By Nkemka Uche
As a watch guy I find stories about watches and collectors on the Internet. The more I learn about watches, the more I recognize the watches I see on people’s wrists. The more I recognize watches on people’s wrists, the more I realize that there are other watch enthusiasts in Lagos. These are some of their stories.
This week on Watch Stories, we spoke with John.
How I got into watches: Sometime in 2013 I was on the tube in London and I saw a guy wearing a Rolex Submariner. The guy was wearing a suit and the Submariner was just showing through his sleeve as he was holding a pole and I thought it was so dope. So I got home and I went online to find the watch, I saw the price, andI said to myself I clearly don’t make enough money for this. Then I started reading about mechanical movements, automatic movements, accuracy, and I was quite fascinated by all of that and that’s how my journey started.
My first mechanical watch: One day I was coming to Lagos from London and I walked intoWatches of Switzerland in Heathrow. I had seen a TAG Heuer in either GQ orEsquire around that time and I think they had done a comparison of different watches. So the sales representative brought an Omega Seamaster and a Tag Heuer Aquaracer for me to look at. The Aquaracer looked cleaner. The Aquaracer is the watch that I said yes to and I bought for myself but before then I remember owning a Seiko that someone had given me as a gift. I remember it being stainless steel with a black dial but I didn’t appreciate it for what it was. I was like what kind of watch is this that I have to wind? I don’t claim the Seiko as my first mechanical watch because I didn’t know what I was getting.
A TAG for every occasion: I’m a creature of habit in a lot of ways. If I find something I like I tend to overdo it so when I bought the Aquaracer I got intrigued as to what other TAG Heuers were out there. When I saw the different lines that they had I thought it would be quite nice to have a TAG for every occasion. LuckilyI was earning pounds at the time and there was money to do these things.
I got the Carrera as a birthday gift and it’s quite possibly my favourite watch because of the level of detail in it. It’s a stainless steel case with rose gold markers on a white dial. It’s quite plain, quite simple. It’s the perfect watch and because of the person who gave it to me I’m also quite sentimental about it.
I originally wanted a Monaco chronograph but I tried it on at a store and it was too big for my wrist. I was a little disappointed about that but like all good salespeople, the sales representative showed me this other Monaco and I liked it. I wear this and the Carrera very sparingly because they are so formal and in my line of work I wear shorts everyday.
The next watchI got was the Formula one TAG. It’s actually quite good in terms of night time vision even after you don’t wear it for a while. Whenever you take it out and wear it for a day or two, it gets really bright by the second night.
Missing Link:My heart broke when the Tag Heuer Link was discontinued because I had anticipated, done the research, gone online, worked out the price and arranged my credit card in such a way that I could accommodate it. TAG Heuer brought it back so there’s no need to panic anymore. I will get one to complete the collection.
Not everydayTAG: I decided I couldn’t wear the TAGs everyday so I needed an everyday watch and that was when I stumbled on Longines. This Longines that I have, I bought by mistake because the Longines I originally wanted is from the Heritage collection. At the store I said I wanted to see their Heritage collection but they didn’t have it. So I asked to see what else they had and they brought this watch and I thought it was amazing so I bought it. It’s very much my everyday watch but I put it down from time to time just so that the strap doesn’t wear out. I wore this Longines when I was called to the Nigerian Bar.
When I saw the Deville on Omega’s website I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. So one day I walked into an Omega store, I spoke with the sales representative, she brought out the Deville and I tried it on. The lady asked if I wanted to buy it and I said I wasn’t ready because I wanted there to be an occasion before I bought it. Then she offered to knock off £500 and I said ok it’s an occasion.
My Dad’sCasio: My prize watch, which I didn’t bring, is a classic Casio that my Dad bought when he went to America. The reason I remember it is because when he bought the watch it came in a plastic stand and it used to just sit there. So I found theCasio, I got it worked on and I wear it from time to time.
My next watch:Right now my mind is on the Rolex GMT II with a black bezel and black dial because I can’t afford the white gold Pepsi dial version.
My dreamwatch: The Vacheron Constantine Overseas dual time is the one watch I would want to get eventually but I’m quite happy having that as a dream because sometimes the dream is much better than the reality.
My sources for watch news/info: Instagram is a major source because of the way theiralgorithm works. You start following one watch aficionado and they startbombarding you with others. Hodinkee is the only sort of magazine that I follow religiously and that’s because I would rather stumble on to something onInstagram. For example, I had never heard of Vacheron Constantine before I recently stumbled on the Overseas. That’s the way I go about it but if somebody says I should check a website out or do this and that I’ll do it as well just to see what’s going on.
I need to get more into the research and understanding of watch culture because I would say a large chunk of my consideration is accuracy and aesthetics but anything elseI’m currently not really up on.
Last names withheld to allow guests speak freely.