The Collector’s Crossroads – How do you work out whether to stick or twist?Borna Bošnjak
Let’s set the scene. You walk into the boutique, knowing today is the day. The wallet is about to get a little lighter, and a spot in the watch box will be filled – but you’ve got a great excuse. Whether you’re celebrating your birthday, a promotion or Heimlich Manoeuvre Day (no joke, look it up), you’ve got a great excuse for the new purchase. Courteously, you accept a drink and answer affirmatively when asked: “Would you like to try it on?”. Finally, the watch is on your wrist, you waltz out of the boutique, marking the beginning of the honeymoon period. But, what do you do once the initial attraction runs dry, and a newer, shinier thing enters the fray? Does the sentimental factor of the watch you own override the feeling of desire for the new piece by default? That’s what’s going through my mind, as I sit on my balcony and type away, with the cold Melbourne day nipping at my fingertips.
What the hell are you talking about?
I purchased the Nomos Club Campus 38 Nacht ref. 738 as a 22nd birthday present for myself, having professed my love for California dials many a time. I find it hard to fault this watch, considering the solid build, in-house movement and gorgeous design – especially given the price. If I was to pick the smallest of nits, I’d say that the movement is a bit small for the case, and complain about the factory strap falling apart after a couple of months of wear. It’s worth noting that the replacement factory strap held up just fine. Regardless of the fantastic qualities of the watch, I’m also attached to it because of what it represented. It was the most expensive new watch I had purchased, and the first time I could comfortably afford “something nice” for my birthday. It was also the first time I successfully negotiated a price with anyone other than a shopkeeper at Cairo’s Khan Khalili souq, so I had that going for me, which was nice.
I’ve made some great memories with this watch as well. I wore it for my first day working at Time+Tide (even though I purchased another watch to celebrate that occasion), and it featured in my first video appearance for T+T, side-by-side with the Ace x Nomos Club 36 Blue. In recent months, more watches than ever before passed through my hands, many of which I desire, but none of them ever tempted me to sell and replace any pieces already in my collection. Except one.
Here she is – the Nomos Club Campus deep pink. It came in for review in early April, and as soon as it came out of the box, I knew that I’d keep thinking about it long after it returned to Glashütte. The 36mm size worked even better than the noticeably larger 38.5mm, but it was really that pink dial that blew me away. I tend to prefer less obvious pieces, usually relegating the pops of colour to small details for the watches I choose for my personal collection. For some inexplicable reason however, this hot pink pebble spoke to me. It was loud not because it was expensive, complicated or ultra-exclusive, but simply because it could be. Without naming names, we’ve seen plenty of other brands claim historical, geographical or other deep significance in their choice of design, and those definitely have a place. The Nomos, however, just shouts: “I’m f***ing PINK”. And I absolutely love it for that.
The dilemma isn’t really a dilemma
Truth be told, I didn’t know what the conclusion this story would be. My affair with the deep pink has affected me so much that I disregarded the memories and sentimental importance of my Nacht, going as far as listing it for sale. I didn’t see the point of having two Nomos watches, especially from the same model line, despite their differences in character. I wrote this story sitting on the proverbial fence, hoping to share my first world problem with others that may feel the same – and maybe, just maybe, I’d have a moment of clarity where I can decide right from wrong.
As I’m about to finish with an “it depends”, my Nacht, which has been sitting on my wrist the entire time, reminds me it’s time for a meeting – and I remember just how much I love it. While the commitment-free fun of the deep pink was as easy to enjoy as it was to let go of – it wasn’t mine, and I knew that it would have to go back eventually – my Nacht is different. Though I don’t have any once-in-a-lifetime stories associated with it, it’s mine, and I know every ding and scratch on it – and there’s no way in hell I’m selling it. It seems like I’ve answered my own question, then. My takeaway is this – whether you’re celebrating a birthday, Heimlich manoeuvre day (it’s a thing, look it up), or nothing at all, the memories aren’t worth throwing away for a smaller, hot pink side-piece.