Thursday, April 5, 2018

About Love - Lost and Found

This is a story of Boy meets Watch, Boy falls in love with Watch, Boy loses Watch...

Boy finds Watch again!  

Yesterday a rather unexpected surprise arrived here at Tempus Fugit HQ.  Before you ask, no this is not a review.  The Super KonTiki on my wrist is now my own, a gift from a dear friend.

My love affair with the KonTiki is about as long and filled with ups and downs as a romance novel.  Back at the turn of the century, Wendy and I had relocated from Finland to San Francisco.  It was an exciting, yet very challenging time.  The US was my home, but having lived overseas for so many years, I felt like a stranger in my own country.  When I had left the US in 1992 I was 23, young and excited to have found work in Japan.  8 years and 4 countries later I returned married, and with a job as a newly minted operations director for an international education company.  If we were sticking to the romance novel format, you could say I left a boy, but returned a man.  And not only did I come back to the US older (if not necessarily wiser), I also returned with a fascination for watches.

And it was one day while wandering around downtown San Francisco that I stumbled into Seregin's just behind the Macy's store on Union Square.  And there it was, the Eterna Super KonTiki 50th anniversary.  I knew nothing about Eterna, but it winked at me somewhat beguilingly, and I was hooked.  I traded my Tudor Prince (bought and owned long before vintage Tudor became as hot as it is now), and put down my credit card for the balance.  That watch was on my wrist EVERY DAY.  This was back when I believed that you only needed (and should therefore have) only 1 good watch.  It was on my wrist when I got another promotion, it was on my wrist on September 11th when I ran back and forth between the downtown school and headquarters with my cell phone blowing up with calls from concerned parents from all over the world - including my own.  It was on my wrist when we opened two new schools, it was on my wrist when I was informed that my services were no longer required by the company that had brought me to the US from Helsinki.

And it was at this point that I had some tough choices to make, and some realities quickly revealed themselves.  I went from being a self-assured (somewhat smug) decently paid leader of people to being one of the many tens of thousands out of work in the Bay area.  And I realized that given my new financial situation, my Super Kontiki was a luxury I could no longer afford to keep.  So it was with a heavy heart that I sold it, and I moved on.

That was 2002.  Suffice it to say, my employment situation improved after a year or two, and slowly evolved to the position that I now hold and truly enjoy, working with people to help them get back into school, re-start their career, re-start their lives.  I am truly lucky.  And many watches have come and gone over those 15 plus years.  But I never forgot that first KonTiki.

And it seems that maybe, just maybe you can go home again - at least in terms of what is on your wrist ; )

Here's the thing - it doesn't matter if it's a Patek Philippe or a SWATCH.  It's about passion.  A personal, visceral feeling that you have connecting you to your watch. It is at this moment that the item on your wrist is no longer just a time keeper, it is a personal icon.  

So here's to that connection, because after everything is said and done, it's a watch.  But it's that connection that makes it special.

Enjoy your watches!

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