Watches in the Wild (Weekly Digest)

Disclaimer: Picture is the watch I wore most this weekend and is for the engagement.

This is the second in what I hope is a semi regular digest of cool watches I happened to see.  Thanks to @Faz2.0 for the encouragement and apologies to @uhrensohn for stealing the idea (from his post https://www.watchcrunch.com/uhrensohn/posts/watches-in-the-real-world-16253 ).

First watches in the wild is here.

https://www.watchcrunch.com/Edge168n/posts/watches-in-the-wild-wedding-edition-15574 

It should be noted I am a dedicated wrist starer and a joyful pursuer of watch conversations.  While it rarely completely blows up in my face, I do endure bashful smiles and incredibly awkward silences most of the time.

Still, I think I enjoy watch spotting almost as much as I enjoy watch collecting.  It is my hope that people chime in with watches that they happened to see in the wild.

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.

It's been a pretty decent watch week for me!  Highlights below.

Junghans Meister Chronoscope Grey Dial

SEXY~JUNGHANS ANTHRACITE MEISTER CHRONOSCOPE~FULL SET – RETROWATCHGUY

Seen at a garden party on the wrist of a distant acquaintance.

**Beginneth Long Aside** I don't understand Bauhaus as a design movement. Well, that's not entirely clear.  I get the entire unification of design and industrialization to allow for mass production with individual artistic vision.  The end result is a lot of geometric shapes, symmetry and spacing.  Minimal, aesthetically pleasing, and functional.  All fan favorites.

Like, maybe a better way of putting it is, I don't understand what separates good minimalism from bad minimalism.  Like why is Junghans good minimalism in watches and Daniel Wellington bad?  It does not compute for me and I kinda feel dumb for not understanding it.  **Endeth Long Aside**

Anyway, the Meister Chronoscope is an attractive watch that feels and looks like a flying saucer on the wrist.  Like I know the numbers say it's a 41mm watch but it looks oddly large (probably because of the lack of a real bezel).

Still, I love the look of this one even though I doubt I'd ever wear one.  I also tend to think that the Meister Chronoscope is much more attractive than it's  cousin, the Max Bill, particularly due to the sword hands, amazing 3D dial, and button rather than pump pushers for the chronograph function.

Nomos Club Campus Absolute Grey and Future Orange

Nomos Club Campus Absolute Grey & Future Orange in 36 and 38 millimeter -  Monochrome Watches

Property of a dear watch collecting friend.  I knew he owned one but had never seen it in the metal until now.

@roberto 's love California dial aside, this one had special resonance as it was purchased as a momento of the birth of his first child

I think the alternating metal grey dial, orange seconds hand, and Arabic numerals surrounded by orange borders make this a dress watch stunner.

I'd probably be looking very hard at picking up this one if not for the manual winding and those extended Nomos lugs.

Longines Avigation Bigeye in Steel 

Weekend-On-The-Wrist: The Longines Avigation BigEye, ref L2.816.4 — Rover  Haven Straps

Worn by a business partner in a meeting.  

Cards on the table, I've always been a little prejudiced against the BigEye.  The Breguet Type XX is one of my very favorite chronographs in the entire world and the Longines has historically felt like an inferior carbon copy, sans the timing bezel.

The Collector's Corner - Revisiting the Breguet Type XX 3800ST

(Yes, yes they're both based off of a type of WW2 pilots chronograph, so it's like complaining about how one type A flieger copied another type A flieger.  My prejudices are stupid.)

But seeing it in person has made me rethink my stance a bit.  Obviously the movement, finishing and particulars will be superior in a $7-10k at retail watch versus a $2k at retail watch.  But the military heritage does make me wonder if the Longines is closer to the (original) designer's intentions.

It is tough, rugged and big.  It also works pretty well with anything from a leather bomber jacket to a suit.  It lacks a lot of the luxury flourishes of the Breguet.  And perhaps that just makes it better.  I am changing my mind on the internet.  Feel free to judge me.

Citizen Eco-drive Chrono CA4485-85E 

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Worn by my pastor.  I am not really a big fan of blacked out watches but this one was enjoyable.  The feeling it gives is less military-sinister and more Beatnik with the bright white tachymeter, and blue accented seconds hands and pushers.  I dig it.

Shinola Lake Michigan Monster 

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Worn by an acquaintance.  I feel like I know a lot of Shinola wearers and gave never quite understood the hate the brand has attracted.  I agree the name is a little silly (shoe polish anyone?) but if I judged watches based on their names, I'd never get anything.

The Lake Michigan Monster is a little large for me personally at 43mm but the midnight blue dial is very attractive and the bezel clicks very nicely.  My only complaint is the handset which feels a little anonymous, though I like the teardrop lollipop seconds.

It's a very solidly built diver which, with a tweak or two, could be a design hit.

SKX009 on NATO

Transform Your Seiko SKX009 With These Straps! (Updated 2021) | WatchGecko

Seen at the playground.  The SKX case shape is probably the most recognizable in the entire world short of a Rolex Oyster case, with the big case but short lug to lug. 

I didn't manage to get the story behind this watch (awkward conversation) but it is still a classic worthy of praise

What interesting watches did you see this week?

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Just responding to the Bauhaus remarks: phrasing this as "good" vs "bad" minimalism is perhaps not quite the right way to look at it, especially as there other reasons people would be unhappy with DW that get muddled up with pure design issues.

If you remove the branding from a minimalist designed product, do you still have something that appears to have been consciously designed, or do you get a generic product? Whether this is good or bad depends on what you want.  The former sounds more premium, but then: many people that are drawn to minimalist designs prefer to blend in, and that you do better with a generic product. DW falls into that category.

Junghans watches [well, their Max Bill and Meister] do not look generic. They are minimalist and yet distinct. I'm not so sure I'd give Nomos the same pass, their distinctiveness relies for my liking a bit too much on the font they use.

Another example of a minimalist and yet distinct design are type-A fliegers. They are instantly recognizable and yet their design is very simple.

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uhrensohn

Just responding to the Bauhaus remarks: phrasing this as "good" vs "bad" minimalism is perhaps not quite the right way to look at it, especially as there other reasons people would be unhappy with DW that get muddled up with pure design issues.

If you remove the branding from a minimalist designed product, do you still have something that appears to have been consciously designed, or do you get a generic product? Whether this is good or bad depends on what you want.  The former sounds more premium, but then: many people that are drawn to minimalist designs prefer to blend in, and that you do better with a generic product. DW falls into that category.

Junghans watches [well, their Max Bill and Meister] do not look generic. They are minimalist and yet distinct. I'm not so sure I'd give Nomos the same pass, their distinctiveness relies for my liking a bit too much on the font they use.

Another example of a minimalist and yet distinct design are type-A fliegers. They are instantly recognizable and yet their design is very simple.

DW is a weird one, to my eye they seem generic but not unattractive, but the quality obviously is terrible which probably is the real issue

Generally, I think the generic comment makes the most sense to me.  Junghans, by and large, does not look generic to me.  I find them incredibly identifiable.

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I love these posts. I also try to start a conversation when I spot a watch. I've chatted with neighbors about their Nomos Metro and Omega Speedmaster in our small 27 unit condo building. 

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Sinnguy

I love these posts. I also try to start a conversation when I spot a watch. I've chatted with neighbors about their Nomos Metro and Omega Speedmaster in our small 27 unit condo building. 

Love this!  More watch talk is great!

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I was in court today. My client was wearing a modern Elgin. He told me that he owned three. It was large and shiny. I gave him the quick history of Elgin until 1968. I don't know if he was impressed. My clients are used to my tangents.

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Aurelian

I was in court today. My client was wearing a modern Elgin. He told me that he owned three. It was large and shiny. I gave him the quick history of Elgin until 1968. I don't know if he was impressed. My clients are used to my tangents.

I didn't even know there were modern Elgins!

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Edge168n

I didn't even know there were modern Elgins!

They are very inexpensive quartz watches made in China. M.Z. Berger owns the names of Elgin, Waltham, and Gruen. I wonder what Swatch, Richemont, or Seiko could do with any of those brands. Having seen what Citizen has done to Wittnauer, maybe I don't want to.

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Aurelian

They are very inexpensive quartz watches made in China. M.Z. Berger owns the names of Elgin, Waltham, and Gruen. I wonder what Swatch, Richemont, or Seiko could do with any of those brands. Having seen what Citizen has done to Wittnauer, maybe I don't want to.

I feel like the problem those brands face is that design wise, they're pretty dressy.  Its not really on trend for a casual world.

Still, I feel like Swatch could use a mid tier dress watch brand.  God knows the ones they have are pretty anonymous.

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Edge168n

I feel like the problem those brands face is that design wise, they're pretty dressy.  Its not really on trend for a casual world.

Still, I feel like Swatch could use a mid tier dress watch brand.  God knows the ones they have are pretty anonymous.

Elgin's biggest selling watch for the last decade of their classic period was the simple "Sportsman". Update it with a little ruggedness and water resistance and you might have something. Swatch was very selective in what they pushed of Hamilton's heritage. If you had told someone in 1960 that Hamilton would be known for field watches in 60 years they would have been incredulous.

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Wonderful weekly snapshot of the watches you've seen "in the wild."

Here are some models I saw this week here in Qatar.

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Complete Calendar #vacheronconstantin 

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I noticed a guy wearing this watch at the mall. It was dazzlingly beautiful.

Luminox Navy Seal Dive Watch #luminox 

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I work on a military base, so I saw a lot of military-inspired watches. The guy wearing this one was having lunch in the dining hall. I asked him about his watch, and he was happy to tell me all about it. Nice guy and nice (if very big) watch.

Marathon Field Watch #marathon 

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Another military watch, but this time a field watch. I saw this one from a distance, but it definitely piqued my interest. 

I see a ton of Apple watches here as well, but I never know the model or take the time to talk to the wearer. 

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watchobsessed

Wonderful weekly snapshot of the watches you've seen "in the wild."

Here are some models I saw this week here in Qatar.

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Complete Calendar #vacheronconstantin 

Image

I noticed a guy wearing this watch at the mall. It was dazzlingly beautiful.

Luminox Navy Seal Dive Watch #luminox 

Image

I work on a military base, so I saw a lot of military-inspired watches. The guy wearing this one was having lunch in the dining hall. I asked him about his watch, and he was happy to tell me all about it. Nice guy and nice (if very big) watch.

Marathon Field Watch #marathon 

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Another military watch, but this time a field watch. I saw this one from a distance, but it definitely piqued my interest. 

I see a ton of Apple watches here as well, but I never know the model or take the time to talk to the wearer. 

Yes, this is what I'm talking about!  I bet watch spotting in Qatar is as crazy as it comes!

I've worn that very model of VC56 before.  It's absolutely gorgeous.

I didn't even know Marathon made watches like that.  It looks very Khaki Field (in a good way).

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Edge168n

Yes, this is what I'm talking about!  I bet watch spotting in Qatar is as crazy as it comes!

I've worn that very model of VC56 before.  It's absolutely gorgeous.

I didn't even know Marathon made watches like that.  It looks very Khaki Field (in a good way).

Yeah, I've seen some crazy watches here. I'll try to keep a mental tally for my response to next week's post.