Friday, 14 May 2010


As you may have guessed - if you have been following my profane rants over the last few months - there are enough obsessions in my life as it is, so you will not be surprised to know that I have battled all my adult life against developing one for fine, vintage watches. This is why I eventually settled on the one above - a NATO issue, quartz, military watch made by the CWC company. It is tough and rugged, can been worn both at work (stonecarving) and at parties (with a clean strap), and it keeps as good a time as most watches costing £15,000 more.

It is the chronological equivalent to my choice of car - the humble Volvo - which I have been driving for about 30 years, though not the same one. I have managed (ever since ceasing to carry out my own mechanics) to curtail my fascination with old petrol-engines and autos, preferring to just get in and start the damn thing, in the expectation that I will arrive at my destination without the assistance of the AA (that's Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous).

I do expect to be wearing this same watch when I die. If I die in an explosion which destroys the building I am in at the time, then I am confident that this watch will still be ticking away and continuing to gain the 1 second per 2 months that it does now, so they will have to estimate the exact time that the bomb went off rather than have the information supplied to them by simply pulling a stopped watch out from the rubble.

As far as my glass obsession goes, I have no choice. There were a limited number of fine drinking glasses made between 1680 and 1800 and an even more limited number have survived. Copies just do not cut it - it has to be the real thing. It's the same with watches. I do not understand people who will spend £20 on a crappy copy of a Rolex from Hong Kong. It is such a sad thing to do, that I fully understand my friend, who saved up for years to buy himself one (of the cheaper ones) costing £7000.

I have 3 vintage shotguns, and none of them cost more than £170. My friends own some beautiful guns which cost them in excess of £15,000, but they do not shoot any better than mine, so that's another obsession I managed to nip in the bud.

This - above all - is an honest watch, and - like military binoculars or optics in general (an obsession that I did not manage to nip in the bud) - it is made to as high a standard of efficiency and reliability that a State budget will allow and, in the recent past, that was quite a budget! Private discernment can be so expensive.

Ok, I see it is high time that I went to work.


  1. Hell of a watch Tom. Lets hope you can avoid that bomb - though there is some relief knowing the watch will be fine.
    oh, the water has been dumped!! thanks again.

  2. Thank you for those warm sentiments, Heather. In the light of the 'Bear Flat' advert, maybe you should call your farm, 'Flat Goat' and stop looking for it? I blame a poacher or a truck - or both.

  3. I thought about posting a piece of tartan up, and calling it the Black Watch, but then I thought about Heather's missing goat, and wondered what happened to all their mascots in the past.... BAAAAAAA!!!!!

  4. Watches are a very interesting obsession to have, vintage watches even more so.

  5. I inherited a pile of 1920's watches from my dad, Carol. He was very good at taking them apart, but not so good at putting them back together. I think he just liked the idea of tinkering.