Regardless of whether a watch enthusiast is new to the hobby or has a massive collection, each of them tend to remember when and how they got into watches. There is always a particular watch that “sparks” the hobby. Maybe it was the Seamaster their grandfather wore each day, or their first mechanical Mickey Mouse with his arms for watch hands. Perhaps it was a watch they admired from afar, then purchased once they received a promotion, got married, or had their first child. Every person has a story about their favorite watch, and the memory that inspired them to become a collector.
When we began working with Sid and Ann Mashburn, the founders and leaders of their namesake Mashburn brand and stores, on their Crown & Caliber capsule collection these stories and memories began to surface. Here is what they each had to say.
Ann: I got a watch for my high school graduation that I still have. It was my mother’s style and was essentially the lower priced version of the Cartier Tank. As an aside, my mother had amazing taste, but was practical to a fault… that WWII thriftiness! She still tells a story about putting chewing gum on her bedpost to make it last for over a month. Anyway, I don’t remember wearing a watch much before that. But what I lack in watch-wearing experience I make up for in nostalgia.
I remember my Dad’s watch, that had one of those elastic metal band. He must have had a few, because even when he was at work there would be one on his tray on top of his tall dresser. In the tray you could always find ChapStick (another memory maker – the smell of the original ChapStick in the black tube), some odd cufflinks and loose change. I will admit to taking a bit of that. But I used to try on the watch sometimes, stretching it up my small, skinny arm to make it fit – and of course the band would pinch my arm hairs like crazy.
For me, watches aren’t just timepieces. They are glimpses into the past, or perhaps, into the future and where you’re headed.
Sid: At Mashburn, we all wear a jacket and tie every day to the office, and sometimes people raise their eyebrow at that. But there’s a bit of freedom in wearing a uniform. It makes it easier to get dressed when there’s a blueprint already set – it frees up your mind for the other stuff ahead of you that’s more important than your outfit. Some watches can give you the same kind of freedom.
In my collection I have one watch that I wear 90% of the time – the Rolex Explorer 1016. Black dial, off-white markers, screw-down oyster case… there’s a practical element to it, and it’s water-resistant, so I don’t have to take it off when I’m swimming in the ocean or playing tennis. But it is also elegant – so I can also wear it to a business meeting or an evening out. Basically, it will take me all the way from the beach to black tie. You can’t ask much more than that of a single piece.
Like I mentioned, it isn’t my only watch, but I am really fond of thinking, “you don’t need a lot of choices, you just need the RIGHT choices.” In turn, that gives you more time in life to focus on what matters most.
Like they do for most people, watches snuck into the Mashburn’s style unbeknownst to them. Their fondness for timepieces is connected to memories and nostalgia, but they have each found a way to make watches their own. Watches are the part of your outfit that can act as a “second look” or a “lead singer” depending on how they wear or are styled. They can help you dress an outfit down or up, and as Sid and Ann say, they aren’t just practical, they are much more than that. Watches, like the clothes Sid and Ann make, are a way to tell someone who you are without shouting it from the rooftops