What Have You Done to Raise Your Partner's Appreciation of Watches?

Apr 30, 2013,22:11 PM

What Have You Done to Raise Your Partner’s 

Appreciation of Watches?

By Ping Tsai


Watch collecting can be a lonely interest at times. Chances are if you get excited about a triple bridge tourbillon, you’re among the minority. Chances are if you express that excitement to your co-worker, next door neighbor or even spouse, you’ll get some seemingly engaged interest that is really a masked disguise for sympathy. The simple truth is that the popularity and coolness of watch collecting is questionable, at least when compared to collecting vintage cars, Picasso paintings or Samurai swords. But for the true blooded Purists, the love can be as deep as what they have for the most precious people who share their lives.


Your Partner and Your Passion


Partners and spouses end up having to put up with the extremes in passion that many watch enthusiasts feel and express. Unfortunately, “their” love for one of “your” loves may not equal your intensity level. For some, it may not even come close. This is to be expected since it seems a bit unrealistic to expect that your partner will lose sleep along with you the night before the Fedex man is supposed to deliver your latest acquisition. Similarly, it wouldn’t be expected for you to get excited about your partner’s obsession with collecting decorative Faberge eggs, Precious Moments figurines, or vintage Pyrex bowls from the 60s.


The majority of spouses and partners have limited patience when you are constantly distracted by something else that doesn’t have to do with them. Spending extravagantly on yourself without matching gifts for them may also not win you many points in the long run. For those of you who are considered “lucky” your partner may hardly care what you buy or how many you buy. They let you have your space and time to converse with other watch geeks and partake in watch gatherings at your own discretion. As far as they are concerned, they are just happy you are interested in watch movements as opposed to female movements. And for the rare few who are blessed with the ultimate in life’s enjoyments, your partners love watches as much or almost as much as you do. This is practically unheard of but like all of life’s rarities, it does exist.


My Story


I was once a spouse to someone who is extremely passionate about watches and although I have yet to reach the same level of passion as those that I write for, I have definitely gained a wealth of appreciation and knowledge that I find invaluable and have helped to shape who I am today. This would not have been possible if not for the exposure that was given to me and the inspiration that was shared. Initially I was inspired by the people, their thoughts, feelings and opinions. That in-turn connected me to the watches. My curiosity led me to find out more and to experience more. I needed to find out what the big deal was. They are just mechanisms that you wear on your wrist to tell time I originally thought. But a closer look revealed much more than that.


I discovered that watches are sophisticated machines, works of art and symbols of individualism. They can be year-long masterpiece creations and life-long dreams of acquisition. I watched young watch-makers hovering over tables and handling parts that I could barely see. And somehow they managed to put everything in place where it needed to be to create a mechanically working movement that powered a watch. And the images that would go through my mind during these moments were the numerous earring studs and backs that I’ve fumbled with and lost down the drain. I marveled at how the escapement is installed and the last piece is dropped into place and miraculously the entire movement just starts beating on its own. When you are impressed by what you see, you can’t help but be drawn to it and to want to see more. The wow-factor is there, all you simply need to do is show it to them.

Photo from AndrewD


Connecting With Other Watch Enthusiasts


In my case, I was fortunate enough to be shown many things. My partner included me in watch gatherings so that I got to meet and connect with other people who shared the same interest. This is helpful because it shows your partner that you are not the only oddball watch geek out there. Showing her that there are others will show her that watch-collecting is not that uncommon. But more importantly, she will realize that extremes in behavior in regards to watches are not that unusual. Of course it always helped when there was another female or spouse to talk to and sympathize with.


Share Stories But Be Selective


I always enjoyed hearing about interesting stories that involved watch-owners, watch-makers and other watch community folk. However in the past, I could be fast put to sleep when someone talked about frequency, balance wheels or bridges. Yes these things can be interesting down the road but initially, they should be left out of the conversation when you are trying to engage a newbie, especially a female one.


You can tell them about the girlfriend of a Purist who did drawings of watches and presented them to him in a book or how one Purist surprised his wife with her dream watch which had a specially engraved rotor. Perhaps you can share stories about the eccentric personalities of some genius watch-makers or how a certain tennis champion won a Grand Slam while wearing a watch that was specifically made for him. The story that you tell should be about something they can relate to. And since the general public lacks technical knowledge about watches, there is little that they can relate to when you talk about how great the movement or finishing is.


Ask For Their “Impressions”


I believe the one thing that made the most difference in raising my appreciation for fine watches is being asked for my opinion when purchasing decisions were being made. Even when you have your eye set on a specific piece and have pretty much made up your mind about getting it, you should still ask your partner what he or she thinks about the watch, not what they think about you getting it but what do they think about the actual watch. I remember times when I was contacted by my partner and asked to meet him at a certain watch boutique to give him the last go-ahead. Helpful partners will simply provide the go-ahead and hopefully not get in the way of the purchase. The important thing is that I was very pleased to have been asked. It showed respect and consideration. It made me feel included in the decision, the excitement and the event. Whether or not it was the case, I felt like the outcome practically hinged on what my opinion was. This likely leads spouses and partners to feel important, special and an increased to desire to be included further.


"I asked my wife for her impressions. She liked it so much that she "confiscated" the watch that now is her day-to-day watch. I got the feeling that I have another Purist "on the making." - Amanico


Photo from Nilomis


Final Thoughts


In general, including your partner in almost every aspect of your passion will likely inspire her to have a greater interest and appreciation for fine watches.  Someone who truly cares about you will care about what you love as well. It can also be helpful to be interested in her tastes as well. Ask questions and find out what type of watches she is particularly drawn to. Then seal the deal by getting it for her. Or show her how much you trust her by letting her wear one of your favorite watches. Another way I became more interested in watches is by wearing some of the old ones that my partner no longer wore. I changed the straps to ones that fit better aesthetically and physically. Sharing watches can be an extremely effective way to get your partner to like watches more.

Of course I have not overlooked the possibility that some of you may actually prefer to reserve your watch passion to yourself. Perhaps it is your escape and a means to express your true self without fear of rejection or judgment. Maybe you’d rather keep the loves in your life separated. This is completely fair but keep in mind that getting your partner on your side when it comes to your fascination with watches is a sure way to obtaining more freedom – in expression, time commitment and purchases. I’m just saying think about it. 

This message has been edited by pingtsai on 2013-05-01 09:42:37 This message has been edited by AnthonyTsai on 2013-05-01 15:31:28 This message has been edited by AndrewD on 2013-05-03 14:30:27

More posts: TAG Heuer Connected

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Comments: view entire thread


She started it!

 By: mkvc : April 30th, 2013-23:47
For the record, she who was then my future wife bought the family's first mechanical watch while I was still wearing quartz (although, in fairness, I had worn an inherited pocket watch for several years before entering the working world). I eventually pas... 


 By: pingtsai : May 1st, 2013-16:51
So she raised your appreciation. It all worked out :)

i think being married to a watch obssessed NUT will take its toll on her

 By: Mohannad (aka Riddler) : April 30th, 2013-23:58
my wife knew from the get go that i was heavily involved in the watch life (which i beleive in my head exists and is parrallel to ours) anyway when we travel and lets say were in a shopping mall or high end shopping street and we get parted from each othe... 


 By: pingtsai : May 1st, 2013-16:55
"i do the hunting and she does the payment" This is amazing. I think many will be jealous of you after reading this. Yes, I have to say it's nice to be able to recognize all sorts of watches in the wild.

Extremely insightful post Ping Tsai

 By: Spellbound : May 1st, 2013-00:36
You have touched on a nerve that resonates with me, and I am sure with others. Watch collecting can be an extremely lonely passion when your life partner shows absolutely no interest. Even taking your partner on a watch shopping spree where they can choos... 


 By: pingtsai : May 1st, 2013-16:56
I was trying to think of cool things that people collect. I guess I should have said guns or something, lol Thanks for your comments

Very interesting topic ...

 By: nilomis : May 1st, 2013-03:45
I don't need to do anything. My wife loves watches and digs into my meager set from time to time. Just like me, she experience "phases". Currently she is into complicated dials and hands and her day-to-day one is a Longines: This one is somehow special (t...  

The Longines is beautiful!

 By: pingtsai : May 1st, 2013-16:57
I have to say that both of you have exceptional taste :) Thank you for your comments and the photo

great topic, something that brings me and SheWhoMustBeObeyed closer

 By: Hororgasm : May 1st, 2013-07:48
SheWhoMustBeObeyed aka SWMBO was very disinterested in watches, but she recognised and witnessed how horology and collecting has influenced my lifestyle and recreation, and we started coordinating, mostly at my prompting. Now she attends events, was at SI...  

Wow...I am speechless...

 By: pingtsai : May 1st, 2013-09:34
You are a lucky man!! :)

And she is a lucky lady.

 By: Bill : May 1st, 2013-09:50
You seem to be a great couple with a passion in common. You can't ask for any thing more. A couple of his her shots albeit not in the same league. Bill ...  

Most definitely

 By: Bill : May 2nd, 2013-13:31
Unfortunately for me many a Rolex has grown legs and found their way to her. Best Bill

hey....what about she is a lucky woman!!! ;)-

 By: Hororgasm : May 2nd, 2013-10:58
I will post more combos in due course....and sometimes very exciting to pair..... best, Horo

Wonderful 'his & hers' series, Horo.

 By: AndrewD : May 2nd, 2013-02:30
Congratulations on finding the perfect (wrist) partner. Andrew

Power of the wristwatch is too strong :)!

 By: Nicko16 : May 2nd, 2013-02:39
Well at least now your other half shares the passion! Would make watch buying easier

the bad thing is....I can no longer low ball the reported purchase prices!!!

 By: Hororgasm : May 2nd, 2013-11:13
Overheard: HeWithTesticlesOfPanda - Dear, look - this is a simple tourbillon from JLC. Nothing fantastic and cheesy name - Gyro!! just $25k, same as Rolex SheWhoMustBeObeyed - Oh really,didn't we see this at SIHH? I suppose your fellow moderator Nicholas ... 

I am very lucky

 By: ling5hk : May 1st, 2013-19:15
In some ways, my wife has changed my appreciation of watches. She is the one who introduced Lange to me. On my part, I will share with her information and knowledge I got, bring her to SIHH, watch events and watch nuts GTG and holidays. She enjoys it. I m... 

She started it! I am lucky! There are perks!

 By: MTF : May 1st, 2013-20:43
Ping, You put into words what I must have known...was doing.....but not articulated. Like MKVC's and Ling's experience with their spouses, the current Mrs MTF was the mechanical watch collector before we got married. She had assembled vintage cast-offs fr...  

MTF, we have multiple rare watches in common!

 By: cazalea : May 2nd, 2013-21:09
Such as the P10 Gerber, and Pikto Smileday! Not to mention the ABR Cazalea

All 3 watches belong to Mrs MTF and we have

 By: MTF : May 3rd, 2013-06:14
cazalea, All 3 watches you named belong to the current Mrs MTF...they were confiscated. We have two PuristSPro ABR watches to ensure that I get one... Regards, MTF ...