I had made a brief video for YouTube in which I told my thousands of subscribers, fellow Watch Idiot Savants, that it may be time to quit my watch collecting, that my timepiece obsession was a form of madness and a disease that was eviscerating my time and energy, not to mention my finances.
The watch hobby, which was supposed to be a fun diversion, had become a form of insanity that consumed all my waking thoughts. Every morning, I’d look at my collection, about two dozen timepieces ranging in price from $300 to $1,000, and I’d despair over which watch to wear. No decision was ever the right one. I always regretted not wearing some other watch from my two red velveteen watch boxes, and I always felt anxiety for not giving particular watches enough “wrist time” and this anxiety would plague me throughout the day.
To get an idea of how crazy I was, the decision over which watch to wear was more important to me than what school my daughters attended, what economic woes might result from the Great California Drought, and what my overeating was probably doing to my cholesterol and triglyceride levels. All these concerns were secondary to what watch I would be wearing for the day, which seemed to be of the utmost importance to my soul.
I was even dreaming about watches, other worldly, fantastical timepieces that were so spectacular that when I woke up and looked at the relatively earthly watches in my collection, a sense of dread and disappointment would overtake me, causing me to wonder if my watch obsession was some kind of joke I was playing against myself, an expression of self-mockery that defined the futility of my existence.
All the while, my Higher Self told me that it was time to stop. I would sell everything from my collection, about $10,000 worth of watches, except my two Seiko Black Monsters, the second and third generation, rotate those two watches for the rest of my life, and put an end to my watch madness forever.
And what would I do in the aftermath of my watch hobby? I’d write an autobiographical novel, of course. It would be titled Horoglodytes: A Watch Obsessive’s Journey Into Madness and His Return to Planet Earth. A tidy narrative with a crisp resolution would certainly put closure on my watch disease and give me freedom to pursue other interests (writing and piano specifically), allow me to devote more time to my twin daughters, and give me better focus to be an improved husband for my wife.
But no sooner had I posted the video announcing my resignation from the Watch Idiot Savant Community had I received a comment from fellow watch obsessive Jonny Casual who wrote: “Nice try. Even if you try to get out, we won’t let you.”
A flood of comments soon followed, all of them written in the same tone of derision and discouragement. One fellow watch obsessive wrote, for example, “Just try to leave the community, pal. You won’t make it. Thousands of us have tried to leave this hell, and we’ve all failed. What makes you think you’re any different?”
Another watch obsessive chimed in: “Think you’re special? Ha! You’re a moron, just like the rest of us, so quit the crap and keep on making us your videos. You know you need us just as much as we need you.”
I was pissed at these haters who were so certain about my helplessness to do anything about saving myself from the sick, symbiotic, enabling relationship between my fellow watch addicts and me. I wanted to prove them wrong, just to spite them. So I got off my butt, and decided to get off the Internet, the source of all my pumped-up consumer desires. The Internet, after all, was the Devil’s Playpen that stirred my arousal for more and more expensive timepieces, the place where all my fellow watch addicts enabled each other because surely no one wanted to languish in watch addiction hell alone.
To stay off the Internet, I jogged, I intensified my kettlebell workouts, I walked my neighbor’s blond lab, Simba, and I started hanging out more with my wife and daughters.
But just two days after I said to hell with my fellow watch addicts, my wife and I were watching HBO’s Silicon Valley, and there was a scene where this obnoxious tech entrepreneur, Russ Hanneman, played by Chris Diamantopoulos, exited his Italian sport car while rocking an Omega Planet Ocean Chronograph Calibre 9300. It was the most spectacular watch I’ve ever seen in my life. I kept getting up from the couch and using the remote to freeze the TV image to confirm that the watch the actor was wearing was indeed the Omega, and my wife kept haranguing me to let the episode play out.
“I thought you were done with watches,” she said.
“I thought I was too.”
After ogling the six-thousand-dollar Omega on the Internet, I of course had to share my newfound enthusiasm with my fellow watch-obsessive Horoglodtyes.
They all welcomed me back to the YouTube community, and none of them were surprised. “We’ve all tried to leave,” they said, “and we’ve all come back. We always do.”
They even congratulated me for coveting a watch that cost six times more than any watch I had ever purchased. As Jonny Casual said, “It’s about time you stepped up to the plate and started desiring a real watch, a watch worthy of your obsessions. You’ve been piddling around in the lower watch tiers for too long. It’s time to ascend the ladder to luxury. You’ve arrived, my friend.”
I had arrived, all right. I was in a hell I could not leave, no matter how desperate my attempts to free myself. And now, after trying to quit my watch addiction, I was lusting over a watch that cost six thousand dollars. How I hated myself. How I wish I could go back to desiring watches that cost under a grand, but it was too late. I was too deep into this. I was into Omega Territory. In other words, I was completely screwed.
I love the Citizen Promaster Sky in silver titanium, Duratect coating, and anti-reflective sapphire crystal. And I really like the less refined Ecozilla on the shark mesh with mineral crystal. I mention the deeper appeal of the Promaster Sky because it's a smaller, more refined watch and this represents a shift in my tastes from the larger than life "hero" watches that took up my imagination in my beginning stages of my watch obsession.
One of my watch obsessive tendencies is what I'll call the "re-buy," the selling of a watch to fund another purchase, followed by seller's regret, the feeling that the loss of a watch left a hole in my soul that can only be filled with a re-acquisition.
I can't even remember all my re-buys, but here are some: Ecozilla three times; Seiko Sumo 4 times; Seiko Black Monster twice; Seiko SBDL021; Orient M-Force Beast; Benarus Megalodon . . . I could go on, but that's enough confessional for now.
I've been missing the Orient M-Force black dial on the Super Engineer II and the Seiko Sumo again, but I'm having my doubts and I am holding off.
As I look at the Ecozilla on the shark mesh and compare it to the more refined Promaster Sky, I feel that part of me has moved forward, that I may not need to re-acquire a 46mm Orient M-Force because this Ecozilla, while nice, doesn't satisfy the way I thought it would. I like it, but it's essentially a $220 mineral crystal watch (love the bezel) with Benarus Suppa adapters and a shark mesh bracelet. It's a good travel beater, but it's not in the same class as the Promaster Sky.