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Thread: Life after the 'exit watch'

  1. #1
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Life after the 'exit watch'

    At the beginning of the year I embarked an a process of re-evaluating how I live and this has a particular focus on material possessions. As it stands now my wardrobe is significantly slimmed down, with the exception of a small selection of work related text books virtually all reading matter is held electronically on multiple devices, I have 4 CD's and the rest of my music is also in electronic format. I could comfortably fit all essentials and possessions I care about in my tiny VW UP.

    Its been a liberating experience and I feel a lot calmer in not having the accumulated detritus of over 60 years on the planet surrounding me in my living space.

    Its a different matter with Mrs V of course, who would struggle to cram all of her shoes into a LWB Transit. However, thats her business and I don't let it impinge on my existence.

    As regards watches then the same applies. I can only wear one at a time and having multiples, resulting from a never ending churn or buying, selling and looking for the next best thing was becoming increasingly irritating. I resolved to only own one watch at any given time. For must of the year its been the CWC T20. The size I like, light and unobtrusive, no servicing needed, legible dial without reading glasses and relatively easy to move on if another watch needs to take its place. Worn 24/7 - only taken off when I shower.



    So where does this leave an interest in watches?

    Well, for the moment at least, there is no searching for the next thing to add to the collection or agonizing over the minor details I dont like in relation to the latest release of this or that. Thats a huge amount of time and effort saved that can be directed at more interesting or productive pursuits. I'm still interested in watches and will look at things on the internet, read posts on here and where appropriate have a discussion with people. For example at a wedding earlier this week I had an interesting conversation with someone wearing a SARB017 Alpinist. I reminisced about the three or four I had owned. The desire to buy another was not reignited though.

    So, now I just seem to take a passing interest - as opposed to reading / thinking about watches every day. And Im OK with that.

    I'm not advocating this for anyone else - just reflecting on things from my own perspective. We all have to follow our own path. .


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    Last edited by Velorum; 11th July 2021 at 15:31.

  2. #2
    Master bond's Avatar
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    Great outlook! Free of the so called 'illness' of buying dozens and dozens of watches like a badge of so called wis honour. How many times does one have to buy the same model before insanity and mundanity kicks in ? The merry-go-round of buying and selling.

    I mean you can achieve a little transcendence just by having quite simply 'one watch'. Most fellas back in the day had a watch for life -end of. Not a wardrobe full like it's a fashion parade. I too have whittled away multiples of the same watch or any surplus not worn. It's cathartic and refreshing.





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  3. #3
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    An interesting and thought provoking post Ian, I thought I hadn't seen you about here for a good few weeks. I've been on a similar path for the last 9 months or so due to a change in circumstances. Not as drastic as you mind, but I've given 2 bikes, frames, wheels and boxes of parts to a local cycle charity that has 2 or 3 shops and trains younguns to a recognised standard. Also loads of clothes to charity, tools, a couple of guitars, and got my camera gear down to 1 body and 3 lenses. I could probably get my whole lot of stuff in a LWB transit now! As you say, it's very liberating to have so much less clutter and stuff to be bothered with. Mind you, the watches haven't been affected yet! Good to see you here again.

  4. #4
    Master bigbaddes's Avatar
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    sounds like its working for you and thats the main thing.

    we downsized and relocated 2 years ago. herself now does a bit of voluntary work and i do a bit of agency/contract work 3 or 4 days a week so as not to touch the savings pot such as it is.

    never been a hardcore collector always just had a few watches. now at 7 which is about 2 too many. one needs cosmetic work and a service & stem/tube replacement making it hugely uneconomic - it'll get run into the ground. going to charity auction a recent raffle prize once i have had a bit of enjoyment out of it. so that'll be 5. probably not the final 5 but ok for now. still mouch about the interweb but only buy on a eureka type road to damascus moment.

    furniture , books , music , clothing , attic junk, garage junk, shed junk , inherited junk , more inherited junk - there was a huge cull before the move - since the move we have steadily got rid of quite a bit more. its odd the stuff charity shops wont take. unmarked beech dining table but no chairs they wont touch, near mint thomaspink / hawes&curtis shirts - nope! might try the charity shops in st andrews they have a better class of stuff apparently.

    what a relief generally - possibly the trick is not to throw the baby out with the bath water - we kept a car each just so we dont end up tripping over each other. have lost weight and dont drink anything like what i used to, am fitter now than in the last couple of decades.

    we still have lots of stuff - much less junk though. i got out of the worst of the rat race at 50 because i thought it might be nice to see 70. 2 years down the line and no plans to pull on the whiskers and long tail again that is for sure !!!

    this wont work for everyone, we have been fortunate (and bloody hard working) but i recommend you at least think about it. this ain't pac man - no insert coin to replay !!!


    P.S. yeah, ok, the OP was talking about watches and i went all meaning of life but just for perspective was at 28 watches at one point (i have no idea why now!).
    Last edited by bigbaddes; 11th July 2021 at 16:02. Reason: yah, like totally ...

  5. #5
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Similar to you OP but for more pragmatic reasons of moving countries gives an opportunity to have a major reset. I’ve already sold all my camera equipment and started selling on eBay various items. Just gave a family heirloom antique furniture to my niece. Watches: I think she will be inheriting my fathers air-king-date (early). Sold off two of my watches for a fund buffer for extraordinarily expenses, so down to 5 (PP,VC,Rolex x2,Omega). Just deciding what things to keep what to ditch - a lifetimes “stuff” is hard to let go. We are keeping only one bookshelf of books ditching two others is hard. Wife’s sold 2 sets of tea sets. My bike is on eBay. Keeping one car (MX5). List goes on.

    No need to get anal about the process - it’s cathartic though.

    Martyn

    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”. HHGTTG


  6. #6
    Master bond's Avatar
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    I think the replies are admirable in our culture of more and accumulation of 'stuff'.

    I'm no Captain Planet but I try to do my bit.

    I find its more about the personal head clutter of having multiples than actually affecting the planet directly.



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  7. #7
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Hooray for your success! I did something similar (with watches) about ten years ago. Since then, my collection has grown again, but thankfully at a lower price point.

  8. #8
    That's a really nice post and a much-needed counterpoint to the general celebration of acquisition that fuels many fora and social media channels.

    It's quite hard to pop into even this splendid place and post something (you hope is) horological interesting, without being swamped by the reveals and next purchase chasing mentality. Or the many angry arguments. Which these days, all far far outweigh the other content. Hence I regularly log off here, sometimes for years. This seems to quell the "need" to chase stuff, lowers the desire to engage, and I think, is a good reset in general.

    Small related thought: Although I don't have FB/IG/Twitter accounts, I have been watching too much YouTube lately, and I think the same applies. Possibly from a link on here, I found myself devouring some English bloke's channel about coffee. Really curiously watchable. I ended up at a local specialty coffee bean place, buying good beans and a grinder. An especially odd decision for someone who doesn't drink coffee...

    We are all influenced whether we admit it or not. If anyone is thinking of cutting down on watches, I would gently suggest cutting down on fora or related social media channels a bit first. It makes it a lot easier. And there are other interesting things you can do with the, well, time.

    TT

  9. #9
    I had a humongous de-clutter a decade ago and it improved my life considerably, but looking around now I see the need to redo the exercise again.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  10. #10
    Master Possu's Avatar
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    A lovely post, thanks. Just earlier this week I checked if you had been at all active, as I found myself missing your posts. Very nice to hear that you are well and the search for inner peace is paying off.

  11. #11
    Master
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    I have quite a few ‘exit’ objects, not least some furniture I chose twenty years ago and still enjoy. Same with my only mechanical watch. Being restless is often self-defeating. But choose well….know it actually reflects your wishes through lifetime. It just depends on different characters. I’m content with one watch. There will not be another. I assume….
    Incidentally, for ‘possu’ in Finland, many of my best bits of furniture are all Finnish. They’ve worn well.
    Last edited by paskinner; 12th July 2021 at 10:19.

  12. #12
    Grand Master
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    Well done OP, a cathartic and admirable exercise completed. I realised recently that subconsciously I have been looking for 'the one' that will end the sickness of constant buying and selling but actually it will never exist. Over the last two weeks I've been monitoring the WTB section and selling-off my watches to people who actually want them and I've one left to move on (SBBN033).

    Like you I've slimmed down my wardrobe too with just the essentials that I know I'll wear to death remaining. I now find myself admiring watches in real-life via AD windows but not craving them due to the inflated prices. I was looking at an IWC on a green nato in the window at Berry's on Saturday and thought it looked amazing so I came home and put a green nato on my Speedbird III - voila!

    I now accept that I'll never be a one-watch man but also that I don't need a bulging watch box either. It's a much more relaxing disposition I can tell you!

    Like you I enjoy reading posts here and watching the odd YouTube vid but that's about it now.

  13. #13
    Master
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    Thanks for sharing those thoughts Ian. I've not bought anything watch related for ages, and nor do I even wear a watch every day now. I'm yet to move anything on, but perhaps a refocus is sensible.

  14. #14
    Master Possu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    I have quite a few ‘exit’ objects, not least some furniture I chose twenty years ago and still enjoy. Same with my only mechanical watch. Being restless is often self-defeating. But choose well….know it actually reflects your wishes through lifetime. It just depends on different characters. I’m content with one watch. There will not be another. I assume….
    Incidentally, for ‘possu’ in Finland, many of my best bits of furniture are all Finnish. They’ve worn well.
    That’s interesting. We used to have many good designers back in the day. Most quality furniture were designed for and made by Artek I suppose. I like and have some Artek pieces designed by Alvar Aalto myself.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I'm always trying to buy more stuff!

    I'm not suited to the monastic life.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  16. #16
    Master
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    Sounds like a good place to be. Decluttering has become a common phenomenon. I can imagine the appeal. Haven't taken the first step ...... yet.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using TZ-UK mobile app

  17. #17
    Great stuff. I was always interested in your posts about perlon straps, and they convinced me to give it a go on my smaller military type watches. Glad to see you've chosen that for your 'exit strap'

  18. #18
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    It's a healthy outlook.

    I am occasionally sent philosophical content and some of it places a great emphasis on reducing clutter.

    I'm about to embark on the same kind of thing.

    The only thing you might want to consider is keeping a nice glass table on which you can rest your watch when you're not wearing it.

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    great post and topic.

    I have attempted similar recently and it is refreshing!! I am yet to get down to one watch though but enjoying looking and reviewing watches with that end goal in mind.

  20. #20
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    I feel much the same way, I've gotten rid of all my pukka watches save my 16610 (which I just can't bring myself to part with) and a couple of quartz cheapies languishing unworn (an Apple Watch S3 and a Q Timex that I'll no doubt bung on the SC at some point). My PRS-10 is what I happily wear most of the time these days. Nice piece of classic design, easy to read, unpretentious and unobtrusive.

    My eye keeps lingering on Reversos, but I just can't see myself ever buying another pricey piece. Feel I've rather grown out of the whole business.

  21. #21
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possu View Post
    That’s interesting. We used to have many good designers back in the day. Most quality furniture were designed for and made by Artek I suppose. I like and have some Artek pieces designed by Alvar Aalto myself.
    Yes, Alvar Aalto webbing chair (bought about 1968) direct from Artek. Then the ‘tank’ design by AAlto, imported directly from me back to London. Several artek benches and tables, my Finnish partner (Elisabeth Suomalainen ) died in Helsinki from breast cancer. We buried her ashes from her little rowing boat she loved, off Helsinki. Peaceful and still like those lovely coastal waters.
    So, all the beautiful Artek designs around our home. Each a sculpture which reminds me ……yes, things do and must endure.
    Last edited by paskinner; 12th July 2021 at 17:16.

  22. #22
    Master Possu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Yes, Alvar Aalto webbing chair (bought about 1968) direct from Artek. Then the ‘tank’ design by AAlto, imported directly from me back to London. Several artek benches and tables, my Finnish partner (Elisabeth Suomalainen ) died in Helsinki from breast cancer. We buried her ashes from her little rowing boat she loved, off Helsinki. Peaceful and still like those lovely coastal waters.
    So, all the beautiful Artek designs around our home. Each a sculpture which reminds me ……yes, things do and must endure.
    I’m sorry about your partner. The service sounds like a beautiful one, very much something I would appreciate myself.

    The tank chair with the zebra upholstery is a personal favourite of mine. It is as it is with all proper quality items: they endure both functionally and aesthetically. Goes well with the gist of this thread.

  23. #23
    Journeyman
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    very thought provoking post OP, Food for thought, love the idea of simplifying life and unloading so many burdensome
    and unnecessary things

  24. #24
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Well done OP.

    Currently decluttering my life as we speak. Been ongoing since lockdown but still a long way to go.

    Too much “stuff” isn’t good for the soul imho.

  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    Great thread, thanks OP and all.

    I can't profess to have got very far with decluttering but I'm enjoying a move towards buying fewer / longer lasting things (repairing more etc too).

    In some ways watches fit well with that. My main watch has done nine years but after a service it is good as new and should happily outlast me. ...but I also have 8 other watches. That's not a huge number and they are all very modest by forum standards - but it does feel like a lot of 'stuff'.

    Yet I often feel a bit of a fraud here for not having constant, interesting, incomings to announce. Perhaps we need a non-watch-purchasing section to encourage more mindful horological discussion, eg:

    - contemplate the lugs
    - straps you are grateful for
    - three case back features that make you smile
    - imagine you are floating in a calm blue enamel dial, how does it feel, what indices can you see?

    Etc etc?

    R

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    That's a really nice post and a much-needed counterpoint to the general celebration of acquisition that fuels many fora and social media channels.

    It's quite hard to pop into even this splendid place and post something (you hope is) horological interesting, without being swamped by the reveals and next purchase chasing mentality.

    TT


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  26. #26
    Craftsman
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    Great post, I have a flat, and storage locker full of stuff I have accumulated in my 46 years on this planet. I need to find time to clear it out.

    In terms of watches, I have maybe 10, all cheapie beaters apart from a couple. In my mind I want to reduce to one of each 'kind' so I can still have choice.

    1 chrono, 1 digital, 1 diver or something like that. If I manage it, I will let you know.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Glad you're cured OP. There are some shopping trips that turn out to be rabbit holes, and the search for the right watch is one of the deepest. It's not infinitely deep though, and it's good to remember you can just pick one, instead of spending the rest of your days looking for the perfect watch, and being unsatisfied with the one you have. For most of us though, thinking about the different options and chasing after them is simply a pleasant way to fill your mind with pretty pictures, that are more appealing than focusing on whatever else you were supposed to be doing at the time. It's often described as a hobby, or perhaps pastime, but it's also an excellent form of procrastination. Even as I write this post, there's an ever growing list of tedious things I should be doing instead. But it's more enjoyable to think, 'Should I consolidate down to one or two or three exit watches, and if so, which ones?'

  28. #28
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post

    The only thing you might want to consider is keeping a nice glass table on which you can rest your watch when you're not wearing it.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  29. #29
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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  30. #30
    Master
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    What’s the white stuff around Aunt Sally’s mouth?

  31. #31
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    It's some cream that spurted out of Worzel's eclair when she took a cheeky nibble.
    ______

    ​Jim.

  32. #32
    Master Crispin's Avatar
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    Enjoyed reading your post, I think I may be at similar stage, thankyou for sharing your thoughts

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  33. #33
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwg663 View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    It's some cream that spurted out of Worzel's eclair when she took a cheeky nibble.
    love it

  34. #34
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post




  35. #35
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    What a great and thought-provoking post OP. It’s easy to get lost in this hobby, not actually enjoying any of the watches you own, just chasing the next watch, worrying about the ones you have, whether you should keep or sell them etc.
    I’m inspired to rethink the hobby. And even if don’t have only 1 watch, maybe just have a 2 or 3.


    T.G.

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