Monday, March 18, 2013

From Hippasos to Patek: The Golden Ellipse

On today's offer we have a Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse in 18K yellow gold from the 1980s.

If you are tempted to jump and exclaim: "This has to be the ugliest watch ever!" then you are missing the most important thing about this Patek - and most likely a lot about watches in general.

Since such a strong sentiment and aesthetic assessment would only come from a forty-something-year old, allow me to put things in perspective.

Thirty years ago, you would have been a ten year old kid. The only thing you could think of was how to skip school and spend a day with your mates surfing at Cronulla. Hoping on the train with a Vegemite sandwich in your pocket and a surfboard under one arm, spending the day with Gary and Jimmy was the best thing in the world.

Yet on that very same day in 1983, at the very same time, the original owner of the said Patek Philippe watch was on a Qantas flight to Switzerland to buy his second Patek from the Gubelin shop in Geneva.

A handsome, tall, markant forty-years young Aussie then spent a couple of weeks at Saint Moritz. During the day, he was skiing some of the crispiest slopes and enjoying the mesmerizing view from Corviglia. At night, a glass of fruity and spicy Swiss merlot reflected the image of a Golden Ellipse on his wrist illuminated by flames from a log fire.

Now, I am not saying that your Cronulla day trip was anything less memorable or exciting then his $30K Patek trip to Gubelin. I am just pointing out one very painful fact: your world and his world are slightly different. You judging his watch would be equally inappropriate as him saying that a foamy surfboard from K-Mart was the ugliest board ever. Not to mention the 30 year age difference, which in itself calls for utmost RESPECT.

In some way, the mere fact that you now have an opportunity to strap the Golden Ellipse to YOUR wrist and treasure for the next couple of decades a Patek that could tell you more stories then you can imagine (if you only care to listen to it!)- is a small miracle in itself.

Of course, you too can jump on the plane today and visit the very same Gubelin store in Geneva. But as handsome, tall and charming as you may be, it is highly unlikely that anyone in Gubelin would know you by your first name. Most likely, you will be asked to step aside and join the queue of equally charming but far more enthusiastic Chinese customers.

That's life - so make the most of it. Make your mark, have fun, enjoy. But don't judge, please.

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