If you have been following my blog, you will know that I love to contradict myself.
In this case, maybe it’s more like changing my mind. Watch collecting is, after all, a journey and we evolve as collectors. As well, they say that changing one’s mind in light of new information is a sign of intelligence (haha).
I have blogged a lot against quartz in the past. I have written about the lack of soul of a quartz watch. I have called quartz watches “abominations” and Adam even joked that TimeCaptain’s purpose in life was to improve the world by ridding it of bad watches — one quartz at a time. I think that’s where he got the idea for my TimeCaptain avatar.
Why am I sitting here tonight, about to tell the world that my next target is a quartz watch?
Earlier this year, Adam posted a story on the brand new Longines Conquest VHP quartz collection. I actually learned of the VHP by reading Adam’s article, right here on WatchPaper. I had to admit — these are extremely attractive watches. So I read the article and was amazed at the design, sophistication and technology behind these watches. I have some experience with quartz chronographs and I secretly admired them even during my quartz-hating spell. I became infatuated with the VHP chronograph with the carbon fibre dial. I was attracted to the value — we don’t have the MSRP details yet but we think the chrono will cost $2,100 CAD. Consider this — it is a chronograph, with a super high-tech movement, ultra accurate, PERPETUAL CALENDAR and five-year battery life… for two grand. Did you understand what I just said? Is it sinking in? This extremely beautiful, stylish, modern, racy device offers all those features and technology… for two grand. That’s amazing.
I kept thinking about it and looking at the pictures online. I do not have a serious timepiece budget for next year. I just don’t. I just have too many expenses and I have bought several watches this year. But I would like to aim for a utility piece and $2,100 is fairly reasonable. Two grand is a lot of money, but it’s not CRAZY money. It’s attainable and the VHP chrono offers so much for this price. So what about the quartz factor?
I have six mechanical timepieces right now. I think I have that covered. I began to realize that there was a gap in my collection that can be filled by a quartz — especially a chrono. I am looking for that timepiece that I can grab any time and just go. I am looking for a piece that can go with any clothes or situation and always be ready. You see, although I love setting my mechanical pieces and using my winders, there are certain days when I don’t have time to bother with choosing or setting the right piece. On those days, I just want to grab a piece and not worry if it matches my shoes or my shirt and I want it to be set. The VHP chrono has a steel bracelet and a neutral carbon fibre dial. It will match anything and will always be on time. Its perpetual calendar will always be set. The VHP would be amazing with weekend clothes as well as dress shirts. The chrono function would be amazing for cooking steaks and timing laps around the grocery store.
As you will read in an upcoming review, I need a great mechanical timepiece for weekend use. However, there are weekends where I don’t put on a watch until the afternoon. I spend the mornings at the gym and doing chores so I don’t get around to putting on a watch until after lunch. On those days, I don’t always want to set a watch and then wear it just a few hours. So the idea of a quartz is appealing — it’s always set. If you grab it and wear it just for a few hours, it’s fine. You finish your chores, grab the quartz to run a few errands and then use its chrono to time your meat on the BBQ, and then take it off again as you hit the pool or shower. On these days, the VHP chrono would be absolutely ideal. It just makes sense.
What the Longines VHP lacks in mechanical movement it makes up for with great technology. While a quartz cannot offer the same experience as a mechanical engine, the superb features of the VHP must certainly provide lots of joy. I imagine that if I wore it out to a dinner party or function, I might miss the feel of a proper mechanical piece. But the VHP looks so sexy and gorgeous that it probably compensates for the quartz factor. It combines fantastic style with impressive technology. I suspect this will offset the negative aspects of quartz. If I bought a VHP chrono, I would not plan to wear it every day anyway. I would be buying it to wear occasionally. It would occupy an important role in my collection even if it would be worn once or twice a week. Even as I write this, I am becoming more convinced that the VHP is SO right for my collection.
I view the VHP chrono as somewhat of a racing piece, which is very important to me. It has a racy design and a carbon fibre dial has a motor racing feel. I could really see myself wearing a VHP to watch a Grand Prix, for example. The VHP certainly has the right style to be worn at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for some F1 fun. The watch looks so versatile that it could really do anything. And that’s the whole point — whenever you need a go-to piece, it could be called into action. You’re getting dressed for a day of meetings and you can’t be bothered to set the automatic piece that matches your suit — the VHP has you covered. You’re going to watch the Super Bowl after a day of chores — the VHP is perfect. You’re meeting friends for dinner — the VHP won’t let you down. You’re tired of your mechanical rotation — just go VHP for a few days.
I think I will always favour mechanical timepieces — that’s my passion. But a gorgeous and high tech Longines VHP quartz chronograph has SO MUCH to offer for SUCH an attractive price that the idea sells itself. Since I have so many excellent mechanical pieces, I’m not looking for something to take wrist time away from them. That’s why a quartz is so great. It is different and it COMPLEMENTS my collection rather than just adding more of the same stuff. This is why the VHP has really won the top spot on my current target list.
I hope that I will soon be writing my own review of my Longines VHP chrono. Time will tell. I am happy to have identified the right target. What about you? Do you have a target? Have you considered a quartz? Or a utility piece? Check out some of Longines’ other offerings. As always, the fun is in the search…