Watches in the Wild (Hat Trick, Volume 20)

Disclaimer: Watch of the week here.  JLC Master Geographic FTW.

This is the twentieth in a semi-regular digest of cool watches I happened to see this week.

Past posts in this series have been hashtagged to #watchesinthewild and you can click through for part 1part 2part 3part 4 , part 5part 6part 7part 8part 9part 10part 11part 12part 13part 14part 15part 16part 17, part 18 and part 19.

As always, my general policy is that I never ask for wrist shots (because approaching strangers and distant acquaintances to talk about watches is already weird enough) so all pictures below are sourced from the internet. People are mostly cool, I try not to annoy them.

This one is in honor of all the dads and moms here with little ones but most specifically @valleykilmers, a new dad who is probably doing his best to determine the minimum amount of sleep required for a human being over an extended period of time.  

Exhausted-parent GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Remember my friend, it gets better eventually...but only eventually.

I have often schemed, less than secretively, about ways to get my two  girls into watches.  This has had mixed results at best.

My youngest seems to be the best bet at this moment.  She enjoys turning bezels and clicking chronograph buttons and I have occasionally seen her modeling one of Papa's watches on her wrist.  I have high hopes for this one, but I will admit to a certain amount of anxiety when the watch she selects is over $1000.

My eldest has very significant opinions about what watches I wear on a daily basis but has had zero desire to wear one herself.  Like an overly optimistic parent that I am, I purchased her a yellow Flik Flak "Mariquita" for her fourth birthday with the idea that this was the beginning of a lifelong passion.  It has sat unused at the bottom of a drawer, like a resident of the Island of Misfit Toys, for the last 8 months.

FBNP150 - MARIQUITA - Swatch® United States

Still, I am a hopeful sort and buy plenty of watches for my nieces and nephews....many of whom are actually showing some real neophyte interest in a watches.

And now that I've been looking at kids wrists, I've found that most kids wear real watches instead of smart watches.  Perhaps there is hope for the next generation.

https://youtu.be/afam2nIae4o 

So something a little different.  Below is a selection of watches worn exclusively by children (5-17ish) who are the kids of my friends and acquaintances.  Perhaps it will serve as a gift guide.  If it does, I will regret not setting up an affiliate link program. 😂

We will be back to our more regularly scheduled programming in a week hence.

Lorus Mickey two tone Datejust (if I had to bet, it was a 24mm women's model)

Two Tone Lorus by Seiko Mickey Mouse Quartz Watch for Women, Disney Date  Watches | eBay

Worn by a 10 year old on a rubber strap of completely indeterminate width.

I, admittedly, am not much of a big Disney fan (lack of a positive does not imply a negative).  We were not a family that made regular trips to Disney Land despite having some family in Anaheim.  I gather that my parents generally thought it was silly and I was, as I am now, a determined contrarian who didn't quite understand why others really enjoyed this odd, dead eyed talking mouse.

Thor Gundersen's Blogs: Death Battle Analysis: Mickey Mouse

He is looking into your soul.

I do recall seeing many Disney watches growing up and I was surprised to remember this one, largely because it graced the wrist of one of my mother's friends.

When asking the kid's dad about it, he mentioned that it was his original mickey watch from the 90s, spruced up with a stretchy rubber strap instead of the jangly jubilee bracelet.  This story hits me right in the feels and also makes me question whether I'm a bad parent for not hoarding things from my youth for my kids. Though I'm not sure what they would have done with half a dozen black hoodies and hundreds of bazooka joe bubblegum wrappers (collectible!).  

Other random thoughts, I love how the Rolex two tone aesthetic managed to reach into this price category but age has certainly taken a toll on the watch.  I was told that the bracelet linked were rolled and destroyed long ago.

But it fits the very definition of cheap and cheerful and I do find myself oddly charmed by the every spinning mickey hands.  Should you find yourself interested, I see them selling for a couple of tens on eBay.

Casio F91-W

Casio F-91WS-8 'Jelly', probably the most interesting F-91W I've seen : r/ casio
Custom Pink Casio Watch on Blue Jelly Strap - Etsy

Seen on the wrist of my seven year old niece and five year old nephew in pink and blue on jelly bracelets, gifts from a watch obsessed uncle for Christmas.  

Nose-touch GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

It's funny for me, every so often, to dip my toes into the world of inexpensive digital watches.  I am, what the less couth among you might call, a movement snob.  I love Spring Drive, like automatics, tolerate manual winds and analog quartzes, and don't really think about digital quartz at all.  I am stubborn in this belief in the superiority of automatic movements and intolerant of opposing views. (joking, of course!).

But whenever I put on a cheap Casio, I often wonder if I just screwed up.  For just around $20, you get a cheap and attractive annual calendar and, to my amazement, in all the colors of the rainbow!  I did test drive it for a week before Christmas (the pink one obviously) and found it light, slim and good looking in a suit.  I even got a compliment which is more than I've gotten on most of my current collection.

A month after Christmas, I did want to know if the kids enjoyed the watches I got them and so asked their opinions on it.  My nephew, a strong and silent sort, grunted (boys amirite?) But my seven year old niece had many thoughts.

Niece: " There's something wrong with it, Uncle @Edge168n ."

Me (with great consternation): "Oh? Is it broken?  Should I return it?"

Niece: "It's off by ten seconds from the school clock.  Which is right, my watch or the school ?"

Me: "Well, before giving it to you, Uncle @Edge168n made sure to set your watch to US standard time on the time.gov website.  You are about as accurate a timekeeper as anyone can be right now."

Niece (with great and obvious pleasure): "So I'm more right than the school clock?"

You are indeed. Well done, you clever girl.

Freestyle shark mini (30mm or so)

Freestyle Watches - Shark Mini Clip – L2 Outside

Seen on my friend's 8 year old boy's wrist. 

I think one of the odd bits of opportunism in the watch world is the emergence of brightly colored boutique watch brands that try to sell fairly standard features (like rotating timing bezels) as these great innovations for the kids markets. 

This is not to say that the designs are bad.  Far from it , they're by and large great.  But being the father of two rambunctious girls (and a third on the way), I have very strong opinions about required features for a kids watch.  I like sapphire crystals as much as the next guy, bright colors keep everyone engaged and big Arabic numerals are a must.

But the most important feature, by far, is water resistance.  Kids get wet, constantly, and I often find my children drenched all sorts of things.  Just this morning, I found my youngest with half her forearm down in a big jar of Vaseline.  30m of WR ain't cutting it.

Freestyle is a brand of watches rooted in 80s surf culture, specializing in watches with decent water resistance (100m), simple and durable nylon straps, and the notable ability to use the pushers under water. 

The freestyle shark mini is a chronograph/countdown timer/calendar/dual timer/alarm with a surprisingly good nylon strap and clasp system in an very kid friendly 30mm with nearly standard 16mm lug widths. I honestly mistook it at first for a pint sized G-Shock. It all screams "watch made by an enthusiast except for a kid" and I love it.

The only complaint I have is the price, a not-rock-bottom $65 but even then I tend to think that well designed objects deserve a premium.

And I'm sure I could find a Casio of some sort that did the same as this, but probably not in the same kid friendly sizes.

When I asked his dad (a G-Shock GA700 wearer) about it, he shrugged and said it was cheap and super durable and was for the inevitable digging around in the dirt his kid was going to do.

This might be my next watch for my girls, assuming I can get them wear it.

Casio Duro MDV106  (Pepsi)

Casio] Blue Duro with Pepsi bezel : r/Watches

Worn by a tall and lanky 14 year old.  When asked about it, he noted that it was his choice, that he liked the leaping Marlin logo, Bill Gates wears one, and that he enjoyed turning the 120 click bezel instead of having a fidget spinner.  God bless our kids, because this is 1000 times more honest than any watch enthusiast has ever been about liking a watch.  He did mention that the rubber strap rubbed his wrist quite a bit and wasn't sure what to do about it.

There isn't much that I could add to what others have said but I have to say.  This is one hell of a watch for the money.  It's simple and stylish, wears well and is pretty much perfect for any trouble a young man might find himself in.

It wears smaller than the headline numbers (taking some pages out of Seiko's books with the short 48mm lug to lug and a low height of 12mm) and generally looks good and feels good on wrist.

Whenever one of my non watch friends becomes a new father, I tend to buy them one of these as a gift.  Good lume is rather essential for those late nights as a new father and i think every dad needs all the gear he can lay hands on to get through a 3am feeding.

I sent the kid off with a cheap FKM waffle strap off of AliExpress which he has found infinitely more comfortable.  He's since texted back wondering where he could find a blue one to match the bezel.

My web draws ever tighter.

Invicta pro diver automatic (two tone)

FS: Invicta 8927OB Two Tone Pro-Diver Watch Automatic Seiko NH35 |  WatchUSeek Watch Forums

Worn by the above's tall and lanky 16 year old brother. 

I have talked often of my love for the two tone Rolex Submariner, particularly the Bluesy.  It took me a long time to appreciate two tone and 

I don't have a story about this watch, sadly, aside from the fact that I'm fairly certain my own collecting career started with a pro diver.  It's a lovely watch, well executed and well priced.  I hope it is a doorway to further collecting.

Seiko Recraft SNKM97

SEIKO] SNKM97 A personal favourite : r/Watches

Seen on the wrist of a recent (female) high school graduate.  

A couple weeks ago, I waxed poetically on the 70s glory of the Glashutte Original Seventies Panorama date, a watch that captured my imagination in a way that I can't quite explain.  Maybe it was the sunburst grey dial or the TV shape of the case that stirred those feelings but regardless it has stuck in my mind since.

And just as those feelings began to fade, another special from the high 70s burst into view, this time in emerald green and flashy gold.  This Seiko would be at home at a disco or a roller skating rink 

Are high schoolers this fashionable these days?  Or maybe it's unfashionable because I, an old person, like it so much?  My brain hurts.

Regardless of its coolness or uncoolness to the youths, I absolutely love the way this watch looks.  In the metal, it's so much more vibrant than the renders would make it seem and they framed it fantastically with a mostly brushed case and high polish lugs leading into the brushed outer link, high polish inner link bracelet.  Occasionally having this sort of contrast does make it look like Seiko tried to slap on any bracelet they could fit onto the watch, but in this case it looks like a deliberate design choice, with bands of brushed, then polished, then brushed then polished.  It's just so freaking cool.

Image

I just checked the prices over at Jomashop and at $140ish the value Seiko is providing seems like a callback as well.  I don't think you could be unhappy taking a flyer on this as a watch intended to make an occasional fashion statement.

I asked the high schooler about it and she shrugged and said she liked the green a lot.  Fair enough.  I like the green a lot too.

What cool watches (kid appropriate or not) did you see this week?

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I had a two-fer this week. If I had been more attentive and not worried about my own watches it would have been a three-fer.

I went to my second watch maker to pick up three and drop off three (if that seems excessive don't mention it). I picked up the Welsbro that I posted about. It got a new crystal. I don't like wearing watches with cracked crystals, even if the crack is barely noticeable. I worry that moisture will deteriorate an already old watch. When I got to the counter it was already occupied by another watch nerd (enthusiast). I could tell by his animated gesticulations. He was doing what I usually do, explaining what weird old watch he was either bringing in or picking up. He was picking up two. One like this:

Picture 1 of 11

and one like this:

Picture 1 of 12

He had another one and was digging in the $5 strap bin (all loose) for a 20mm for a watch that I could not see. We talked about his Zenith and my Welsbro as though they were equal watches. He liked the military styling of the Welsbro, memories of his father, etc. I am sure that he bought something off of Chrono24 to fill that need.

I will say that the OP looked to be very early, and small, and I was surprised how much I liked it. I will eventually have to have one, an old one.

M-I-I-I-C-K-E-Y by Anna Key on Dribbble
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Aurelian

I had a two-fer this week. If I had been more attentive and not worried about my own watches it would have been a three-fer.

I went to my second watch maker to pick up three and drop off three (if that seems excessive don't mention it). I picked up the Welsbro that I posted about. It got a new crystal. I don't like wearing watches with cracked crystals, even if the crack is barely noticeable. I worry that moisture will deteriorate an already old watch. When I got to the counter it was already occupied by another watch nerd (enthusiast). I could tell by his animated gesticulations. He was doing what I usually do, explaining what weird old watch he was either bringing in or picking up. He was picking up two. One like this:

Picture 1 of 11

and one like this:

Picture 1 of 12

He had another one and was digging in the $5 strap bin (all loose) for a 20mm for a watch that I could not see. We talked about his Zenith and my Welsbro as though they were equal watches. He liked the military styling of the Welsbro, memories of his father, etc. I am sure that he bought something off of Chrono24 to fill that need.

I will say that the OP looked to be very early, and small, and I was surprised how much I liked it. I will eventually have to have one, an old one.

M-I-I-I-C-K-E-Y by Anna Key on Dribbble

Two amazing spots this week for you!  I particularly love that zenith and have occasionally thought about buying the 50th anniversary re-edition.  I have enough chronographs at this moment, so I am holding out for the exact right one.  So a desire deferred.

I have to say, I absolutely loved your Welsbro (a wonderful history you wrote on that one) and share you occasional thoughts on buying an old watch brand, if only to have an interesting story to tell.

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I got my kids Parchie Pals.  They've been relegated to the bottom of their toy boxes.  Maybe worn once?  There's no hope for these kids.

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HotWatchChick69

I got my kids Parchie Pals.  They've been relegated to the bottom of their toy boxes.  Maybe worn once?  There's no hope for these kids.

Hah, I feel that!  I almost bought my nieces and nephews Parchies, but the water resistance felt low to me and my wife reminded me that most kids these days don't read analog dials well (which feels horrendous).  But at least they're real watches, instead of, you know, smartwatches!

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Excellent job as always. Digging that Seiko, but love seeing kids enjoying watches. 

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AllTheWatches

Excellent job as always. Digging that Seiko, but love seeing kids enjoying watches. 

I figured this WiTW was going to be a lighthearted one with mostly digitals, etc and a couple of cute stories.  And I love it when kids get into watches.

But I didn't expect to see a watch I actually wanted.  That Seiko is so good looking for not very much money at all.

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”More right than the school clock” indeed. I honestly remember feeling like that in grade school with my Ironman. 

Image

-Gotta love a good Bazooka Joe shout out. Ah, to go back to the times of rock hard gum and slap bracelets. Maybe it‘s nostalgia and maybe it’s sleep deprivation, but I can confirm a giant bucket was just ordered for the office. 

Image

Great post as always and I’ll toast to at least one of our offspring embracing this wonderful and stupid love of little wrist machines. May we always be more right than the school clock. 

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You were more right than the school clock!

Maybe it‘s nostalgia and maybe it’s sleep deprivation, but I can confirm a giant bucket was just ordered for the office. 

Definitely sleep deprivation.  They are unimaginably worse than you think.  I can't remember where I heard this term from (so I am appropriating it for my own devious purposes) but they are the ultimate pixie-food.  Much like their namesake, the pixie stick, Bazooka Joe is amazing where you're a kid and literally impossible to chew when you're an adult. 

I’ll toast to at least one of our offspring embracing this wonderful and stupid love of little wrist machines

@HotWatchChick69 has already admitted defeat and I'm pretty close.  Your parenting skills are now on the line.  Don't let us down!

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My nephew has been wearing the Timex x Todd Snyder field watch I got him for his birthday last year, completely unprompted. It was a BNIB second hand purchase, and I will confess, it was originally for me. I paid “cents on the dollar” for it as our Trans-Atlantic cousins would say, and considering it hadn’t been out long, it was a disgusting price. eBay search “limited edition Timex” and sometimes you find some bargains, amongst the overpriced M79 Hypebeasts and the obscenely desirable Camper x Snow Peak.

I couldn’t justify keeping it considering how many field watches I owned at the time (and had yet to own as well), but I am glad to see him wearing it.

I bought my niece a pink F91-W, but she doesn‘t wear it. I think she wants something a bit more substantial, but then again, she also wants a pony. I’m not sure I’m going to stretch to a Reverso to tie in with the equine theme, and I’ll have to wait and see if she aquires an actual interest in watches before getting her something a bit more traditional. I've left her the Bubble Lucifer in my will, she would rock that.