Returning To Watch Collecting

This post has two goals. The first goal is to explain where I’ve been and why I took a break from watch collecting in the first place. Second, I want to talk about the watch that pulled me back in, just when I thought I was out.

Disclaimer

Some of the information here will be redundant if you follow me over on Watch Crunch, so if you just want to read about the watch, feel free to skip ahead.

Where Have I Been?

I’ve been pretty absent from the hobby since July. And there’s a reason for that. I really doubt any of you had noticed, but I feel like it needed to be said for context. I haven’t posted to the blog, I haven’t been using Watch Crunch or Instagram, and I haven’t bought a watch in a WHILE. I basically did a watch hobby coffee enema. I’d been buying and selling and posting and commenting and writing and tinkering and… I don’t know, probably more, for so long that I became completely distracted. You know when you spill something on the sofa and it seeps into the fabric so deeply that it becomes impossible to get it clean? It was kinda like that. It was like when you mix chocolate and vanilla ice cream together and it just becomes a different shade of brown. You know the color I’m talking about. Frozen pizza every night for a week kind of brown. 

Anyway…

I didn’t know where the hobby ended and I began. How’s that?

Here’s a little update on what a fellow watch enthusiast was doing for the last three months. I sold my entire collection (aside from a couple of Hamiltons). After that, I started working on an affordable quartz collection. Mission Accomplished. That shit is on point now. And then I stopped wearing automatics/mechanicals. Quartz is better for my job anyway. Plus, my wife and I bought a house and I’ve become quite the handyman. Mechanical watches just don’t make sense for working around the house in modern society. That being said, I’m still learning a few things, but I’m not completely incompetent now. Also, I learned that being handy isn’t that hard. If you pay someone else to do literally everything, you’re a sucker. I can’t believe how much money I’ve thrown away over the years on paying “professionals”. They probably looked that shit up on YouTube on the drive over. Real talk though, if I was rich, I’d probably still pay someone, 😉

Once we closed on the house and finished moving in, I jumped into my first love, GAMING! I had a backlog of videogames that would terrify Satan himself. I can happily say that I kicked that backlog’s ass and I’m pretty up to date now. This was the moment that I had to make a very serious decision. It was time for me to decide if I even wanted to do the whole watch thing anymore. You know, because owning a house is expensive. And buying the house isn’t the only expensive part. Some of you will know what I mean. If you do, have a drink for me tonight, because I can’t even afford booze right now. I’m kinda kidding. We’ll be okay.

Here’s a really important point too: The time leading up to when you start the home buying process is rough as well. You have to plan, take time off work, do a lot of house shopping, meet the right realtor, pay off as much debt as you can afford, and oh yeah… SAVE MONEY! Now how am I supposed to do that when I have a watch habit? Right? Anyway…

There’s only one way to decide whether or not to stay in the watch collecting world: BUY A FUCKING WATCH! See if it still brings that same level of joy.

Well I did. A Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind. I love it and it made me want to play Ace Combat 5. Either way, it’s pretty cool.

Pause. Everything is cyclical. Okay? I became a watch enthusiast because of Hamilton, and it’s only natural that I’ve circled back around to them. I’ll probably die with a Hammy on my wrist. 

Now let’s get back into the meat and potatoes.

I’ve discovered something over the last quarter… I’ve made a lot of terrible decisions with my watch collection over the years. I’ve bought what’s hot, what’s new, what’s recommended, what’s interesting, what’s innovative… and I was miserable. Well I said fuck that. Don’t listen to anyone… ever. Buy what you like, and you’ll never regret it. If something has to be returned because YOU were wrong, return it and try again.

I’m not a watch enthusiast anymore, if anything I’m a Hamilton enthusiast. But I’m not gonna put a label on it. What am I, a high school cheerleader? I’m actually not.

Look, the moral of this story is that there is no moral. This hobby is different for everyone. And that’s how it should be. You can really only learn from making your own mistakes or watching someone else live with theirs. Okay… so maybe there is a moral. Either way, I made all the mistakes and can finally look back at them… and vomit. I don’t see anything else incoming, and that’s how I like it. They don’t call it a “watch collecting journey” for nothing. And my journey was like walking blindly through the Mines of Moria. Use this post as a torch to light the way on your journey. Wow, that was poetic as shit. 

The Watch That Brought Me Back

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind

First of all, unless you forgot, you know how I do things. This isn’t really gonna be a review. I’m just gonna talk about my new watch a little bit. Cost, size, thickness, wearability, complications, all of those things are irrelevant if you like it, and I do. I’ll briefly touch on them, but all the boring details are for writers trying to meet a certain word count quota.

I’ll say that it’s definitely not a watch that you’d expect to find in my collection, but Hamilton has never done me dirty. So when it came time to pick out a new watch, I wanted something connected to aviation, something a little bigger, something modern, and something from Hamilton. I say that they’ve never done me dirty, but have you ever reached out to them on IG? Their interactions are TERRIBLE on there. At least it was when I tried talking to them. I felt like I was talking to a protocol droid from Star Wars. It was hilarious. But I digress…

I say that cost is irrelevant, but don’t misunderstand. I’m assuming that none of you out there still pay retail. If you do, I would really try to work on that. That being said, let’s talk about the watch.

Bigger Is… Bigger

This is a big boiiii. It’s 45mm in diameter. I definitely won’t have a hard time reading it, that’s for sure. I actually kinda bought it as a joke. I mean, I was gonna keep it if I liked it, but I wasn’t really expecting to be able to pull it off on a 6.5 inch wrist. Other than my boss telling me that I was gonna be doing more work, but make the same money, this watch was the shock of the year. There is absolutely no overhang on wrist. If anything, it’s flush. Overhang is a big thing with me, and it probably should be with you too. Just a suggestion. Overhang is just terrible. However, I really like wearing this watch. The size really works for me.

How Does It Wear?

The thickness is pretty rough. It honestly doesn’t feel or look any thicker than my Hamilton Intra-Matic chronograph, but the overall shape of the case is blockier. It’s circular, yes, but the size, weight, and design differences definitely bring attention to the thickness. I think that I’ve read a couple of different thicknesses online. I’ve seen 15mm and 16mm. I believe both of them.

The surprise standout is the strap, though. I really like it. It’s pretty thick too. It would have to be, wouldn’t it? But it’s really comfortable. I knew the second that I took it out of the box that I’d have to work the strap a little bit because it was really stiff at first, but now it hugs my wrist like a koala bear.

Color & Design

The colorway that I chose was a no-brainer. This black, white, and splash of orange thing really works. This watch also comes in a sunburst-y blue variant, but I have enough blue shit. I’m not Marc from Long Island Watch. And if I was, I would’ve had to buy two of these. I’d be walking around like a gorilla if I had to wear two of these things.

The black dial is definitely a sunburst, but the watch being black allows it to feel and look like a tool and not a piece of jewelry. If you dress nice for work or just in general and you like big watches, the blue one is beautiful. I’ve seen them both in the metal, and holy shit. And it’s not some robin’s egg, pansy ass looking blue. It’s really cool. So there’s that.

The dial is very busy, but these modern pilot watches kinda always are. I can think of several modern examples that go with the minimalist design, but I don’t like those. I want a watch of this type to do stuff other than tell the time. Full disclosure, I don’t know exactly how to use all the features just yet, but I will. And then I’ll probably realize that I don’t need any of it. See, I’m not a pilot, but a lot of us aren’t. I’m not a race car driver either, but I own an automatic chronograph. Anyway, as you can see from the photos, this layout is very aesthetically pleasing. At least to me. I really like it. Actually, the dial is what sold me on it in the first place. Oh, and it has a screw down crown. I appreciate that. I don’t understand why Hamilton doesn’t utilize those more often. The more water resistance the better. It isn’t a necessary feature, but it’s just nice to have that peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

I guess that’s really it. I like the watch. It’s yet another reminder that I absolutely know what I’m doing in this insane hobby. I picked it, I bought it, I love it, and I wear it. I wasn’t influenced by anyone or anything but the watch itself. That’s a nice feeling. I hope that you’re able to approach watch buying and collecting the same way. And if you aren’t, I hope that you’ll be able to soon. It’s so much more rewarding.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Also, umm… my blog was getting me a little bit of attention and dealing with marketing people and their minions is an absolute shit show. So I just stopped dealing with it. I originally had a few sponsored things in the queue, but I decided to put that out like one of those weirdos who extinguish their cigarettes by spitting in their hand. Either way, I really doubt that you’ll be seeing any sponsored content on here, at least for a while. Hell, you might not even see another post for six months. Who knows? Either way… the hiatus could’ve been slightly influenced by all that stuff too. Okay bye bye.

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