It was 1989, dusk was approaching. We were on the Star Ferry crossing over from Hong Kong to Kowloon. The MTR would have been quicker but the rush hour crush was just too much to take. Finally on the other side, we sliced our way through the huge Harbour City shopping complex and down onto Peking Road. As we exited onto Nathan Road, known to the world as the “Golden Mile”, horns were blaring from the most number of Rolls Royces stuck in traffic I have ever seen. After a moment’s hesitation, we crossed over to the other side and ducked into a basement arcade.
Sounds like the opening sequence to a spy thriller, but it isn’t. It’s actually a pre-teen Me, being dragged around all over Hong Kong by my mother who was on a quest to buy a Rolex Submariner for my father. Yes, we could have purchased the watch from any of the authorized dealers in the territory, but, it was the thrill of the hunt, and the store we were headed for provided the best deals in all of Hong Kong.
That first of several watches is the same one half-buried in the sand in the photograph. My father handed it down to me back in university (probably as a reward for not getting kicked-out), and it has been the only watch I have owned since. It is a classic. The all steel construction ensures that it is robust. Its double lock metal bracelet secures the watch to the wrist in all conditions and the white on black design of the watch face and the bezel is understated. Not only does it look good worn with casual attire, this piece of steel peeking from under one’s shirt cuffs will get quiet looks of approval from those who know its true value.
If there is just one watch a man can own, this is it.