|Moeris Advertisement (1931)|
Until now, that is.
Recently, Ben Clymer spoke with Eric Singer (current drummer of Kiss), during an installment of Hodinkee's "Talking Watches," where the musician waxed lyrical about his love for watches. Prior to this, I had a good idea of the extent of Eric's obsession--thanks to his endorsement of Ball, an American brand gone Swiss--but my jaw dropped when I learned how far the hobby went for him. As such, I analyzed his collection with great interest: from his magnificent Patek Philippe and its serious provenance, to his sublime LeCoultre moonphase inherited from his father, the man has seriously good taste in timepieces.
|Elgin "Lady Elgin" Advert (1907)|
Mechanical watches do, however, feel unique and serve as a great example of old school, specialized craftsmanship long forgotten in this day and age. As a trade, watchmaking is essentially a lost art, and those that choose to keep it alive continue to fly the flag high. Think of it as a big middle finger to modernity and the increasingly disposable nature of society. You neglected to service your watch and it broke down? No problem; don't toss it. If it needs new parts, they'll be installed during service, or a master craftsman, who can create them from scratch, will ensure that it lives to tick another day.
|Omega Advertisement (1930s)|
For as long as I can remember, watches have played a role in my life because my father always had a few watches that I constantly pored over while I was growing up. One, in particular, stood out for me--a Vacheron Constantin, shaped like the brand's storied Maltese cross. I would, and still do, flip it over to peer at the exquisitely decorated movement through the display back. Thanks to a sleek, white-gold case, a dial adorned with raised roman numerals, and a modest size, everything about the watch screams classy perfection--it acted as a gateway to an obsession that I'm certain appears unhealthy to outsiders, and it also served as a portal to a lifelong interest for me, which will be rewarding and well worth the time invested in it.
|Patek Philippe Advertisement (1949)|
If we compare the Patek and Ralph Lauren, Patek is Patek, and anyone with a serious interest in timepieces recognizes the name, as well as the superb quality associated it. Ralph Lauren, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. Snobs like to turn up their noses at the name on the dial, claiming it's nothing more than a fashion watch, but the truth of the matter is that RL is in a serious partnership with Richemont, benefiting from the help of storied manufactures like Piaget, IWC, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Make of that what you will, but the Slim Classique is no slouch, having features like a Piaget caliber 430P beating under the hood, a white-gold case, and guilloché work on the dial/bezel turned by hand.
|Hamilton Advertisement (1947)|
|Universal Geneve Advertisement (1930s)|
P.S. Enjoy the vintage watch advertisements that I've scattered throughout the article. I just love looking at them, admiring the pictures, and adsorbing each and every word. It's history at its finest! Click to get a closer look.