Friday, October 29, 2010

Opinion: Watches Aren't Going Anywhere

Yesterday I was barraged by articles [like THIS one] about a poll that was taken in the UK stating that "time has run out for the wristwatch". It seems like once a week I am clued into an article that says something similar to that sentiment. The more I see them the more annoying they become.

How many times have we seen the so called death of the wristwatch? Too many to count. Apparently this poll was taken among what I can only imagine was very young people who rely more on their personal devices [MP3 players, smart phones, and tablets] than they do on a wristwatch. Well I'm here to tell you that there are really no worries, the wristwatch industry is thriving...Especially on the mechanical end. So not only have sales been up in recent years, and steadily increasing after the recent recession, but it's mechanical watches that are proving their worth, not just the more affordable quartz pieces. Watches are worn mainly by adults, of course most teenagers and people in their early 20's don't care about them...They're having enough trouble understanding the value of things when new $400 gadgets come out every 3 months which leave the old $400 gadgets in an underwear drawer collecting dust.

Which leads me to my next point; I have seen a non-running pocket watch over 100 years old come back to life in a span of 3 hours with some careful intricate work. An item made by man, over 100 years old working in the way it originally intended by its designer. So it leads me to ask, 100 years from now where is your smart phone going to be? Probably in a landfill with millions of other smart phones not degrading at the rate that the manufacturer stated. It's not widely known but in the United States alone there is a projected need of up to 5000 watchmakers in the next 7 years, proof that this "dead" industry has a lot of life left in it.

Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of my MP3 player...Even with its horrifying sound quality [don't even get me started on that]. I love gadgets as much as the next guy, but they certainly aren't built to last. A quality timepiece can literally live on forever with the proper maintenance. Announcing them as dead based on a poll is moronic at best. On an up note it was Steve Jobs who suggested that the new iPod Nano be worn as a wristwatch...Which I fully support, and kinda has me considering updating my iPod.

The new iPod Nano being worn as a wristwatch

The watch industry has survived through much more rocky times than the era of the iPod. Even the American version of "The Office" inadvertently poked a little fun at the situation when the Kelly character asked Ryan for the time during a visit to the local theater, and he pulled out an iPad with an app of a giant running clock on the screen, it was obvious he was meant to look idiotic. Needless to say, I got a good laugh out of it...But I'm kind of a nerd like that.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I, of course, welcome any comments you may have. If you are so inclined when you come across a story about the death of the wristwatch, put a link to this article in the comment section.

Charlie Sheen; You're Big Trouble, Mister

Typically when it comes to entertainment news I give it a passing glance and move on to generally more important things. Over the past two days I have heard way more about Charlie Sheen than I would ever imagine I could. I can read your mind right now; "Why the he talking about a story that really has no bearing on anything whatsoever?". Well today I learned of a detail of the Charlie Sheen saga that hit me to the core of my being.

Apparently during his now infamous stint in New York City, Chuck seems to have misplaced his timepiece...And we aren't talking about a dollar store watch here. The watch? A Patek Phillipe 5970, valued at approximately $150,000. To serious collectors, and fans of all things wristwatch the mention of the word "Patek" ignites a Pavlovian response of an increased heart rate and bouts of uncontrollable drooling. Likewise the thought of one being lost, or stolen, from its rightful owner brings waves of sadness, along with thoughts of "Well, you really gotta keep an eye on that thing".

The Patek Phillipe 5970 valued at approximately $150,000

TMZ reported that Sheen was photographed wearing the piece while being seen out and about with adult film star Capri Anderson [like the passing mention of that name on my blog won't bring an onslaught of porn spam]. We have all heard various tales of what happened in the hours following. Sheen was not aware of his missing watch until a few hours after they left a New York restaurant together.

There is a whole lot happening in this photo [snatched from TMZ...obviously]

Ok, I need to editorialize here for a moment...A few hours later?...HOURS?!? I go 5 minutes without any watch and I start getting the sweats, and I certainly don't own anything remotely close to a Patek. Moving on.

On one final note; court documents regarding Sheen's assets state that he has a timepiece collection valued at around 5.5 million dollars....So really, what's $150,000? Side note it would take him shooting only 3 episodes of "Two and a Half Men" to get to that sum. Impressive, and a little depressing.