Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sink or Surf : Lesson 1.

***Sink or Surf

The list of stuff I am completely clueless about is endless. For example, I have no idea what the difference is between AFL and NRL. I cannot tell a $500 bottle of wine from a $5 one, or even name 2 beer brands, because I don't drink. And here is another area I know nothing about: recreational drugs. I would struggle to tell a Panadol pill from ecstasy - actually I have never seen a real drug pill in my life. And embarrassingly the list goes on: from golf to surfing, from literature to classical music.

Make no mistake: I guess I can easily afford a bottle of wine, a rugby jersey or a set of titanium golf clubs and a cool surf board but the mere possession of these objects would not make me any more enlightened - until I actually make some effort to study the matter, I will remain a clueless fool. Sadly, many of watch enthusiasts - even those with large watch collections and those who can easily afford $15,000 pieces - are completely ignorant of horological matters. And even more sadly, many of them make no effort to familiarize themselves with even elementary facts. Such bizarre attitude is a twofold disaster: they do no service to themselves, nor to me.

My message is simple: learn and respect, or go away.

In today’s day and age when information is both cheap and readily available, there is no excuse to remain ignorant. To buy a $5,000 watch and doing ZERO research is simply irresponsible. To strap on your wrist a fine timepiece without having the slightest clue of what it does, how to use it, or how to properly care for it, is a sign of the utmost arrogance and stupidity. And quite frankly, I have had enough of dealing with idiots. I would rather go broke than to sell a watch to someone who talks over me, does not listen or does not care. Instead I will double my efforts to educate and provide my services to those who care and who are willing to enhance their appreciation of watches.

And if you were in my position, you would do exactly the same.

Here is the plan:
For the next few weeks I intend to produce a few short 'lessons' on elementary horology. If you are new to watches then you will appreciate them and learn a lot. If you are an advanced collector, you will still find them interesting. At the end of the lesson, there will be couple of questions so you can quiz yourself and self-assess your progress.

Lesson 1: Your mechanical wrist watch is a marvel of micro engineering

The wrist watch you wear today is nothing but a mechanical miracle.
It is the result of over 500 years of painstaking development. Countless numbers of very clever watchmakers and scientists spent their lives designing the inner mechanism; to shrink it so it could fit on your wrist and to perfect it so it can keep accurate time. There is no other mechanical device out there which is as accurate as a wrist watch, that can operate constantly for decades with no maintenance, and that can be used deep under the water or on the Moon.

The finely designed and precisely executed heart of the watch is called the escapement. This mechanical oscillator ticks five times faster than your heart, it is adjusted to compensate for change in temperature, to overcome forces of gravity, to withstand shock. Missing just one tick every 30,000 ticks would create an error greater than 4 seconds per day. No other mechanical device designed in human history can perform at such level of accuracy for so many years, 24/7. And here is one more detail: a comparison between your wrist watch and your mobile phone or your computer would not be a fair proposal. Why? Because your mobile phone is not really a watch.

Your mobile phone is merely a display, a device which displays time generated by an atomic clock, far away. On the contrary, your mechanical wrist watch actually generates its own time. This is in itself is an amazing achievement, and for that reason alone, a sophisticated watch owner would appreciate it more than any other gadget. In other words, we wear mechanical watches because they are highly sophisticated mechanical devices, which, consequently, make us bit sophisticated as well.

Take a good look at your watch. Admire it. Enjoy it. And above all - respect it.

Fill in the blanks:

A mechanical wrist watch is product of ________ years of watchmaking development.
The heart of mechanical watch is called the _________________ .

So this is it: your first lesson on horology. Stay tuned for more and if you intend to add yourself to the list of proud rebelde owners, write your answers down and memorize them.

From now on, anyone wishing to order a rebelde watch and to call himself a proud owner of a rebelde watch must be able to correctly answer these and a few more questions.

A rebelde watch is simply too precious to be handed to an ignorant owner. I also invite existing rebelde owners to voluntary undertake the 'rebelde owners test' in a few weeks time. You will pass it, you will love it and you will be proud of yourself.

Happy collecting,

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