I did it again. I corrupted an innocent man and got him excited about mechanical timepieces and encouraged him to buy a proper piece. I have done this so many times that I feel the watch companies owe me some compensation! So what is it about me, and my obsession with watches, that infects other people and urges them to spend their hard-earned money on luxury timepieces?
Back in December, a new guy got transferred to my office. He had heard all about my watch collecting and we immediately began discussing this hobby. He knew nothing about mechanical movements or different brands, but he was interested in learning more and “joining the club”. I took him to the top stores in Montreal and introduced him to the world of mechanical timekeeping (and to my favorite sales guys!). My new co-worker had settled on a Tudor Grantour on a leather strap, but I sensed that TAG Heuer had always appealed to him. Considering my pal’s budget and tastes, I recalled the introduction of TAG’s new Aquaracer automatic models- the ones with ceramic bezels and wicked cool nylon material straps. I forwarded articles on this new TAG collection to my pal and he was sold. Bam! I dropped by an AD during that same weekend to confirm the Canadian MSRP and my co-worker was convinced. The next day, we went to Montreal’s high-end watch retailer to look for the TAG and they had the exact model he wanted. The deal was done. For moral support, I ordered a new Montblanc from the same store…more on that in a later blog! So you see, I was able to “infect” someone with the desire to spend thousands of dollars on a pure luxury AND I was able to recommend the perfect piece for that person.
Last year, one of my clients told me he was looking for a special gift for his nephew. He wondered if a luxury timepiece was a possibility and we opened the discussion. I considered my client’s budget and his nephew’s “profile” and I immediately thought of the Oris ProPilot 41mm on textile strap. I sent some details to my client and he shared with his brother (the dad) and both of them were blown away. My client bought that exact Oris and his nephew LOVED it. Bam! This is another example of me “selling” somebody on a specific piece or timepieces in general, and pushing them over the top.
Rewind about 2 years — I was working with a seasoned watch aficionado. This guy had (and has) a mind-blowing collection of Rolex, Breguet and Audemars-Piguet. I was at the height of my Panerai passion at this time, and I would have lengthy discussions with my collector co-worker about Panerai…he was very anti-Panerai at this stage. But my passion worked away at him. We would speak about the Panerai history, the subtle differences between the different models, and the style and so on. To my amazement, my former co-worker actually bought a Panerai. And I take full credit because he detested Panerai before me. He actually came home one day with a PAM00321, which is one helluva Panerai. It also has the same case as the PAM00359 that I was wearing at the time. Here was a guy with FAR more knowledge (and budget) than me, and a wicked collection already, and I was able to share my passion with him and influence him to buy a top-line Panerai. Does this say something?
I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and this has always rubbed off on people. As a teenager and a young adult, I was fanatic about Formula 1 and I lost count of how many people bought F1 tickets because of me. I remember working in a factory as a student and how, by the time I left, all of the guys from the factory were ordering Grand Prix tickets every year. The Grand Prix du Canada owes a small percentage of its repeat customers to my fanaticism! When I get “into” something, I go over the top and this seems to excite people into joining the madness. I did it for many years with F1. I did it with 1980’s pop culture. I did it with hipster music. I did it with world war history. And, for the past 5 or 6 years, I have been doing it with watches.
If you are reading this, you may have read my older blog posts about WHY I am so obsessed with timepieces. They are tiny marvels of mechanical engineering. But more importantly, they represent so many of my values- heritage, craft, quality, design, style and even lifestyles. Perhaps you are wondering WHY I blog about watches and promote them so heavily. I have no connection to the watch industry whatsoever and I certainly have nothing to gain from another victim forking out a few grand for an expensive toy. I blog because I enjoy sharing my passion and writing about it allows me to organize my thoughts. Blogging also forces me to read and learn about timepieces and the watch industry. As well, blogging about my watch collecting is like therapy — I can confess my mistakes, explain my regrets and discuss my goals and aspirations. Despite having nothing to gain from anyone else buying a watch, I derive great satisfaction when someone “joins the club” because of my enthusiasm.
I certainly appreciate all of you reading WatchPaper. If I have a “goal” in writing these blogs, it is mere to share my (mad) passion for watches and to share whatever brand, piece or feature that I have discovered most recently. I would LOVE to think that some guy out there might read my blog, get excited and then go out and acquire his first serious timepiece. I would LOVE to think to somebody has read my many blogs about Panerai and gotten so infatuated that he became a Paneristi and brought home a PAM. I would LOVE to think that my blogs have inspired someone to consider a certain timepiece or to acquire their very first piece. Perhaps even THIS blog will encourage someone to start looking for a watch. As always, the fun is in the search…