In addition to my love of music & the search for accurate reproduction of music in the home I have another addiction, mechanical timepieces, clocks, pocket watches, and wristwatches.
Many years ago I was lucky enough to experience a $140 bottle of wine called Opus 1; a collaboration between Robert Mondavi (California) & Rothschilds (France) winerys. The idea behind wine tasting is to sample the expensive product at the winery & to try thru tasting to duplicate the bouquet in a more reasonably priced product. If one uses these principles when purchasing a home stereo or a wrist watch, one can avoid the extreme high prices some Hi/Fi brands & watch brands command. So today when looking at mechanical watches I look for a watch with the same cachet as the expensive Swiss time pieces; an example of this is the Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster which sell for $4k to $6k. It is possible to buy a dive watch for under $1000 today that is just as good as the Rolex Sub. The Marathon SAR is an example of this but there are many who would disagree. At one time if the movement wasn't Swiss (thumbs down), however today, the Japanese (Seiko), (Miyota) & the Chinese (Seagull) & even the Russians (polJot) make excellent movements. So one can collect watches at various prices to suit your budget.
My first exposure to timepieces came at around age 5. While visiting my grandparents I noticed my Uncles' wristwatch. It was a tonneau shape with date complication & seconds complication. I believe it was a Gruen.
Initially because of my occupation and an active lifestyle I broke a few watches. I was drawn to dive watches because of their ability to thrive in harsh environments. Rolex & Omega were the 1st. dive watches I purchased. So for me water resistance & an ability to survive were paramount in choosing a watch. Saphire crystals, stainles steel or titanium cases come to mind.
With these materials price becomes an issue, my dive watches cost me over $4k. so today I've found that a 1000 meter water resistance isn't an absolute necessity anymore & I've discovered a plethora of rugged time pieces in the military genre with water resistance of 200 meters.The PR-68 (200mwr) & The SteinHart (5atm) 2 rugged builds with cost for both being under $1.5k.
Over the years In addition to money spent on HI/FI, I've spent a lot of money on expensive watches. Isn't it an interesting parallel, how the number of audiophiles I'm a'quainted with are also avid watch collectors. I began my watch addiction with a Seiko Quartz watch in the late 70's, followed by several more Seiko watches. Watches in my past include a Rolex Submariner, Omega SeaMaster, Seamaster chrono, an Oris Williams F1 team Chrono, a SAR dive watch by Marathon, a Dreadnought by Timefactors. I'm sure there are more but I can't recall. Which brings me to today, where I have only 2 time pieces in my collection, however I am looking to add to the collection. Currently a TimeFactors PRS-68, & a SteinHart Fl.23883 Fleiger replica or homage, constitute my meager collection. When I grow tired of a watch I usually sell it in order to financemy next watch.
Today I have only 2 watches in my collection. A time factors Prs 68 Smiths Dive Watch the original Smiths dive watch was made under licence to Seiko. So it's kind of an homage to an homage. The Smiths has a Japanese Miyota movement. My second watch is a Steinhart Fleiger an homage to the WW2 German B-Uhr pilot watch with the A dial. The SteinHart has a titanium case the movement is a an ETA 2824-2. Pictures of both watches follow.