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I found the watch for summer

Crocodile and leather straps are great. They look gorgeous and sophisticated. There is however a problem with such straps. Once the temperature goes up they get warm and collect perspiration. This isn’t just an annoying feeling, but it can cause irritation to the skin and it’s pretty bad for the strap too.

On one of his videos I saw Federico Iossa, of the excellent Federico Talks Watches¬†and Delray Watch Supply, talk about this very issue and thought to myself:”how bad can it be?” Well, pretty bad. A few weeks ago I was in Paris for a short holiday and walked around in sunny weather with my Longines chronograph on my wrist. This comes with a crocodile strap and it was quite unpleasant. It was 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Not only was the strap drenched, the skin on my wrist had gotten quite irritated.

An excellent excuse to go watch shopping. I first thought of a military watch on a NATO strap. NATO straps are cheap and easily replaced. The first watch that came to mind was the Hamilton Khaki Field. Great watch, heritage, but I just could really go for it. Maybe I’ll get one later, as a snack in between some more serious (read expensive) watches. (more…)

Dive watches

I’ve got to tread carefully here. It’s too easy to generalise about the watch community. If I would paint the watch community with broad strokes, I would say it is a group¬† dominated by Americans, mostly situated in rural areas, having a hard time not putting guns in their pictures on social media. Aw shucks, well, at least I tried.

It should be no surprise that the grail watch for a lot of these guys is the Rolex Submariner. Why? Because of the banal allure the expensive brand Rolex has. All in all a gorgeous, high quality watch, but still a dive watch. So it’s clunky, utilitarian and really only suitable for diving or casual wear. A watch retailing at a price of at least 7000 euros… They ought to rename Rolex to Veblen.

The biggest problem I have with dive watches is that there are so many much more elegant watches out there. Still most posts on forums deal with the Submariner, or the poor people’s version of the Submariner, the Seiko SKX.

So why are dive watches so popular? I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times. These aren’t elegant times. It’s the age of practicality. We’re not in the era of the well-cut suit, but of the convenient chinos or worse, cargo shorts!! I’m just grasping at straws here.

There is however a dive watch I do really like, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms as it was produced in some parts of the 1950s.

Watches

When I started looking for a ‘serious’ watch, often referred to as a timepiece, I could never have foreseen how much I would learn. Bezels, dials, crowns, jewels, movement types, case sizes, watches for different purposes…

The watch world is complicated and there are so many options to choose from. Where to start? I went about it quite impulsively, just deciding where to point my browser based on perceived importance of brand names and looks. I wanted something classic and stylish, more formal than sporty.

After a bit of web surfing I ran into Longines. I browsed this company’s web site and found the Longines Heritage Flagship. A proper and stylish dress watch. Just what I was looking for.

The Longines Heritage line builds on classic Longines designs from the past. The first Flagship dates back to 1957. Over the years there have been many iterations. So far I like this latest one the best.

So I ordered it and picked it up at a jewellery store. I was not at all ready for what would happen next. After a rather pleasant unboxing, I quickly put it on my wrist and went about my day, often checking it and taking in the details.

After a while and several adjustments I noticed I had the buckle using the last hole in on the strap. After a day or two the temperature went up and I noticed the strap was a bit on the tight side. And wasn’t this watch a bit small for my wrist?

I decided to return it an opted for a Longines Master chronograph, but I kept thinking of the Heritage Flagship. As I grew more accustomed to wearing a watch again, I learned that a proper dress watch isn’t huge and attention grabbing. It’s a watch that is supposed to slip under the cuff of your shirts. It is supposed to be elegant and understated, not huge and shiny.

In the end I went back to jewellery store and ordered it again with the extra long strap. It’s great that Longines offers longer straps. Many watch brands don’t offer this service.