Two watches, no more

I am lucky. I own a watch that I absolutely love.

The design is fantastic, it has a splash of colour that makes it stand out, it is very accurate and it is just the right size for my wrist.

At one point I owned 31 watches, but this one has taken over and I am left with just two after selling all of the rest in deference to my beloved Bulova Snorkel 666.

It isn’t just a material or aesthetic thing with this watch because my father bought it the week I was born, in 1970, to celebrate my birth and he wore it until he died 18 months ago. I remember the splash of orange from my childhood, from times playing in the garden, playing football in the park or simply eating around the dinner table. The watch, and the splash of orange, was always there and it is embedded in my mind forever. And as you can imagine, it means an awful lot to me.

I am lucky because I no longer search for the perfect watch, a longing that I am sure many of you can empathise with, and I no longer spend money on timepieces that did the same thing as my other timepieces did, but in very slightly different ways. It is not a conscious thing, when I tried to wear a different watch to work or when taking my children out somewhere I just couldn’t do it. I always wanted to wear the 666 and I still do day after day.

The problem, however, is that it is a vintage watch and so the lume has just about disappeared and it can never be made truly waterproof. I could have the hands re-lumed, but the patina is just so perfect that I would be crazy to do so. Watch companies are adding fake patina to many new models in 2018, but it makes much more sense to enjoy true patina which helps to define and age a watch to perfection.

The waterproofing is also not possible because of the way these watches were made and the lack of replacement gaskets that would help to stop damage. And anyway, I wouldn’t want to add new parts if I could avoid it. It’s my father’s watch and it is now mine so it will stay is it was and age as it should.


To supplement the 666 I wear a Citizen Excalibur when asleep and when doing activities that a vintage watch may suffer from being subjected to. It costs just over £100, has a brilliant all-night lume and is deadly accurate. It also survives by light alone so is left on a windowsill during the day and swapped over in the evening. I still suffer a small pang when removing the 666 each day and really do not like taking it off, but the hum quite annoying if I wear it in bed and happen to lean on my arm at some point.

The Excalibur also ticks a box in that it is not a watch that will ever replace the 666. I like it a lot and it is a truly brilliant watch for the money, but is replaceable and somewhat of a tool rather than anything else. There is some personality there although not enough to engender any true affection.

And so I have two watches and need no more. For collectors that may seem an odd thing, but to me it is the perfect place to be.

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