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The Watch I Wore to Graduate College
A story about how I got into this hobby, and a special occasion I marked with a watch
When I was 10 years old, I found myself standing in the jewelry aisle of the local Walmart. I had saved up a good amount, and I was enamored by the guaranteed reliability of a G-Shock. This was the era when Eminem and Kanye alike were rocking a Casio, and I saw the G-Shock as the last watch I’d ever need to buy. Man was I wrong.
That G-Shock now causally sits on my shelf and collects dust, but I never forget where it stands. It’s been beaten and proven.
My G-Shock was shelved by my Apple Watch, a piece that was a gift. The Apple Watch was one of the first times in my life when I wore a watch 24/7. It became a tool of sorts for everyday life - the first thing I put on in the morning, and I’d take it off after a long day.
Bored, one evening during my freshman year of college I had the thought of buying a nice watch - something Swiss with some heritage behind it. I snagged a Hamilton Khaki after months of research into different brands and timepieces, and I was hooked. I wanted to own other brands and experience more expensive pieces - a desire to collect.
YouTube introduced me to the world of vintage. At first I thought they were just antiquated, but after buying a vintage Zodiac, I felt the stories attached to these pieces.
Owning that first vintage Zodiac started a whirlwind journey into vintage for me. I quickly went from Zodiac to Bulova, to Tudor, to Rolex. I hadn’t added any extra capital into this journey since the mere Casios and Seikos I flipped into some vintage pieces.
My original goal of owning a Rolex came to fruition after just a few months of flipping. At this time, I had reached my seemingly impossible goal with a little work and a couple hundred bucks. I thought this was the end of my collecting journey, yet when I strapped on the vintage OP, I felt that this was just the beginning.
Now, at the time of writing this article, years after my foray into watches, I look back with the same spirit - that this is just the beginning. I’ve turned this passion into an obsession - spending some time dealing and running this blog which has allowed me to collaborate with some of the most influential voices in the game.
All of these factors came into consideration when I adorned the cap and gown this past Sunday. I had to look to my collection and decide which watch I would wear to my graduation - an occasion that wasn’t only significant for me but my family as well.
This would have to be a watch I would keep forever, one that would inevitably have the memories of my time in college tied to its presence. Looking to my collection, it was difficult determining which watch would fill that role.
Initially, I thought of wearing a Vacheron. It seemed like a no brainer - Vacheron is considered at the peak of watchmaking, and is a mark of a true enthusiast. It’s simultaneously the most expensive and prestigious piece in my collection, so it felt like the natural choice to mark this occasion in my life.
Yet the night before my graduation, I felt the Vacheron was not the appropriate choice. I thought of how most people spend their entire lives saving to buy a watch of that status - a factor we often take for granted in the watch community. As a college student, I feel I hadn’t yet earned the right to wear my Vacheron. I felt that at this stage in my life, something a bit more humble would reflect my achievements and aspirations, and a haute horology chronometer was not the vibe.
Instead, I chose a heavily patinated Omega Seamaster.
This piece honest and humble, something that is attainable for most people people my age. It’s something that has had a little work and maintenance, yet will last a lifetime with proper care. It’s also incredibly tough and versatile for everyday use.
It’s interesting to me that this piece is from the 1950s, and there’s no way for me to know the stories it could tell from its previous owner. Perhaps it was given as a gift 65 years ago, worn to graduations, weddings, births, countless dinners with loved ones, just to be stashed away and found in a drawer 50 years later.
When I look to its dial, it’s a constant reminder of how this piece is a true one-of-a-kind Omega. There’s nothing else out there exactly like this piece, it’s really my watch.
There’s something ironic about how in my collection this Omega is the most special to me even when I own pieces that are much more impressive on paper.
I know this story is a tad on the personal side, and deviates from our typical style of content, yet I feel it serves as a cornerstone for other collectors to appreciate the value in marking special occasions with a timepiece.
I’d like to thank the readers for sticking around, and would love to hear if you have any similar experiences with a watch from your own collection.
I also hope that in a hobby plagued by status and one-upping, we can take a step back and appreciate the beauty in moments like these that become tied to these little machines on our wrists.
Thanks for sharing in this story - I’d love to hear if you have any similar experiences in the comments! Subscribe to get future content sent straight to your inbox for free!