I believe everything in life is a journey – be it a travel journey, work journey, watch journey, etc. There are so many journeys in our life that we discover and experience an array of things along the way.
My Watch Journey Started At 10
My own watch journey began when I was 10. I was writing my Christmas wish list and dreaming about what it would be like to have a digital watch. At the time, I was quite musical, and my parents bought me a digital watch with familiar melodies like Jingle Bells and Happy Birthday amongst others. I absolutely loved that watch and am grateful even today that they got it for me.
I enjoyed looking at watches. And, at any available opportunity, I visited watch stores and read about them in magazines. I never realized it at the time that I have a love affair with watches. I am always excited to see new watches and discover more about them.
In 1990, my family and I went to Florida for three weeks for our annual summer holiday . I had roughly $100 that I could spend. I knew what I wanted to spend my money on, and was looking for the perfect watch. Just as we were about to leave Miami to London, I found it – a Seiko Alarm Chronograph. The company’s advertising slogan was “Seiko’s Ultimate Alarm Chronograph.”
Now, I was 15 in 1990, and I thought gold was the big thing. I asked my parents if they would allow me to buy it. They tried to dissuade me, saying it was expensive. However, I was insistent and was able to convince them (in 90 minutes’ time) that I really wanted it. I bought it and proudly wore that watch.
It was about a year later I came across a whole new level of watch. A Rolex. It was the Rolex Seamaster in stainless steel watch with a black dial that caught my attention. My cousin got one for his 18th birthday, and I had never seen such an elegant watch. At the time, I had no idea about luxury watches, but I promised myself I was going to buy a watch just like that – someday.
That someday took place 12 years later. I purchased my first Rolex – the Rolex Perpetual Oyster Datejust watch in a stainless steel case with a black dial. For me, it was perfect – elegant, stylish and Swiss. Do I have to say anymore? I was so happy to own and enjoy this watch.
All Watches Symbolize Something Important In My Life
Personally, every watch has a meaning. For example, my previous business partner and I were doing well in our new business and we decided to purchase a luxury timepiece. We wanted to reward ourselves for the hard work and success of building a business from nothing to something thriving.
I felt so proud then and today when I wear that watch.
While I was happy with my Rolex, I still found myself looking in watch shop windows and magazines like I did when I was a kid. After some time, I wanted the next watch and the one after that, as my eyes are constantly drawn to watches. They are consistently on my mind; my passion in life.
In 2011, I was having lunch in London with Sid Vasili, a well-known watch collector, and we started to talk about watches. I complimented Sid on his elegant timepiece, and we talked about the art of watchmaking. Our talks included Jaeger LeCoultre, as Sid had just returned from visiting their manufacturing in the Jura Mountains. It was an inspiration to hear him talk about his passion for luxury watches and his experiences in Switzerland.
It was after our conversation that I decided my next watch would be even more special.
I successfully exited my previous business in 2012, and I wanted a watch that reflected my passion for travel. I had two options: a world time watch or GMT. I opted for the world time watch, and knowing how much it meant to be, my father decided to buy it for me as a gift. This watch was expensive, and it means so much.
When I put on my Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Geographic, it’s a reflection of my passion for travel, watches and entrepreneurship. It’s also a reminder of my amazing Dad and his eternal kindness (Thanks Dad!).
Turning To Crowdfunding and Kickstarter
I haven’t bought a luxury watch since this was bought for me six years ago. That doesn’t mean, however, I’ve stopped looking. I still look all the time. My time was spent learning about crowdfunding and Kickstarter – a program that helps fund new projects, and customers called backers back a project. If the campaign has enough backers, the project’s owner can use the money to develop their product.
I am currently funding the first 300 Culem watches myself, and am interested in the array of benefits crowdfunding has to offer. (This will be covered in a future blog.) I have bought four watches through Kickstarter and wondered why I wasn’t doing this for myself. That’s changing now!
Every journey has a destination – every watch has a journey. My journey’s end (and new beginning) is Culem!