Before we know it we’ll have two years in the game. Yup, back in January of 2015 I got this party started with a short and sweet write-up about my Rolex Explorer II. Since then we’ve tried to focus on writing about people’s experience owning wristwatches.
We’d never have come this far without the brave souls who agreed to be interviewed, the horophiles who can’t get enough or without our contributors who graciously offer their talent. Thank you to everyone for supporting Watch Patina in your own way… And that especially goes for my wife, who gives me sage advice whenever I have writer’s block and always encourages my passion.
I gather people read Watch Patina because, like me, they appreciate that there’s more to watches than just their dials and movements. There’s stories about how they were acquired, there’s reasons why a brand or model is collected, there’s rationale behind flipping a watch or never letting one go… These revealing conversations happen all the time at RedBars and casual meetups, but are seldom documented on the Internet or social media – at least not in a way that’s easy to search and enjoy at your leisure. Watch Patina is the forum to share people’s relationship with watches, like my little trip down memory lane when I wrote about my first Rolex I bought at age 17 on a high school trip to Paris.
As with most adventures, the journey has been the best part of doing Watch Patina. Over the past year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to handle some extraordinary watches. Not just rare birds like James Lamdin’s “Black Lung” Doxa prototype or haute horology timepieces like an enamel-dialed Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveler, but watches that are priceless because of their sentimental value, like David’s Vintage LeCoultre and Matt’s gold-filled Navitmer. I’ve also developed a respect and appreciation for many brands after listening to proud owners like The Journe Guy.
But as amazing as the watches are, it’s really the people I’ve met along the way that have made this a rewarding endeavor. My life has truly been enriched by the people I’ve met while doing this project, including the greater watch community that’s become a part of my everyday life through Instagram.
I’ve had the privilege to get to know some watch enthusiasts rather personally – what started out as a follow on Instagram has turned into a friendship in life… Besides fueling my passion for wristwatches, the people behind the watches have inspired me to do some good in this world. Last year I was blown away by the outpouring of support Mike and his family received when he shared that his wife was battling breast cancer. Witnessing the Straps 4 A Cure fundraiser triggered something in me to want to make a difference. So this year, when we had the opportunity to help Jill and her nonprofit Lemons of Love, we jumped at the chance – and so did many of you!
This may come as a shock to you, but writing doesn’t come natural to me. I didn’t study journalism in school and I don’t consider myself to have a particularly witty mind. In the early days of Watch Patina it would take me a week to write a feature – for real. I would beat myself up trying to string together words to craft the perfect sentence. I’m happy to say I’ve gotten a little better at the art of writing and even started to find my voice…
Part of the reason I fuss so much with my writing – even today – is because we write about people. We’re not reviewing a watch or retelling a model’s history, we’re trusted with someone’s memories and portraying who they are. Nothing makes me happier than when someone says we did a good job capturing their unique story – or even better – when a family member emails us to say we nailed a character trait of their loved one to a T. These are the moments that make the copious note-taking and hours spent writing and rewriting an article worth it. All the feedback spurs me on to keep Watch Patina going – to keep writing – even though it’s not always easy to fit into my life’s to-do list.
About my life… Those of you who know me well know I’ve struggled the past few years locking in on a career. I’ve quit jobs, started new jobs and quit those jobs… Doing Watch Patina has provided me with a much-needed sense of accomplishment to make up for the lackluster results I’ve had in the real job world of late. And when it comes to finding my dream job, Watch Patina is the internship I wish I had in college. It’s opened my eyes to new career paths I might enjoy doing. We’ll see where this all leads…
I’m excited about what my future holds and I’m excited about the future of Watch Patina…
We’ll be continuing with business as usual through 2016. I’m not sure how many stories we’ll tell – only time will tell. But rest assured I have every intention for us to produce several articles per month.
As far as goals for next year… I’d like the site to undergo a facelift. If anyone reading this has website design skills and wants to help out, email us. Once the site is revamped, I’d like to produce some killer video content.
I’d like to have more like-minded contributors join the team. If you’re down to hunt cool watch stories and write something up, again, email us.
I’ve been toying with the idea of transitioning Watch Patina to The Players’ Tribune format: becoming the place for collectors to submit their personal watch story – in their own words with their own photography. What do you think of this?
And finally, there’s a really cool side venture in the works… Be on the lookout for it next month…