Expensive(r) Hobby Update

Following up on my earlier post, Expensive Hobby Update:


A new GMT pilot’s watch arrived yesterday, replacing one I bought from Costco but had to return for a refund, no more being available. This one came from Amazon and arrived in perfect condition. Now that I’ve unboxed two of ’em, I realize the first one had been a return, and suspect the original buyer damaged it before sending it back. I’ve heard of such things happening, but it hadn’t happened to me before. People suck, grrr.

The new watch is a Torgoen T9, and it has a quartz movement. The second hour hand, the red one, keeps Greenwich Mean Time on a 24-hour bezel, a feature I always wished I’d had when I flew for a living. Better late than never.

The watch behind the Torgoen is a Seiko automatic diver I bought in 2015. It’ll go back in the display case, but not for long … it’s a favorite and I wear it often.

This brings my collection up to … well, see for yourself.


The five in the display case and the one in the Seiko box are automatics: mechanical and self-winding. The other five have battery-powered quartz movements. The automatics include four Seikos, one Orient, and one Breitling; the quartz watches include two Timexes, two Casios, and the new Torgoen. The Breitling (the one with the black & gold dial) is Swiss, my one expensive watch. The Seikos, Casios, and Orient are Japanese. The Timexes have Swiss innards but their other parts are American-made and they’re put together here. The Torgoen, like the Timexes, uses a Swiss movement, but the company’s cagey about where where they’re assembled and seems to have paid Google to not give a straight answer, which makes me suspect it’s China.

Self-winding mechanical watches run down and stop when when not in use, so whenever I pull one out to wear it has to be wound and set. It’s a labor of love … I can’t help marveling at their ingenious spring-driven mechanisms and the craftsmanship that goes into them … but I have to say, since I started adding battery-powered quartzes to the rotation, I’ve come to see what so many love about them … put one aside for a week or two and it keeps running, keeping perfect time.

I used to keep the mechanicals on top of the dresser, the quartzes in a drawer below, but now they’re all on top. Well, except for the two Casios, which I think look cheap. They’re still in the drawer. I know Casio makes nice watches, but I’m not overly fond of the two I have.

I find I prefer leather straps, although the Seikos that came with metal bracelets look perfect as is and I have no plans to change them. Over time I’ve come to prefer light-colored dials over dark ones, even though the darks in my collection are stunners (especially the Breitling and the green-dial square Seiko).

As mentioned in another post, I’m a round-dial aviator and it shows in the watches I wear, which are all analog. I try to wear them all in rotation, but of course some are favorites. The new Torgoen will definitely get a lot of wrist time.

My collection’s a mixed bag. A fancier way to describe it is eclectic. I have an eclectic collection, and I think I’m ready now to stop adding to it (I hear Donna saying “yeah, right” from the other end of the house).

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