I think that all of us are looking for a watch that defines us. Or rather, we are seeking the watch that defines what we aspire to be. That last statement certainly explains my behaviour for several years.
More recently, I have discussed with Adam the types of watches that represent me as a blogger in Montreal. We both agree that the ultimate blogger’s timepiece was my Linde Werdelin… But that piece has since found a new home. So which timepiece in my current collection says, “I am a blogger”? Which new timepiece on the market would really say, “amateur watch blogger”?
When I joined WatchPaper, I had just acquired my first of many Panerai. In those days, it was an aspirational thing- Rolex and Panerai. In my circles, those watches were regarded as really high-end and wearing them made me feel like a big shot. I later sold off the Panerai watches in an effort to consolidate down to one Rolex. And that led to a series of trades that brought me back to my passion — racing watches.
I loved those Panerai and Rolex watches. Those are real WIS pieces. But do they, in any way, say, “I blog for WatchPaper”? Rolex are a dime a dozen in Montreal. I went to a business dinner last week and there three Subs at my table alone. Panerai is not much different. I dream about their watches, but anybody with a sick budget, struts around town with a PAM. It is mainstream and it is the “in” thing to do. How does that really speak about me?
I don’t think I am really mainstream. I do not conform — in any aspect of my life, I never have. I just don’t seem to fit into the typical boxes of society. I have a mainstream career and a family and everything. But I have always felt like an outsider. One of my earliest childhood memories is being a young boy in England and identifying as a Canadian. I was only 4 years old, and I knew I was different because I was from Canada. That feeling has followed me my whole life. I can achieve things and make friends and so on. But I never really fit it. I’m always different. I am always the outsider. So then, why would I want a “mainstream” timepiece that everyone else has? Do I want to feel like everyone else? Like I belong? Or do I want a timepiece that reflects my feelings as an outsider?
I actually love many popular and conventional timepieces. I own quite a few and I have reviewed them all. I love my ETA 7750 pieces and these are ultra-mainstream. But do they represent TimeCaptain? Maybe. They have plenty of style and quality. But they don’t have that outsider character.
Now consider my Longines Conquest V.H.P. Take a look at my review and read my impressions. To the watch-buying masses, a quartz watch is unattractive. As you can see from my review, I am nuts about the V.H.P. features. While the masses shun quartz movements to feel superior, I view a great quartz as a rebellious statement. The V.H.P. is just great timekeeping technology, but only a WIS rebel would wear a quartz to a local watch meetup. It does not fit in with the Rolex and ETA movements around the table. The V.H.P. is different. The V.H.P. feels like me.
And the V.H.P. feels like WatchPaper. WatchPaper is not mainstream. WatchPaper is based in Montreal, for one thing. And I think that WatchPaper covers some really off the wall stuff. Even when we write about mainstream watches, we certainly do it from a different angle and a different perspective. So while all of us at WatchPaper love all the big name watchmaking houses, I am not sure if those icons best represent the character of our off-beat blog. The new, modern, innovative and “alternative” V.H.P. seems to represent it pretty well.
I cherish my mechanical watches and I will continue to dream about many more. But sitting here, sipping a cappuccino in a downtown cafe. writing this blog with a fountain pen and listening to hipster music, the V.H.P. seems to reflect me. It is an outsider. It is a rebel. It displays amazing technology and abilities. But this watch will never fit in at watch meetups or get-togethers. As such, the V.H.P. really is this blogger’s watch.