Today at Bezel and Barrel we’ll be introducing our new contributor Joe Pang and also a new feature where we invite readers to share their watch collections with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your collection for consideration.
While watches have always been a part of my life, my feelings about them have changed over time. One of my first watch-related memories was being gifted a quartz, ‘Honda’ branded watch when I was roughly 10-12 years old.
I distinctly remember at that point in my life none of my classmates wore watches. Something about wearing a watch at that age felt very adult. For quite a while I was conflicted and questioned the usefulness of wearing one. If I don’t need to wear the watch, does that make it jewelry? This experience was the first time that I had any thoughts about a watch, or watches in general.
It wasn’t until I started college that I started caring about watches again. Mandatory punctuality didn’t really leave me any choice, to be completely honest. By that point in my life I had already established a quality of researching my purchases thoroughly (obsessively), and I ended up with a Seiko SKX007. Looking back, I guess that officially made me an enthusiast. The SKX007 was the first watch I felt had a place on my wrist and the first watch I ever received a compliment on. Its purpose is clear, its design is classic and no-nonsense. A true tool and unmistakable as jewelry.
From then on I’ve held onto the notion that a watch in my collection should be something I can wear every day for the rest of my life, both aesthetically and functionally. If a watch does not meet those requirements, my very first SKX007 represents more value to me.
I have chosen a few watches in my collection to showcase:
Seiko Dolce SACM171: If timekeeping is the hobby we love so much, how can any watch beat a High-Accuracy Quartz? This watch can be had for roughly ~$400 and is accurate to +/- 10 seconds per year. At 34mm in diameter and 5.3mm thick, this watch passes the ‘cuff-test’ better than any watch I’ve ever owned. This watch truly disappears on the wrist, and that its one of its greatest assets. If I had to give up all but the SACM171, I’d still be quite content (and on-time).
Seiko Sumo SBDC033: In environments where the Dolce isn’t tough enough, I look no further than the Seiko Sumo. This is one of the watches that I have owned for the longest. To me it occupies one of the best values for its price point. The taper from its large case to its relatively narrow 20mm bracelet feels very 114060-esque. The Sumo is a much more refined watch than the SKX007, and is in fact closer to the Marinemaster SBDX001 in its finishing than it is to the 007. The blue dial looks appropriate in all settings (unlike the blue dial of the PADI turtle, or the blue Pelagos…). It’s durability need not be mentioned or questioned; it’s a Seiko diver.
Rolex Explorer 214270 (2016 Full Lume dial): The best watch for the average Joe (and this Joe) is a Rolex. Once again, the best watch for the average person is Rolex. Why? Buy one, wear it while living your life, send it in for service once it stops (10..20…30 years?) and it will undoubtedly last a lifetime. The watch will be returned as-new after every service, and will deliver unparalleled reliability and pleasure of ownership under all operating conditions. The Explorer is the most fitting Rolex for my collection as it can be worn with any attire and is one of the most basic (a good quality for a tool watch). A Rolex 100m WR rating is more than enough for any water activities I will ever encounter, making a Submariner unnecessary.
1969 Movado Datachron El Primero: This is a watch that was worn by my grandfather daily for ~30 years without service. For the record, that’s roughly 9.5 billion ticks at 5Hz. It wasn’t until I started learning more about watches that I realized my grandfather was wearing one of the first automatic chronographs ever. In solid gold, none the less. Needless to say, this is a watch that will never leave my collection. Boxes, papers, and original receipt are pristine. This is a watch that has served a full life of daily use, and undeniably has earned its place as a tool watch.
Thanks for reading!
Find me on Instagram: @joe.pang