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08/08/2019
 3 minutes

101 Reasons Why Watches Are Great: Part 8 They Tell Unique Stories

By Jorg Weppelink
101 Reasons Why Watches Are Great: They Tell Unique Stories

101 Reasons Why Watches Are Great: They Tell Unique Stories

There’s nothing as powerful as a good story. Without our oral and written traditions, all history would be lost to time. In more recent eras, watches have begun to play a role in some of humanity’s greatest achievements and, therefore, our greatest stories. Some timepieces come with tales of harrowing journeys, while others have been quietly passed down from generation to generation. No matter the story, each is unique and worthy of being treasured.

Let’s begin with the most obvious kind of watch stories: those connected to historic events in human history. Perhaps the most famous example is the first Moon Landing, which took place more than 50 years ago. This fantastic feat was made possible, in part, by the reliability of the Omega Speedmaster. When Buzz Aldrin descended the Eagle lander and stepped onto the lunar surface, his Speedmaster went down in history as the first watch on the Moon.

Many people also enjoy stories that connect watches to famous people. These tales will take you from the White House to Hollywood and everywhere in between. Two of the most famous examples are Paul Newman and the Rolex Daytona and Steve McQueen and the TAG Heuer Monaco. Some people are willing to shell out major cash to be part of these legacies, as seen when Paul Newman’s personal Daytona sold for $17.8 million at an auction in 2017.

It’s easy to get involved in these types of stories: All it takes is a bit of coin. However, perhaps the more powerful stories are those that come from personal experience. Many people inherit watches from a beloved family member. Every scratch and dent has its own story to tell, representing the person – or people – who wore that timepiece, even if they passed long ago. These emotional connections go far beyond appreciating the design or incredible craftsmanship behind the timepiece. They offer you a direct line to your ancestors and a way to pass on that legacy after you’re gone.

I can personally attest to the power of such stories. My father purchased his Omega Seamaster DeVille in 1966, after saving money from his first paycheck. I love the fact that I can simply call it “dad’s watch.” He’s worn it every day ever since, and I hope to wear it myself one day. If I’m lucky, I’ll even get to pass it down to my children and they’ll pass it down to their children, thus continuing the family story for generations to come.

Perhaps your family doesn’t have a watch in its story yet. Why not begin the tradition yourself? We often purchase watches to celebrate special occasions like a wedding or graduation. This is the perfect start to any tale. Looking back, every scratch will remind you of life events both good and bad. A close friend of mine recently told me he’d decided to buy a watch as the way of starting a new, hopefully positive, chapter in his life. Now the proud owner of a green Seiko Sumo Prospex Diver, he plans to pass it down to his son one day. In the meantime, he intends to enjoy it and create memories with it for many years to come.

As you can see, watch stories don’t fit into a single mold. The examples listed above hardly even scratch the surface. To me, watches are among the greatest storytellers we have, and I look forward to hearing your tales, no matter how insignificant they may seem. No matter the story, it is what makes each timepiece so much more than just a means of telling the time. It says something about where you’re from, where you’ve been, and perhaps even where you’re going – and that’s about as powerful as a story can get.

Read more

101 Reasons Why Watches are Great: Part 6They Add Serenity to Our Hectic Lives

The Perfect Watch for Vacation: A Few Key Considerations

Can fashion brands keep up with traditional watchmaking?


About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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