A journey to the coldest RedBar meeting on earth – Part 2 A journey to the coldest RedBar meeting on earth – Part 2

A journey to the coldest RedBar meeting on earth – Part 2

Bruce Duguay

Editor’s note: If you missed the first part of this story, you can find it here, and enjoy as Bruce tells the tale of his journey through the frigid trees of the Calgary countryside to a watch meetup with the RedBar crew. Here is the second part of his epic adventure. 


I quickly discovered a logistical challenge in that the pub tables were so long, it was difficult to mingle with people who weren’t in my immediate area. My photographer sidekick had already gotten up and was making the rounds and snapping pictures, so I proceeded to get into a conversation with the gentleman on my immediate right-hand side about Seiko and his love for dive watches. I got out my watch roll and showed him the new Seamaster among others. About half a beer later, I chatted with the person to my left and we were comparing his white dial Grand Seiko with my white dial Datejust and the finishing differences between the two. The person to his left also got in on the debate and, before I knew it, my Datejust was making its way to the far end of the long table. I looked to the right and the Seamaster had been making the rounds in the opposite direction. While this was a bit unsettling at first, both watches ended up back in front of me, safe and sound, and I realised that random watches from all ends of the table were being shuffled around as well. When a Submariner came my way for inspection, I had absolutely no idea at that point who it belonged to, so I tried it on, took a quick wrist-shot and passed it to the next guy.


By this time, the group had swelled to about 30 or so people, so I decided to get up and meet some of them. At the far end of one of the tables, a distinguished gentleman had sat down. He looked quiet but completely comfortable in the group. I introduced myself and sat down across from him. The conversation started out with him asking me what I had on my wrist. It is important to note that several of the RedBar conversations start like this, even though a lot of people already know what your watch is. It served more like a polite invitation to let me say, “Oh this? It’s the new Omega Seamaster 300M with the cool laser-etched wave dial.” His watch was obscured by his shirt cuff, so after gushing about the Seamaster, my hand was forced and I asked him what he had on. Without drama or pretence, he shifted his cuff up, exposing a Lange 1815 Chronograph in white gold. One attempts to stay cool at moments like this, however I’m sure I betrayed my surprise and subsequent excitement within seconds.


Mr 1815 Chrono and I talked for quite some time. He explained how he had been a collector for many years but felt he was nearing the end of his acquisition days. Perhaps one more watch, he mentioned with a slight grin. At this point I described my recent hands-on experience with another Lange, the Saxonia Thin 37 and that it was the subject of an article I wrote for Time+Tide. He instantly perked up. “You wrote that?” He brought out his phone and pulled up the bookmarked article. It turns out that he had indeed read the article and was a fan of Time+Tide. This new information seemed to increase his comfort level even further to allow him to disclose he was thinking of acquiring a Lange Zeitwerk. It was amazing to see how his expression lit up when he was talking about the different variations and how it was difficult to choose a specific model. Our conversation was interrupted when some acquaintances of his showed up, but he agreed to keep me posted on his progress.

RedBar RedBar

By this time, the rest of the pub was busy with patrons and our section was completely full. I took quick stock of my watch roll, surprisingly not surprised to find everything accounted for. My photographer sidekick was still off snapping photos and making conversation, so I took a moment to just stand and take it all in while finishing my beer. There was so much diversity amongst our group in terms of age range and background. While the majority of us were male, it was great to see women also represented and equally enthused. Watches ranged from obscure Soviet-era Russian pieces up to the Lange previously mentioned and everything in between. The only time people were on their phones was to take excited shots of other people’s watches or look up specs on a watch to contribute to a conversation. Smiles, laughs, and charged but pleasant debates surrounded us while time and empty glasses flew by.


The evening came to a close for me having met a pleasant individual who seemed to be a learned Oris devotee. As I had limited experience with this brand, I was able to glean not only pure information about the watches and Oris, but also his subjective take on its appeal. It was a great summation of my RedBar experience. I would highly recommend seeking out your nearest RedBar chapter and giving it a try. I imagine there are many regional differences and variations on the theme, but I can assure you the common ground and pleasant surprises will be plentiful for anyone passionate about watches.