My other watch hobby

You know what is fun, really does not cost money, and is watch related at the same time?  Collecting watch catalogs!

All you really need to do is dress decently and carry yourself with some confidence and live close to some high end retailers, and you too can collect some watch catalogs.  There are some really beautiful pieces in these catalogs.  With the exception of Swatch, I don’t think I would want to pay for any of them 🙂

First off we have the Swatch catalog. It is a pretty strait forward affair with minimal text and a soft cover. There are some fluff photos, see above, but the photos are well taken, especially for the newest pieces. The core collection has much smaller photos, but at least the catalog is pretty complete. If it is in the store, it is probably in this catalog. It was offered freely at the Swatch store in Oak Brook. That reminds me, time to pick up a Spring/Summer 2010 catalog one of these days.

How it was acquired:  Picked up at the Swatch store, Oakbrook, IL.  Freely available on counter.

Next up, we have Omega catalog. It is also a soft bound affair, but printed very well. Most photos are true to real size, so it makes guesstimating how the watch will look on your wrist pretty easy. There are some fluff celebrity photos and some explanation text explaining Omega and the movements they use. The speedmaster is my personal favorite, followed by the new professional divers.

How it was acquired:  Freely available on table in entrance at Merry Richards Jewelers, Oakbrook, IL.

Next we have a really stunning quality catalog from Mont Blanc. You usually don’t think of Mont Blanc for watches, but they have some decent pieces, at prices that are very competitive. The catalog is hard bound and looks like a quality coffee table book. The photos are well taken, but most are not true to size.  There is some text detailing the manufacture and design of their pieces.  Thankfully, there are no celebrities in there either, which is probably why their time pieces cost thousands less than the competition.

How it was acquired:   Offered by sales person at Mont Blanc store, Oakbrook, IL.

Weighing in at around 200 pages we have the Breitling catalog.  Slickly produced with amazing photos, I am still surprised they don’t charge for their catalogs.  The book, I mean catalog, details the entire history of Breitling.  Their complete line is included in this thick tome.  I sure hope most of the photos are larger than real life, otherwise these are some seriously large timepieces.  About half the catalog is photos of aircraft, tying their history to the history of flight.  It takes a couple of days to get through this catalog.

How it was acquired:  Offered by sales person at Baily, Banks, and Biddle, Oak Brook, IL.  (Store out of business).

Finally, we have the Piaget Polo 45 catalog, well, more of a pamphlet at about 8 pages long.  The photos are well taken and the watches are unique looking, without being gaudy.  Only four models are detailed in this Forty Five catalog (45mm watches).  The text deals entirely with the features of the watches, so no fluff in here.

How it was acquired:  Freely available on table in entrance at Merry Richards Jewelers, Oakbrook, IL.

So, head on down to your local, high end jewelry store and you may be able to snag a few catalogs yourself.  I had a few Rolex catalogs, but they were more fluff than substance.  They look like golf or sailing magazines, but they are actually 100 page long Rolex ads.  The key is, don’t be pushy and don’t look like a slob, and act like you are interested.  Maybe, some day, you may actually pick up one of their time pieces.

All photos are copyright of their respective owners.  Used to review purposes only.

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Industrial Designer + Seiko = Cool looking watch

Riki Watanabe is one of the most famous industrial designers in Japan.  He worked with Seiko/ALBA (yet another division of Seiko) to create this watch:

It’s the Riki AAAA101.   The lines are so simple, yet elegant.  It is also powered by Seiko’s 7S26m which really makes it a very fancy Seiko 5.  Modern, but not to big 37.5mm across.  It is modeled after Riki’s industrial clock designs, with rectangular hands and easy to see across a room markers.  It also comes in black and a rose gold face.  About $200.

Thanks Riki for a tempting timepiece.

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Alternatives

Although the 2 or 3 handed watch/clock on a center pivot is the most commonly accepted form of time keeping, this was not always the case.  There are other ways to tell time.  My wife, Tiffany, and my older brother got me thinking about what else is out there.  Here are a few interesting examples.

This is an automatic, mechanical watch with a digital display, including seconds and date!  It has wild, funky looks for less than $75.

This interesting piece is one my wife Tiffany brought to my attention.  It is called “The Infection”   I really don’t quite get how you read it without really fuzzy timekeeping, but it sure looks cool. I wonder what the battery life is like? $183 from Japan.


This is a binary watch.  A true geek tool.   One of my Co-workers actually spotted one in the wild (he is a watch geek as well) and was impressed by how it looks.  A rather reasonable $69.99 on ThinkGeek.com.

Another ThinkGeek watch. This one goes all out, you can do digital, binary, octal or hex.   Only 200 were made and the quality looks pretty nice for $149.99.

This is a classic Casio Mudman with an integrated chronograph.  They are shock resistant, and can have more features than a Swiss Army knife.   It is a simple, low power LCD with backlight.   It is also very much a tool watch.  It tells time and does not look pretty doing it.  They can cost into the hundreds, with all the bells and whistles.

Finally, we have retrograde watches.  There are some which are quite reasonably priced (less than $150.) to well into the $1000’s to $100,000+ range.    Not a huge fan of retrogrades myself, but some do like the look.      The Alpina take on retrograde is my favorite.

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Lightbox

I finally made myself a light box (also known as a light tent)  for taking some better photos of small objects, particularly watches.  I would rather spend money on watches than photographic equipment, so I followed these instructions.

Ironically, I have not taken a photo of my light box yet, but here are some of the resulting photos.   These are very quick and dirty, but I like the results so far.  What do you think?

no images were found

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Got it…

Been busy, but I did get my latest watch, the “Pepsi” bezel Seiko.  I really really like this watch.  The watch even  better than I expected.  I almost never wear the same watch two days in a row, but this watch is an exception.  It is super comfortable on the wrist, the finish is great, overall a super watch.  I’ll write a full review when I get a chance.  I see why everyone has a version of the Submariner, they really do look and feel nice.

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