1. I lived in Japan for 3 plus years, and in that time bought several SWATCHES, and first automatic watch (a Rado Golden Horse at a Tachikawa pawn shop).
2. Nearly 25 years later I returned to Japan to do a story on Minase and ended up acquiring one of those.
3. Later that same year I returned YET AGAIN to Japan to do a G-SHOCK tour and came home with a pretty swell G-SHOCK MTG-B1000.
4. Since launching Tempus Fugit I have done pretty much everything short of stripping naked and sprinting through the hallways of Seiko North America screaming I LOVE SEIKO (a sight that would have been far less repugnant in my younger, thinner days when I resided in Kasukabe and Hachioji during the early 90s) and have YET to receive any type of response from their PR and marketing offices.
After 11 years of unsuccessful attempts to engage with the gatekeepers of Seiko North America's "fortress of solitude", I have accepted that unrequited love sometimes must, by necessity, remain so. But then I thought to myself - "Henki, you can still love a watch even if the brand does not return that affection."
I was recently presented with the opportunity to purchase a brand new, in-the-plastic (and tin) Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports Artillery Zig Zag Watch. And needless to say, gentle reader, I jumped on it.
This past weekend I was at the Watches, Whiskey and Wine show in Hagerstown, Maryland and was pretty amazed at the number of people who found their way to this big/small town near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. Visitors came from as far away as North Dakota, Texas, Indiana, Ohio and New York City. That, in and of itself, amazed me.
I may, in fact, be jaded. It is possible that I've been doing this too long and perhaps what I needed was a "reboot" of sorts. And this past weekend was that.
What was great was was meeting some of the younger folks who came to the show to cover it. There were some of the usual characters, but I met two or three that gave me real hope for the next group of "recorders of passion" coming up. There was no boasting, no false swagger. Honest, earnest and sincere guys and gals who just simply loved watches and liked writing, videoing and podcasting about them.
So there is hope for the future ; )
But back to today's topic:
My opinion is fact - The Seiko RB Artillery Zig-Zag is the best Seiko 5 released in recent history. If I am honest, I cannot claim to be the end-all authority of anything. Where I might have said, "hey, just do the Zig-Zag, that's the essence of Rowing Blazers. Make that one first and see how it goes". But the group behind this Rowing Blazers/Seiko mash-up clearly had a different take, set the bar higher at a series of 3 watches, and sold them all in fairly short order. And that is why they are the toast of Seiko aficionados and cognoscenti around the world, and this is also why I am writing about it.
I am a Rowing Blazers fan. I do not necessarily love everything that they do, but I can say that there is something for nearly everyone. Rowing Blazers has sold me 4 blazers, 2 rugby shirts, one sweater and counting! And for me, of the three Seikos they released, this was my runaway favorite.
I suspect I will probably mount the croquet stripe strap (which is the shit that killed Elvis) and save the bracelet for later.
So coming from a somewhat jaded and crusty fellow who enjoyed a reboot and reminder about what is great about this slightly sick passion that we all enjoy, to loosely quote that other great commentator on the watch business, Barry Hearn - Remember why you got involved in the first place.
Enjoy your watches!