Duncan and I were privileged to be invited to the 50th anniversary of Rolex’ Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona celebrated at Eiseman Jewels in Northpark this evening. Eiseman expanded their store substantially to have a Rolex only area. This is noteworthy because Rolex is becoming much more selective in who will be an authorized dealer, much less a boutique. Omega is doing the same thing these days, so expect fewer dealers. [There is an open invitation to come by Eiseman Jewels (by Neiman’s) on Nov 9th 10am-6pm if you are interested in watches]
We were warmly greeted by Mr. Eiseman, then waiters offering champagne, wines or lime garnished spring water and platters of tiny, delicious hors d’oeuvres (unfortunately the photos didn’t turn out). I limited myself to one of each because they were sinful but delicious. The macaroni and cheese tart with a touch of mexican hot sauce, bacon wrapped scallops with a smidgen of guacamole, and miniature roast beef sandwiches were in perfect bite sized portions to not be cumbersome or messy while focusing on the featured time pieces. Upon entering the celebration, the photographers grabbed pictures and directed us to the array of gorgeous watches.
A contemplative quality
You may not be much of a watch person, so this may all sound incredibly boring. I am not nearly as well versed on them as Duncan, but I have to admit that I’m drawn to watches in a few ways. My first attraction is in a more abstract or philosophical way than as a status symbol or collector piece. I love the tradition, stories, and precision craftsmanship of the great watch makers. The older watches evoke an involuntary emotional response unlike anything else, save an antique motorcycle or race car. The newer watches capture the excitement of seeing new innovations of inspiration and evolution of movements. Incredibly good watches, regardless of age, do something that little else in life does. They provide quantifiable consistency. Holding some tangible piece of certainty in such an organic, dynamic, and diverse world seems ironically to induce a sense of timelessness and perfection.
A bit of history
Since 1903, Daytona has been known for its racing. In 1963, Rolex launched a watch with high contrast elements on the face for quick, easy reading, a tachymeter on the bezel in order to calculate speed, and a sportier look dedicated to racing drivers calling it the Daytona. Jumping 50 years, Rolex is offering this Oyster model in platinum with a gorgeous ice blue dial. You may already know that Jackie Stewart has been a Rolex Testimonee since 1969, and that Paul Newman wore his Daytona on and off the track, but nine time victor of the 24 hours of Le Mans racer Tom Kristensen said, “Motor sports is all about getting the best out of your machine, and anyone who is interested in that is also interested in mechanical watches… Each driver wants to win ‘his’ Rolex Daytona.”
But does it sing to you
As someone new to watches, one may not readily see the sometimes subtle nuances of the watches that seem to make them look all so similar at first glance. This particular evening, we had gone in specifically to look at the Blue Oyster Perpetual, the 11600, with the fluted bezel. It was very pretty. It looked good on Duncan’s wrist in size and color, but it was not until he tried on the Silver Oyster Perpetual with the smooth bezel that I heard the watch sing. Turns out that Duncan had the exact same experience and despite trying on several different styles, we found ourselves coming back to that one. We got another big smile from visiting the estate watches case, which can be much older watches still sold under warranty. The simplicity of one of them made it a classic that could easily be worn without end.
No Rolex for me
Having had all my jewelry stolen on a modeling shoot overseas, I have not built up replacements. I have very long, skinny, fingers, so rings have to be quite long to look right on me. I also don’t care to have rings just for the sake of having them. I’d rather have nothing than something I don’t really love. The same goes for watches. I’d rather have my Michael Kors and Gucci “rose gold” watches than a white or yellow gold rolex. Seriously. Remember the long, slender traits I mentioned? Well round watches just do not look that great on me. Rectangular ones are perfect. SO why am I talking about jewelry in a watch blog? More often than not, the movement in ladies’ watches makes them little more than an adornment. Finally, I have found the watch that fits all the criteria of what I want. I wanted some diamonds because I love the sparkle, but not gawdy, rectangular, but definitely rose gold. Out of all the watches out there, only Jaeger LeCoultre (PS- it is pronounced Zshae ZSHAE Luh-COO-truh I said it wrong for the longest and I even know French ;p) makes the watch I want. It also happens to have another fabulous quality- it is reversible! The one they had at Eiseman’s had two clocks, one light colored, one dark and different faces with different designs on each side. They also have them with one side being a clock, and the other side being decorated with one’s monogram. They originally did this “Reverso” style for the polo players so their watches would not get hit in the face during matches. I sure do enjoy the history behind well made watches though it’ll likely be a while until I get that dream watch. Until then, I’m doing just fine with my phone and occasionally a “rose gold” colored watch. I’ll also enjoy the first edition of the Rolex magazine, the history books, and the beautiful red leather jewelry bag while traveling for the upcoming holidays. Oh I just love goodie bags! Basically, I just think of them as awesome swag from companies not into the l337 or geekspeak.