Recently i had a significant birthday (lets just say if i was a cricketer, i’d have been raising my bat in acknowledgement to the pavilion). My wife, observant soul that she is, thought i might like a special watch as a birthday present which is how i became the proud owner of a Rolex submariner from the exact year of my birth. It was a real box find on her behalf for which i was very grateful and its unblemished condition, without the dreaded curse of refurbishment, was a testament to the care it had enjoyed over the preceding years. Now, I know i’m far from alone in having a watch to mark a significant milestone, but what surprised me most was how much i fell in love with this particular timepiece whose shared birthday seemed to add a whole other dimension to my admiration.
Needless to say it had fared better over the years although i suspect if i had had the luxury of being lovingly cared for and mostly kept in a box, I wouldn’t wear the years quite so visibly. Yet every time i look down at it’s admittedly timeless face i am not only reminded of the passage of years but also that despite how things change, some things will always remain the same. An appreciation of a true classic design, the sheer admiration of a mechanical marvel that runs as sweetly today as it did all those years ago. And, if i may be so prosaic, a wonderful reminder of how the years don’t always mean a diminishment of the power to enthral. (To be clear i am still talking about the watch!)
All of which has given me a renewed fervour when an enquiry for a birthday or anniversary commemorative watch comes along. I get more and more of these requests and having been the proud recipient i can more than understand the attraction. What’s more it is a pleasure that can be enjoyed by anyone over the age of say 25. I have some absolute gems in my collection for ages ranging from 20 to 100! Both mens and women’s watches. Although lets be honest and say many mens watches from the 1950s look just as good on a woman’s wrist.
For me the personal nature of not only a beautiful watch, but a timepiece that has a shared history is something i find hard to put into words. But if you’re of a certain vintage (or have a loved one who doesn’t mind advertising their age on their wrist!) then for me there is almost no better talking point as a birthday present. It gives vintage a whole new meaning!