6 rules on how to attend a watch get-together without making everyone hate youThor Svaboe
A watch get-together (GTG) enables like-minded enthusiasts to catch up and gawp at each other’s beloved pieces. This might be your rare chance to try on some beardy guy’s vintage Daytona, admire the enamel dial of a Breguet up close, or merely add your trusty Doxa to a #sexpile that’s worth north of $1.5 million. Yet if you want to be invited back to one of these special events, there are some ground rules we need to address – many of which I have witnessed to my chagrin. So join us in crossing fingers that 2021 delivers many a GTG, but please read this first…
Keeping all your watches locked up in the box with viewing “by appointment only…”
The phrase: “No, please don’t touch the watches” has been heard over the table at the occasional GTG. Admittedly with COVID and all, we don’t want to touch things without sanitised or gloved hands. But let’s imagine a simpler time when we are cured of this obnoxious pandemic. The raison d’être for any GTG is SHARING my friend, the possibility of touching another person’s watch. That is why we come, so you have to share. It’s all about that friendly dialogue while finally handling a no-date Submariner (a real one!) and realising that, yes, it might just be that special, without the annoying sales patter of a pushy AD. So please don’t show up with your watches locked away in your box, only to pull one out and twirl it for me across the table before putting it back. Sharing is caring – let others fondle your (horological) goods. A sports watch that can survive a 300 metre depth can survive a few eager fingers and another person’s wrist.
Refusing to put your watches in the sex pile
I know, it’s a silly tradition, piling millions of dollars of wristwear in the middle of the table just for that Instagram shot. But wow! How was it possible to have four Pateks in the same bar on a Thursday? So do it! Just be careful when placing your watch with the others. Once again I feel the need to remind people that a steel sports watch is meant as a time-telling tool, don’t start crying (do it in the bathroom) if you find one more hairline after this horological orgy. At the same time, don’t blithely throw your Seiko on top of those four Pateks either.
Patronising, lecturing, or smirking while using the word “homage”
It’s easy being a troll on Instagram, a forum (yes, they still exist) or a Facebook group when someone proudly posts a shot of a Steinhart Sub-a-like. But whatever your mind tells you, resist the urge to point out with a smirk what you feel is a shameless homage. One man’s copy is another man’s mini-grail I say, and that’s fine. We all have different tastes, and for some the entry into watch wonderland might be a piece that looks mightily similar to, well yes, there are even homages to Seiko now. And even that’s OK. Be respectful.
Another place where you shouldn’t go, is lecturing on originality. I have been to a GTG where someone with a very loud voice (you know who you are) held up a Seiko SKX next to another one, and proceeded to deliver a detailed lecture (AKA rant) on another bloke’s bezel, crystal and clasp being non-original while offering up several examples from his box to demonstrate. The now quite silent owner’s point, however, was that he never asked for a valuation or a put-down of his Seiko that he’d just fixed up after inheriting it from his dad. Please do a detailed post on your Seiko sub-forum of choice all about the three types of 12 o’clock pips on bezels produced in the “wrong” factory. But dude, chill out here and enjoy your drink.
Call me Mr. Butterfingers
This one is easy. DO NOT DROP ANOTHER PERSON’S WATCH on the floor, on the table, or again, throw it casually on the sex pile. For God’s sake grasp that Patek as if your life depended on it, even if yes, it does make you bloody nervous actually touching the grail you’ve only seen on Instagram. We understand it’s like shaking hands with Brad Pitt or getting a kiss on the cheek from Rhianna – instant jelly legs and shaky hands. But hold it together. If the GTG is in a bar, watch your alcohol intake. Falling asleep in the bathroom still wearing a mate’s Nautilus that you just smashed on the tiled floor doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
Being flash about the cash
Imagine a GTG full of Producer Michael lookalikes, all with diamond-infested Jacob & Co wristwear and iced out Subs. They’re telling you in no uncertain terms that they are Very Rich Indeed and how happy they were to pay an “easy” $30,000 over a $10K retail price because they had to have that watch because they fancied a new “beater”. You’ll be feeling well proud of your $200 SKX now I can imagine. No one wants to know if you paid $14K over retail, or that you bought two of the pieces, one for the safe and one for daily wear. There is a brilliant term called understatement and it applies equally to wristwear, talking about said wristwear and any urge to put on that silk Versace shirt with the lion print. Don’t flash your cash.
Don’t be afraid of other people’s opinion, bring what you love!
Remember, you don’t have to sell your dozen vintage Citizens and Orient divers to bring that hyped up box-fresh Black Bay 58 to a GTG. Diversity is the joy of these events Unless you really want an entry ticket to that Patek Owner’s Club champagne GTG on a yacht, just bring what you love, whether it’s a $100 Timex or a $1 million Greubel Forsey. It’s all good – variety is the spice of life for watch enthusiasts. We meet up to share our unbound enthusiasm and that might well be the unreal comfort of a quartz microbrand diver, when the fella next to you is doling out his Rolex collection for wristshots.