half dozen Swatch watches. Most of the Swatches I bought were simple patterns but a few were loud.
After high school, I enlisted in the Air Force. Until this point in life, I traveled very little outside the Pittsburgh area. My first assignment was Homestead Air Force base in south Miami. Even though I was desperately saving for a car, a Casio diver caught my eye on a shopping trip. A few months later, with the help of my Dad, I bought my first car, an 86 Volkswagen Sirocco. Having a few extra buck leftover – and the ability to go to the beach anytime – I bought my first Casio diver.
Over the course of my 4-year enlistment, I owned a few Casio divers. I ruined a few getting too much sand under the bezels.
Swatch / Timex
At the Bayside Marketplace in Miami, I stumbled across a Swatch store. There, in all its glory, sat the new Swatch Irony. The stainless steel Irony was different than anything Swatch offered and in my price wheelhouse. Wanting to up my watch game some more, but still on a tight budget, I spent $60 on an Irony. This Irony is the oldest watch I own and it still keeps time.
From the early-90’s until 2016 was like watch purgatory for me. I paid little attention to the world of watches – money was tight early in my career. By the late 90’s I got married, traveled the world, and my three boys started arriving. This was the Timex period. Active life, tight budget and practicality meant Timex Ironman. In this period of time, I owned three Ironman watches.
In the summer of 2016, My wife and I were on an Alaskan cruise with our boys. For some reason I wandered into the jewelry shop after dinner one evening. In the little clearance closet was a black and orange, quartz Tissot Chronograph. The rest of the evening the watch stuck in my mind. I had some birthday money and my wife gave me the nod. Thus started what is a budding collection and what appears to be a life long learning project and hobby.
Learning a few things
Since reigniting my interest in watches, I have added some watches to a small collection. More important, I have jumped into learning about brands, manufacturers, and watch history. In the midst of my explorations, I’ve discovered a few things about my taste and a small goal.
First, my taste. I find that I like simple watches with Arabic numerals. I’m not big on complications but appreciate them. I lean toward tool watches like divers and pilots. I am somewhat limited in what I can wear with my 6.75 inch wrists.
Second, the goal. In my late teens, my Dad gave me his father’s 1940’s Girrard-Perregaux mechanical watch. It is one of few meaningful things that I have left from my Dad. So, my goal is to accumulate nine automatic watches (three for each of my boys). I’m looking toward having three Swiss, automatic divers, three Swiss, automatic pilot/field watches, and three automatic Seikos. Hopefully, it will pass my love of watches on to them as well as pass them something meaningful.