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  • Alvin

No money, mo' problems | Watches I could have had?

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

After many months away spending lots of money on non-watch things, I return to the watch world, and oh so very eager am I. A head full of ideas, hopes, watches and wonders, but also an empty wallet. Thanks to all those who have visited the blog this year (more than expected), you have encouraged my return, I really appreciate the interest and support.

As you may have gathered, I have been spending recently, oh boyo I have been spending. And as you may have garnered, that spending hasn't been on watches. It has been on an almost as important part of life, habitation - renovating a house. So, the house is for my mum, and I will likely spend a bit of time there so I thought it best to make it half decent for my benefit. Just kidding, obviously, my lovely mum looked after us all and still does when she can so it's only right she get a lovely fresh, new house to enjoy her retirement, which is coming soon, hopefully - give it up mum, it's time to chill! I have spent the last 9 months or so (it's my baby I guess), expending energy and expense on getting this house sorted, it's an ongoing slog, and whilst the budget is modest for some in this community, it always stings. It's a relative thing isn't it, it all costs money whether your budget is big or small; new wiring, plastering, carpentry, plumbing, decorating, new bathroom, new kitchen, you get the idea, it stings. More so because of what could have been...

As I sat down to start writing this long overdue post, I didn't know what it was going to be on. I was just looking at a new green watch on the scene, the Raymond Weil GMT Worldtimer, I really like it, a lot. The issue, it's a modified Sellita movement, for just shy of £2000 at £1976, I don't know if I can justify it. That number though, is almost the same amount that it's going to cost to fit carpets upstairs in the new abode. And that's what led me to this idea, so without giving away the exact costs, I will torture myself in a hypothetical exercise to determine which watches I could have had/would have bought if the money I spent on certain jobs or things in the house was spent on timepieces. I know, I'm incorrigible.

Ok, it is a random idea, but I just kinda went with it. I have just taken photos of the Zenith for the review so hopefully that will come in the next few weeks, love that watch. I'm still kinda busy with the house, but I took a recent invite to a tree house in the forest in Cheshire (very awesome by the way), to explore Wales as well, so that's where I'm writing this post. In an Airbnb looking out over the sea. I deserve it, so everyone says, but I really want to get this blog and youtube watch thing restarted and going, then I'll deserve it. This is a great opportunity to get back into it.

I guess this is the kind of conspicuous consumer conundrum only we regular Joe, Jo and Joanne's have to deal with. Money, isn't it. I'm doing ok but never ok enough, somewhat unwealthy watch fans will understand - you can't have everything you want. When there is compromise and sacrifice, there is the feeling of 'what might have been.' Naturally, the objects in these hypotheticals is whatever might be nearest and dearest to ones heart, and right here, we know what that is.

Ok, here we go, in order of job done. The watch I'm comparing against might be new or second hand, and I will quote a ballpark range.

Electrics = £3000-£4000 = Anordain Model 1 Fume.

First up is the electrics, including re-wiring of a whole house, I think I got a good deal, but wouldn't a fired up, crazy electric green or blue enamel dial on my wrist have been better, way better. This was on my list of green watches for 2023. It makes me purr every time I see a photo of it in the right light. This price range is for a brand new one, listed on their website for £2595 + VAT which is around £3114. A bargain, but with a waiting list as long as my watch wish list, you're looking at double that on the used market, crazy.

Img: anOrdain

Flooring = £2000-£2500 = Raymond Weil Freelancer GMT Worldtimer (2765-SBC-52001)

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Raymond Weil watches, almost as soft as the new carpet. I love a world timer, and this is a great looking watch. The freelancer was the first proper Swiss watch I bought, I didn't know much about watches at the time, just that I liked the look and it was a good deal. RW remain family owned and put out decent watches regularly at affordable price points, and once in a while they release a cracker. This is one of the latter, green dial with bronze and steel bits this time. I mentioned the movement earlier, I'm over it, it's been modified in house, that's good enough - especially if it's on offer/sale.

Imgs: Raymond Weil

Knocking a wall down = £2500-£3000 = Ball Engineer M Pioneer Green Dial.

A lovely random watch, limited edition with great specs, the rainbow tritium tubes being my favourite. The all-new Manufacture Caliber RRM7309-S has a silicon balance spring, extreme anti-magnetic protection to 2,500 Gauss, enhanced shock resistance and most importantly, a 30% increase in precision as compare to the COSC standard. One of my favourite sleepers, that won't sleep on the wrist, especially with the green dial (but doesn't have to be green, blue and black a real nice too).

Kitchen = £15000-£20000 = Cartier Santos De Cartier Skeleton

I nearly went Rolex here, but I decided to keep it real and not be a Rolex bum-boy. I love my Synopsis El Primero, I want an El Primero chronograph but I really want an El Primero Tourbillon, stunning watch, immense pedigree and rare, I would pay kitchen money for that beauty, as mentioned in the 2023 watch wants. However, a new king of consumption has entered the fray, and been seen pre-owned for near half retail value (£29,000 rrp). It might be a bit much, but for me, a man who likes a few skeletons in his closet, it's a winner. It smacks you in the face with one hand and strokes that same sore cheek with the other hand, it's classy and crass. It is also beautifully designed and engineered, with the numerals integrated into the movement, but you'd expect no less from Cartier. It's outrageous, I love it.

Cartier Santos De Cartier Skeleton
Imgs: Cartier

Cartier Santos De Cartier Skeleton

Plastering = £6000-£7000 = Trilobe Nuit Fanastique Dune

I think I might be stretching it here, pushing my luck in the price range, but a Trilobe Nuit Fanastique Dune would be wonderful wouldn't it. It's the magical movement, sandy salmon colour, hints of FP Journe, the caseback, the case front - it's Parisian chic, a stunning timepiece, a god-damned masterpiece I tell you. It won a prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG 2022) for the best watch with no hands, magic! Also great in green grained dial, obviously, EUR9000 new, so not one for keeping its value unfortunately.

Trilobe Nuit Fanastique Dune GPHG winner

Trilobe Nuit Fanastique Dune GPHG winner

Decorator = £2000-£3000 = Rolex Air King 5500 Vintage

I had to put a Rolex on the list, and this is one of my low key favourite watches, that unfortunately I will probably never get as it falls in the price range of so many other wanted pieces. A great vintage all rounder, classy and understated while still having a bit of clout on the wrist and a boost for the ego.

Rolex Air King 5500 Vintage Rolex
Img: Rescapement

Carpenter = £3000-£4000 = Tudor Black Bay M7941A1A0RU-0003 - Burgundy Bezel.

Watching the carpenter work was eye opening, I really enjoyed the craftsmanship and design intuition he displayed, experience and creativity at work. Much like, super segue I know right, the new release for 2023 replaces the existing Tudor BB red/burgundy dial on my wants list. It looks a bit sharper, is wound a bit tighter with master chronometer status, Manufacture Calibre MT5602-U, is tested for anti-magnetism of up to 15,000 gauss, and has 70 hours of power reserve. It also flashes a bit flashier with the 5 link 'not-jubilee' bracelet. It looks fantastic, and next week I'm going to an AD and getting on a waiting list, so there.

Tudor Black Bay Burgundy Bezel Jubilee bracelet

Shower Room = £5000-£6000 = Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

I've come over a bit Cartier recently, and if I'd gone for the Zenith Tourbillon above, I would have switched this one to the Cartier Santos De Cartier Blue Dial WSA0048, again, that Cartier class with a bit of an edge. However, I would have to go with the JLC Reverso in one of many available iterations, Grande, Duoface, Squadra World Chronograph (old version - photos of the new version below (imgs: Chrono24) cos it's cooler), etc. There are few watches that are as iconic, cool and classy. I would definitely like one in the collection.

Total whack = £40k-£50k = Omega vs FPJ vs ALS

This is a tricky one, I would have to go for the Omega De Ville Central Tourbillon, the FP Journe Souveraine or the A. Lange & Sohne Datograph, and it would come down to the deal I guess, all beautiful and special in different ways. Ah we can dream can't we.

Well then, that was cathartic in a way I guess, also depressing in another way but it's helped get me back in the zone that's for sure. So, I could have reinforced my ego instead of the walls, decorated myself instead of the house, furnished my get the idea, hopefully I have that to look forward to. I have my eye on another Chinese Tourbillon as well, lets see what the future brings. Thanks again for swinging by, and if you are considering a house renovation or improvements etcetera, don't bother, just buy watches.

Yours Ruefully,


P.S. Just realised no room for the Grand Seiko Whirlpool, I'd have to swap two or three of the cheaper ones for it, couldn't do it, it's a numbers game!










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