A short explanatory note: Denis Napthine is the current leader of the Liberal Party and Premier of the great state of Victoria, Australia. This brief watch story is the happy byproduct of an interview I did with his wife Peggy, to appear in another magazine. It is in no way a political endorsement. We invite and encourage the opposition leader (of the Australian Labor Party) Daniel Andrews and the leader of the Greens, Greg Barber to submit their own watch stories with a pic. We will hit your team up on social media Mr Andrews and Mr Barber; all’s fair in love, war and watches.
*A second explanatory note: I started this quick chat by asking the Premier if he is a watch person. He said “No!” Then proceeded to tell me several great watch stories, about his life with watches.
T+T: How many watches have you owned over the course of your life?
DN: Two in my adult life. Let me start by telling a story about watches. It was a tradition in our family (Denis is one of 10 – yes, ten – children) that when you reached secondary school (Year 7 in Australia) you were rewarded with either a tennis racquet or a watch. I chose a tennis racquet! But in my adult life, the first watch I owned was one I bought in Fiji in 1974. I had it for about the next 30 years of my life.
T+T: What sort of watch was it? Automatic 0r quartz?
DN: I have no idea. It was just an ordinary bargained down watch, but it was a Seiko. I remember that. And then, 30 years later, I suddenly lost it. I don’t know where or how, but it was gone. So I bought another one. Another Seiko. This one. I just have one watch.
T+T: Did you choose that because it’s an Automatic watch?
DN: (Laughs) I don’t even know what that means…
T+T: Automatic, as in a self-winding mechanical watch, it doesn’t need a battery….
DN: Ahhh! (Laughs) At one stage it stopped and I went into a jeweller and said it probably needs a new battery, and he said it doesn’t have one. He recommended I just do this (shakes his wrist vigorously), so I did and it started working again!
T+T: So you don’t have a watch for special occasions?
DN: No, no, I just have one watch. Somebody gave me one but it’s still sitting in the drawer. If this one breaks down I’ll use that. It’s a functional thing, like cars. I’m not into cars either. I’m a one watch guy.