The Grumpy Collector: All I Want For Christmas… Is You… And A New Watch

If the title of this post doesn’t have you singing Mariah Carey either out loud or in your head, then you’re obviously not in the spirit of Christmas. In the watch world, I’ve slowly collected a mental list of things I’ve always wanted and yet no brand or manufacturer has taken on. After realizing that keeping all of this to myself will help no one, especially not me, I’ve decided to share my “wish list” with the world in the hope that some of these ideas may finally come to fruition.

First up, what I lovingly call “the pensioner” watch. You know those people who have worked a lifetime and are now retired without a care in the world. Their days are spent tending the garden, fishing, and reading that classic novel. All the things we say we will get to when we’re younger and yet never do. My bookcase is filled with the intellectual promises of days and interests gone by. In this case, all I’m asking for is a watch that shows me the day of the week on the dial. It could be at 12 o’clock such as with the traditional day-date Rolex, or it could be at 3 o’clock à la Seiko skx, or even vertically at 6 o’clock like on some watches from the 60’s and 70’s.

So what’s unique about this watch? There would be no date. That’s right, it’s time to detach the poor day wheel from its perennial conjoined twin, the date wheel. If we can have date wheels without day, why not day wheels without date? So why do I call it “the pensioner”? Because I fantasize about being retired and no longer caring what date in the month it is and instead having my life measured by just day of week. No longer caring that those recurring month-end reports are due or fiscal closings. How nice would it be just to look at the watch and say, “oh it’s Sunday, Watchmen is coming on today on HBO” or “wow, it’s Friday that’s poker night”. The best part? With a day-only wheel/indicator, you don’t need to ever reset it with the beginning of the new month like you have to at times with a date wheel.

My professional “mock ups” of day-only complications

For my second wish list watch, we have the “bespoke world timer”. I love GMT watches, but I love a good world timer even more. Why track two or three timezones when I want them all! I especially enjoy those elegant ones with the globe in the middle of the dial with far-flung exotic places circling it on either the chapter ring or bezel. A proper world timer is like a mini Condé Nast Traveler top 24 places of the world list right on your watch. However there is a problem with world time watches. All those names, one for each time zone take up a lot of real estate on the watch. Worse still, some of the places don’t ever seem to resonate with me. On the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer, the watch lists Los Angeles and Auckland. Personally, I’d much prefer San Francisco and Wellington. For the main central timezone in Europe most list Geneve. Really, Geneve?!?!? Not Paris, Rome, Berlin, Vienna, or Budapest (my pick), but Geneve. A bit self-serving if you ask me.

So imagine instead, a watch company where you’re given a blank slate, and YOU as the future owner list the cities/locations YOU want for each time zone. Or better yet, if there are huge swaths of land you don’t care about, leave it blank. The IWC Timezoner Spitfire “The Longest Flight” watch lists Nouméa on the bezel? Can you pick it out on a map? For those that don’t know, it’s the capital and largest city of the French territory New Caledonia (that narrows it down, doesn’t it!). How cool would it be to order a watch where around the dial were the cities you visited during that honeymoon in Europe or commemorate that study abroad in Asia? For my 40th birthday, my wife took me to the remote art town of Marfa, Texas. I’d love to have a world timer where I could put “Marfa” on the dial or bezel instead of “Denver”. Denver, really? Personally, I’m suspect of any city that is primarily known for its elevation. Or how cool would it be to have a watch that actually tracks all the timezones as played out in the movie, “Trading Places”? Who hasn’t always wanted to know the time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad? Honestly, I think there’s a huge unmet demand and with more on-demand printing and technology, I see no reason why this can’t be a reality today.

Look, it tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.

My third wish list item, is more of a preference that I wish more mechanical watches had, and that’s an am/pm or day/night indicator, but probably not for the reasons you’re thinking. As a watch collector, and one who is usually grumpy in the mornings (I do have to live up to my name after all), I’m usually taking some time picking out my watch for the day and then comes the inevitable winding and setting the time before I put it on. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who can just set the time and go with a devil-may-care reckless regard to the date window being accurate. I need everything on my dial to be correct. Unfortunately, it’s become my daily personal game of “Russian roulette” finding out when I set the date and time if I have set it for AM or PM. Having to spin the hour hand around the dial a second time because it in fact was already set to AM but I had no way of telling is oh so much fun. So watch companies, PLEASE, put a small circle on the dial that changes color from black to white or add a little hand that points to AM or PM or as on my Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Hometime, have a little window with AM/PM. When I’m not traveling, I hide the second hour hand and still find myself using the AM/PM indicator all the time. Usually these complications are only found on five-figure plus perpetual calendars, but I say, no more!

My fourth and final wish, I hope all the readers out there get everything their little hearts desire and all their dreams come true this holiday season. For me, I’ll be hitting the eggnog hard, cursing and muttering to myself in the morning while setting the time an date on my watch, all the while dreaming of that perfect day-only and custom world time watch. Oh, and if any of these things already exist in the real world, and done well, hit me up!


Note: Thoughts, opinions, “facts”, and overall outlook on life are those of The Grumpy Collector and not necessarily of WATCHA staff, readers, or generally most sane people. Have a gripe you’d like to share or have profiled by The Grumpy Collector? Contact the grump himself, Troy, at: thegrumpycollector@watchwatcha.com.  You can also find him festering on Instagram @TheGrumpyCollector)

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