Watches I Wear

I enjoy mechanical watches. Unlike most tools I work with – all PCB and LCD and software – my watches hail from another era: an older, more tactile one. There’s something deeply present about them. You can see the movement working, listen to their springs and gears whir away, feel the rotor shift as you move your wrist… They’re physical. Real.

When it comes to aesthetics I love the designs from German watch houses. The Sinn U1 S E, the Stowa TESTAF T01, the Laco Paderborn. They tend to the clean, spare and focused – a perfect balance between two sensibilities: that while, yes, automatics are pieces of jewelry, they can be highly efficient tools as well. But I have a secret: when I want to forget about it, when I want my watch to work no matter what 1, 2, I reach for my Seikos.

The Seiko auto philosophy reflects my own: a focus on pragmatism, reliability and affordability – qualities that channel my inner Canadian. In the decade I’ve owned them I’ve subjected my Seikos to extreme temperature swings, high humidity, alcohol and other fluids, sand, grit, water and snow. I’ve dropped them. Knocked them against walls and rocks. Haven’t babied them. And in all that time I’ve never serviced them, and have had only one failure: a broken strap on my Orange Monster. They are the true auto beaters 3 – the epitome of “takes a licking – keeps on ticking”.

1. My Stowa was serviced under warranty within a few months of purchase, and then again five years later for a stuck crown and grinding movement.
2. My Hammy fogged up the first time I wore it in the rain. Serviced under warranty.
3. For the ultimate beater you want a Casio G-Shock or another digital Casio. Cheap, ubiquitous, and if you destroy one you’ll…simply buy another.

Comments

  1. Paul Gvildys - March 27, 2017 @ 09:39

    I like the idea of mechanical. I like the function of my smart watches.

    Yes, there are devices that could probably do better (tracking my workouts, especially swimming – lap tracking is awesome), but I like the form factor.

  2. Allen George - March 30, 2017 @ 05:01

    Watches were always meant to be tools. I’m not a purist: I don’t look down on smartwatches or digital watches, just prefer the aesthetic of a time-only automatic.

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