Presentable #34: Exploring Watches
Sharing out the journey of finding and buying my first watch from Hodinkee
Welcome back to another issue of my newsletter on menswear, style, and fashion. As always, I’m excited to have you here and appreciate you subscribing and following along.
Today, I’m talking about all things watches, sharing out the details from my recent watch purchase, and the journey towards figuring out which one to go with.
I hope you enjoy.
As most of you know, I work at Hodinkee—the number one destination for all things watches. I’ve been there for over two years now, and up until recently, I’ve been waiting to buy my first watch through our employee purchase program.
The journey has been interesting to say the least.
I’ve been back and forth many times on what I should or shouldn’t buy.
I’ve had lots of discussions with friends and colleagues on which watches they liked.
My decision might not come as a huge surprise to many of you, as I’ve written about this watch a few times now, once in a previous version of this newsletter, and again, in issue #3, when I talked about my ultimate two-watch collection.
During a recent part of my journey, I was actually ready to pull the trigger on a Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803 on tropicalwatch.com, but wasn’t quick enough during the checkout process. It turns out one of my colleagues was the lucky person to become the owner of that watch.
Because of that, and after returning back to work from parental leave, I went on the hunt to figure out which watches Hodinkee had in stock that I wanted to buy.
The Rolex Explorer Ref. 112470
This watch has a special place in my heart.
It’s the one I’ve been wanting since I first became interested in watches.
Back in 2021, I went with a Tudor Pelagos because I couldn’t afford to spend the extra money on the Explorer, and, it wasn’t available to buy brand new, which meant I would’ve had to pay above retail on the second-hand market.
I sold my Pelagos to Hodinkee at the end of last year, and have been waiting patiently for the right one to arrive in our shop.
I’m not a watch expert, but if you’re curious as to why I went with the Explorer, I’ve shared more details about this watch below.
Why the Rolex Explorer over another Rolex model?
It’s the perfect size for my wrist, measuring at 36mm. I love its simple design. It’s easy to tell the time. The bracelet is comfortable and not too flashy. Overall, the aesthetic of this watch is minimal and understated, which draws less attention to it, while still holding its own when compared to other expensive watches.
Why the reference 114270 over the 14270 or 124720?
I wanted the most modern version of this watch that I could afford. The latest version, ref. 124720 (2021—now), was still out of my price range. The previous version, ref. 14270, is great, but was missing some small things that were important to me. I wanted solid end links in the bracelet, the improved bracelet clasp, and lume that still works. The other minor difference is the lugs, where the 14270 had drilled lugs and mine does not. I prefer the cleaner look without them.
Why modern over vintage?
I’d love to truly go vintage, and one day own the ref. 1016 with a matte dial. It’s the perfect watch, and the best design of the Rolex Explorer. It also ended production in my birth year, which makes it more special to me. They’re selling for over $14k, which is much more than what I could spend right now.
How does it feel now that it’s on my wrist?
It feels amazing. I’m surprised how well it fits and blends in with my personal style. It’s fairly lightweight and I’ve already forgotten its on my wrist a few times. It’s very different from the Seiko SKX013, which is to be expected given the different price point and quality. I’m trying to not be too gentle with it and I plan on wearing it as my daily driver.
What I Plan To Wear With My Watch
As a designer, there are moments where I tend to wear all black. It’s simple, minimal, and elegant. It’s also one of the main reasons why I was drawn to this watch. It’s the perfect pairing with those types of fits.
I’ve also been experimenting with more khaki and neutral tones in my wardrobe, which looks great with a pair of black pants and a black dial watch.
Where My Watch Journey Continues
I’ve never owned more than one “expensive” watch at a time. I’ve always been a single watch collection type of guy. I still am. For now.
Eventually, I’d like to have four Rolex watches in my collection. Variety is really what I’m looking for, and Rolex offers styles that are timeless and look great with everything.
Here are my favorite models from Rolex:
Submariner No-Date Ref. 14060 — black dial, black bezel, and oyster bracelet
Day-Date Ref. 1803 — champagne dial, yellow-gold fluted bezel, leather strap
Datejust Ref. 16234 — silver dial, white-gold fluted bezel, jubilee bracelet
Explorer Ref. 114270 — black dial, domed bezel, and oyster bracelet
Thanks for reading
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