Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 - 1:57pm AEDT
Okay, so 2021 is over, and it's time for my annual write-up on the wristwatches that spent the most time on my wrist throughout the year. Turns out that I wore a watch 368 times last year. Which means every day of the year plus a few swaps throughout the day on a few occasions.
Anyway, let's get started. In the Number One spot was a watch that I knew would gain the top spot, but I was staggered by how often I wore it last year.
No. 1 - Tudor Black Bay 58
One of my Instagram followers, @libations_and_explorations, summed it up nicely;
In my opinion, the Tudor Black Bay is the real Rolex Submariner of today. It is high quality, expensive, useable, but not insultingly overpriced either.
I agree. Don't let the word 'expensive' throw you off. In this instance, it's expensive because it's extremely well made, and you get what you pay for.
Also in the frame;
Camera - early '80s Olympus OM2n - I had one of these back in the early '80s and I stupidly sold it to fund the cost of repairing a Polaroid SX-70 Land camera. About five or six years ago, I got on eBay and bought this model. Then about a year later, I bought a spare because the price was dirt cheap.
Sunglasses - We were in Paris back in September 2016 and I wanted to buy something to commemorate the trip. These are Persol 649S (for small) Havana brown frames.
Pen - a Parker Sonnet ballpoint. Got one off eBay and it began to fall apart about three months later. Took it to a pen store and they sent it off to Parker for repair under warranty. Turns out it was a fake! I was given the option to purchase a new one at a heavily discounted price, as a Goodwill gesture on their part. Suited me fine. Of course, they kept the fake. That was cool too.
Typewriter - my Olivetti Lettera 32 that I bought back in 1981. Hammered out a lot of book reports and assignments on this thing.
No. 2 - ORIS Divers Sixty-Five
Worn 58 times last year, this one is a favourite. Slim case, perfect 40mm diameter, easy to read. And it's what watch collectors call a 'strap monster', which means that it tends to look good on just about any strap you put on it. This model, with the four sci-fi styled numerals on the dial, was discontinued a couple of years ago, which I think was a mistake. Sure, it's not everybody's cup of tea, but it's such a distinctive look.
Also in the frame;
Camera - 1970s Yashica GSN Electro 35. I loved the retro look of this large rangefinder camera. I think I've only run one or two rolls of film through this thing and the results were nice.
Sunglasses - The classic RayBan Clubmaster frames. These frames have quite a few screws holding them together, so it's wise to keep them in their case when they're not being worn.
Pen - A Caran d'Ache 849 ballpoint. A gift from ORIS. A nice sturdy ballpoint pen with a one-piece barrel. You have to unscrew the push-button at the top in order to replace the refills.
No. 3 - Seiko SKX009K
No. 4 - Omega Planet Ocean 1st Generation
No. 5 - Omega Seamaster 300 WatchCo Edition
No. 6 - Tudor Ranger
Camera - Nikon EM from late '70s/early '80s. I had one a few years ago, then sold it. This one was about $40 bucks on eBay. Body only. The lens was another $70.
Pen - Fisher AG-7 Space Pen. I love the look and feel of this pen. It's very solidly built. I just wish the refills provided a smoother writing experience. Although, maybe that's the compromise for having a pen that writes at any angle.
Sunglasses - Five bucks from a Thrift Store. There's something very "1970s helicopter pilot" about these frames.
Typewriter - Circa 1958 Groma Kolibri. The smallest one I have. Just slightly taller than a box of matches. Writes nicely, if a little loud.
No. 7 (equal place) - Rolex Submariner 5513
No. 7 (equal place) - Seiko SARB033
And that's it. The ten watches that got the most wear throughout the year. This is a good exercise, no matter what collection you might have, because it provides a broad view of what gets used the most, which may in turn help one to determine one's preferences.
I've come to realise that I like the all-round dependability and practicality of a dive watch. Aside from dive watches, I tend to like the simplicity of a Field or Expedition watch. Basically, a black dial with a few numerals on it, with bold hands to contrast against it.
I have to say that my vintage pieces barely got a look-in this year. Some of them require servicing, so that might explain it to an extent. I think, though, I was still in a long honeymoon phase with the Tudor Black Bay.
Anyway, that's how it all stands. I've been wearing the Seiko SKX009 since New Year's Eve. As it has a day and date function, it's been handy. You know how the days blur a little in the first week or two of January? Or maybe that's just me.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe!