RECOMMENDED READING: Why a Vogue journalist is buying her first watchZach Blass
When you’re a hardcore enthusiast it’s easy to get stuck in the #watchfam echo chamber, so it’s always nice to get some outside perspective from others who’ve yet to fall down the horological rabbit hole. That’s exactly what we got from journalist Liana Satenstein, as she ponders her first move in acquiring a classic watch. She recently published this story on Vogue about why she is buying her first watch – and the sentiment is very relatable.
In “Why I’m Buying My First Watch”, Satenstein explores her relationship with technology. She remarks, “There’s no doubt that the digital abyss of Instagram and work emails has taken years off of my life, and this year, slowed or stopped time for me completely. To cope, I’ve been trying to take 30-minute walks during the day in order to alleviate the weirdness of the passing hours at home and conjure some sense of zen. But ironically, I track the time of these walks with my phone.” We can all relate to our device attachment, and the phenomenon is so real that even Apple has built tools in its software to help users keep track of their screen time.
To try to further disconnect, and introduce herself to a more classic and analogue relationship, Satenstein decided it was time for her to buy a watch. She explains, “This is where my recent desire to buy a classic watch, and streamline my life, comes in. Lately, I’ve been imagining a whole watch-wearing alter ego for myself: a woman who is calm, poised and tech-free.”
Like John Mayer assuming the role of Mr John C. Mayer when buying his Patek Philippe, we all purchase watches with some form of emotion and vision – wondering how the watch will fit into our lives and the situations it will get wrist time for.
Satenstein continues, “To get specific, she’s Gwyneth Paltrow in the film A Perfect Murder. In the 1998 thriller, Paltrow, who stars alongside Michael Douglas, plays a beautiful philanderer, Emily, with a money-hungry, murderous husband (Douglas). She dons a timeless Cartier Panthère with a diamond bezel. She lives somewhere on the Upper East Side, dons pearls to her United Nations jobs, and has every strand of hair in place.”
Considering she is fresh into the hobby, Satenstein has already assembled some serious knowledge in the space. She is very detailed in inviting the reader into her purchasing thought process. “The brand-new watch offerings geared toward young people are definitely out there, but I’ve also been searching sites like Rebag, the RealReal, and eBay for yesteryear designer timepieces too.”
I totally get this, as I probably scavenge The RealReal and eBay every few days just to see if there are any amazing value buys I should pounce on. She also mentions a few fashion watches that piqued her interest, including entry-level watches with more approachable pricing – such as Gucci and Tom Ford.
With admirable foresight, Satenstein mentions she is exploring watches from the ’90s and 2000s from known brands that have lower asking prices today than their original retail. She writes, “In a way, going this route makes me feel more myself: I like this look, and I don’t feel like I’m a poser, as I would if I was buying a knockoff Rolex to appear like someone I’m not.”
While still a budding watch buyer, it’s pretty clear she understands the mindset of the seasoned collector and is well on her way to joining in our hobby with all its details and intricacies. It’s a very honest reflection on how we all approach watches, whether for the first time or filling the last slot in our watch boxes. Trying to convince someone why they may need a traditional timepiece in their life? This might just be the ideal story to forward on.
Oh, and spoiler alert, Satenstein eventually plumps for a vintage Gucci.