We all have reasons why we collect, but most don’t come from very dark places, here is Sanford’s story, we hope you enjoy the insight.
I’ve loved watches since the first time I read Dick Tracy in the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday Comics. He had the coolest watch I had ever seen. It had a two-way transistor radio attached to it.
I remember dressing up like Dick Tracy for Halloween one year and drawing the watch on my wrist. I didn’t want to be Dick Tracy, I just really wanted the watch.
As time went on, I would have several watches. None significant – an Invicta Russian Diver, a Steinhart, a few Fossil’s, etc.
There were many a drunk college night that helped me lose them all. Since they had no significance to me, I had no real desire to keep track of them. I would be mad I lost the watch, but I would get over it relatively quickly. I’d retrace my steps, call people I was around, but no one ever knew anything.
Come to think of it, every watch I’ve ever had I’ve lost after or during a night of drinking.
As I got older, the desire for having a nice watch was pushed to the side. I didn’t want to spend the money on a watch when I could buy a bottle. Or a case of beer. Or some shots for my friends.
In fact, drinking had become the reason I didn’t do a lot of things. Gradually, drinking had become the most important thing in my life.
It was awesome…..
There is a freedom in drinking like me that places you in a cell.
So oblivious to the people and things around me.
Eventually doing what I wanted would land me in jail. Most times, for driving drunk or being publicly intoxicated.
It was amazing……
You haven’t lived until you’re 35 years old and you’re so drunk you urinate on the neighbours’ kids who are having a sleepover with your kids in your living room, thinking you were in the bathroom.
As in all things, my drinking and lack of concern for the people around me had caught up to me. My significant other was going to put me out. My kids wouldn’t talk to me. And finally, I was on the verge of losing my job. I had gone to rehab before in my 20s and lasted a whole 3 hours after it. But now, I knew what I was risking by not taking things seriously.
So, I went to rehab. Again. Yay.
To be frank, this was the greatest experience I’ve had outside of my children being born. I learned a lot about myself and was able to figure out why I do what I do. Most importantly, I learned how to cope with things without the drink.
First day out after a month of sharing, crying, feeling, writing, and sobriety I find myself in a TJ Maxx – a discount name brand clothes and apparel store. I was drawn to the jewellery case where I saw it: a red Casio G-Shock (GA-110LPA). I had always wanted a G-Shock, but for the reasons listed above, I could never afford one. I didn’t even try it on. I didn’t look at the price tag. I just bought it.
Buying the watch I wanted since I was a kid took me back to that time. I wanted to know everything I could about this watch and others. When I put this watch on, with all the buttons, and time zones, and alarms, and stopwatch, and timer, and analogue hands, and military time (seriously, this watch has A LOT of shit)…I felt like Dick Tracy again. I knew I wanted that feeling to replace what I was seeking at the bottom of that bottle. And I knew I could do this for the rest of my life.
These watches are a constant reminder to me of where I am. The things I learn about them, I share with my kids. Of course, they call me a nerd and could not care less about that. Of course, they say I’m obsessed when I’m watching The Urban Gentry and One More Watch on YouTube on a repetitive loop. I’ll take it.
At least now, I hear,
‘Love you’, too.
I know we like to have a laugh and a joke on the website and podcast but if you are facing either personally or through family members or friends the impact of alcohol do seek help, you can find a list of helpful contacts in the UK here, but there are plenty of avenues of assistance all over the world.
Sanford has been a watch lover all his life, but just recently got into the hobby deeply after making some lifestyle changes. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, he offers a perspective of a seasoned rookie – not knowing much, eager to learn, with a keen eye for dumb shit. His writings focus on news in the watch industry, model reviews, and the occasional op-ed sprinkled with a movie quote or two. Be sure to check for his upcoming series’ as well as his assessments of watch trends. Feel free to reach out to him on Instagram!
You can find Sanford at @quest327