A Year on the Wrist

We’re closing in on the end of the year, and that can mean a lot of things. To some, it means enjoying the holidays or getting comfortable in a new living situation. To others it means being evaluated in your first year in a new job. To most of us it’s a time of reflection, and we consider what we’ll do differently in the upcoming months to better our lives. While others are trying to stop drinking so much or quit smoking, some are trying to become better spouses, better parents, more conscientious financial planners, better employees, or just better or different people altogether. This is a small list of possibilities, and everyone is different.

We’ve all been in these situations at one time or another, but I left out a very specific group – a group that is more niche, more acutely focused. We’re a different group, a crazy group, and more times than not, a broke group, but ultimately a passionate group. I’m talking about watch enthusiasts, and we’re thinking about the watches that have been on our wrists for the last year. What have we worn the most? The least? What’s been added to the collection? What has broken our hearts and left a gaping hole in our once full watch box? Watch collecting feels like crawling prone under barb wire while heavy gunfire whizzes overhead, but there are good times too. Let’s talk about those.

I can say without a doubt that the watch that I’ve worn the most in 2021 is my Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono in blue with those sexy little cream colored sub dials. I’m not going to go into all of the detail about Hamilton going back to their roots and how important of a release this is for them in general, but this was a big one for me. This beauty has a 40mm case diameter with some pretty long lugs that are very much Hamilton. They’re long, but the case size makes it a really comfortable fit for my boney wrist. This was a grail watch.

I almost didn’t even know what to do with the rest of my collection after I brought it home. It’s safe to say that I took a long, hard look at my collection after I picked it up. I can thank the Beyond the Dial Instagram account and podcast for helping me realize that it’ll be the watch that I’ll be remembered for wearing. You should check out that podcast by the way, you may learn something about yourself.

Next up, and the watch that I’ve probably worn almost as much in the short time that I’ve owned it is the Seiko Prospex SRPG15. The internet calls it the “Land Tortoise” or something. Seiko nomenclature leaves much to be desired. This watch can do everything. In my opinion, it’s a field watch with a four fifteen crown, a sapphire crystal, a relatively new movement, and 200m of water resistance. It even has emergency codes on the case back in case you ever need to be rescued when lost in the wilderness. Useless? Maybe. Probably. Actually, I would bet my next meager paycheck that I’ll never use that feature. It’s a cool watch nonetheless.

This last one is hard to admit because of how much it means to me personally. That being said, the watch that I’ve worn the least this year is my Hamilton Khaki Mechanical. A 38mm hand winder with an olive drab dial. This was actually my first Swiss watch. The salesman who recommended it to me knew that it was my first Swiss. He told me that I couldn’t make a better decision and he was right. Despite all of that I had a hard time finding a strap that would make it an everyday watch for me. The strap that it came on is good, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t really go with anything. It’s a little too military if you ask me. I’m no longer a man in uniform and olive drab canvas is pretty specific. Since the purchase date and after a lot of hunting, I’ve found the perfect pairing and I wear it a lot more now.

I’ve bought and sold so many watches this year, but because I was so readily able to let some go, I’ve been able to build a watch collection that I’m truly proud of. I even bought a micro brand this year, and I can definitely see it being on this list next year. If you had asked me about micro brands three years ago I would’ve probably told you that you needed to change up your meds, but things change, and not just meds.

What have you worn the most this year? The least? What have you added to your collection? What has broken your heart and left a gaping hole in your watch box? I want to hear from you. Send an email, sign up for the newsletter notifications, and keep collecting. Keep going. We’re all in this together.

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