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What Was Your Very First Watch?


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Mine was a Timex.  Mum and I used to go late night shopping on a Thursday evening.  Think I was about 7 at the time.  We passed a jewellers and Mum decided to look at the jewellery.  I looked at the watches.  One jumped out at me.  It was a Timex with an easy to read dial and a red sweep hand.  It had a brown leather strap.  I fell in love with it.  It's price was £2.19s.6d (old money) or £2.98 in today's money.  I asked if I could have it and got a resounding "No!".

Tried my Dad as I could usually get round him and got a compromise.  I could have it if I saved up for it myself.  I got 2/6d (12 1/2p) pocket money every week so decided to supplement that by doing extra chores - like cleaning my Dad's shoes every other day for a little extra pocket money and helping Mum more round the house.  I also rounded up empty lemonade bottles as we got the deposit back on them in those days.  I didn't buy sweeties or comics.  Every penny went into the watch fund and the day came when I had enough to buy it.  Dad took me to the jewellers.  I remember being so excited.  Finally I tried it on.  My wrist was so small, the jeweller had to punch extra holes in the strap but I loved that watch.  I wore it every day except to school as we weren't allowed to wear jewellery or watches but as soon as I got home, on went the watch.

When I was 18, my precious watch friend began losing time and stopping.  Took it to the same jewellers to get it serviced.  When I went to collect it, it was not really my watch anymore.  The dial was completely different.  The numerals were italicised which my original watch didn't have.  The explanation was that the workings of my watch was beyond economical repair so they simply replaced the whole thing.  Now, that might not have been so bad if they'd kept the original dial but they didn't.  Despite my protests that I wanted my original watch, working or not, I was told it would have been scrapped and impossible to find.  I never did take to the "new" watch and gave it to a friend's young son.

I actually cried over that watch 😭

Ironically, the watch I wear at the present day has a very similar dial to my first watch but I'll never forget my very first watch.

That's the story of my first watch.  Please share yours.

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It was a smiths empire  on a leather strap It eventually gave up the ghost. I think I still have it somewhere in the bits box. The next was a Kered on my 21st from Shepherds of the Shamble York, Still have it still working in my drawer.

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A 007 James Bond digital watch that played the theme tune as an alarm for my birthday, dad couldn't figure out how to set it so it went back to the shop. 

I got an Indiana Jones watch as a replacement only for it to be stolen from a changing room soon after... BAS#%@DS!! But, a valuable lesson learnt. 

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I remember my parents gave me a watch meant for kids, designed to help learn to tell time.  I think it was made by Bradley, and I believe it was the one called "Instant Time Teacher".

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/M1cAAOSwHVVf1TvE/s-l1600.jpg

I was hard on that watch.  I dimly recall it getting all beat up, then I think I lost it, but I'm not sure.  I still have the second watch I've ever owned (its replacement) - my Clinton Wolbrook with an HB115.  But I have no real clue what became of that old Bradley.

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20210802_201733.thumb.jpg.1341bb6011f91c60977dc36ccbd083fc.jpg

This is my first watch which I got as a birthday present from my parents when I was 10 years old. 

I serviced it last year during lockdown as I had a lot of free time. It still runs fine and I polished out all the scratches in the case and crystal. I got a new bracelet for it and tried to wear it but it looks ridiculous on my wrist now.

I still have my 2nd watch which is a Seiko quartz. The movement still works but I've yet to service it.

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Mine would be the usual Timex bought in the late 60's, it lasted a few years and was probably my first attempt at a watch stripdown, as I tended to strip everything down in those days ;), can't remember if it was dead before the stripdown, it was afterwards and consigned to the bin shortly thereafter.

Paul

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2 hours ago, Paul80 said:

Mine would be the usual Timex bought in the late 60's, it lasted a few years and was probably my first attempt at a watch stripdown, as I tended to strip everything down in those days ;), can't remember if it was dead before the stripdown, it was afterwards and consigned to the bin shortly thereafter.

Paul

The beginning of a learning curve.  I'm just starting out and no doubt many will end up in the bin and a few tiny wheels in inaccessible places.  I still remember my Timex with a mixture of sadness and fondness.  Many decades later and I still prefer that style of watch - easy to read dial, not to big, not too small.  My current everyday watch is a quartz Lorus.  Had it for about 15 years now.

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My first watch is my Seiko 6139a flyback chronograph which I am waiting on getting back from the watchmaker that I have been using for it.

The original bracelet had the annoying habit of having the screws in the links unwind from vibration. Well I was a 14 year old riding a bike all the time. I can't remember how many times I watched in horror as my watch fell off and slid across the road.

I eventually bought another bracelet for it. I have asked my brother to look through the things from my mother and fathers house (both passed away) for the original bracelet as I cannot remember getting rid of it, but I am not holding out much hope. The bracelet that I have on it is unfortunately not the nicest.

 I wish I had been adventurous enough to use Loctite. Maybe I could have fixed things.

Anyway, here it is. Face looks black in the photo. It is a really nice blue actually.

Michael.

ps. They will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

1576981385_MySeikorepaired.thumb.jpg.dbb429682e1617e9e968ff0e15c720ca.jpg

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Michael1962 said:

My first watch is my Seiko 6139a flyback chronograph which I am waiting on getting back from the watchmaker that I have been using for it.

The original bracelet had the annoying habit of having the screws in the links unwind from vibration. Well I was a 14 year old riding a bike all the time. I can't remember how many times I watched in horror as my watch fell off and slid across the road.

I eventually bought another bracelet for it. I have asked my brother to look through the things from my mother and fathers house (both passed away) for the original bracelet as I cannot remember getting rid of it, but I am not holding out much hope. The bracelet that I have on it is unfortunately not the nicest.

 I wish I had been adventurous enough to use Loctite. Maybe I could have fixed things.

Anyway, here it is. Face looks black in the photo. It is a really nice blue actually.

Michael.

ps. They will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

1576981385_MySeikorepaired.thumb.jpg.dbb429682e1617e9e968ff0e15c720ca.jpg

 

 

Seikos are good watches.  My late husband used to swear by them.  He had a few.  Gave one to my brother (was secondhand) 20 years ago.  It's still going strong.

Of bracelets, my pet hate are those expanding bracelets.  Had one years ago and it always used to nip my skin.  I prefer stainless steel bracelets or leather.

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My first watch was 'possibly' a Swatch. To be honest I'm not sure (and can't check) as my mother has put it in storage somewhere. But from memory it was a movie Tie-in product they did with the first Ninja Turtles movie in the 80s/90s when that was all the rage, which I received for 'my' birthday. I say 'my' as really my father wanted the watch and couldn't justify it for himself (rolls eyes).

I was only ever allowed to wear it for 'special occasions' and in the end my father forgot about it and it never really was worn. I recall the few times I did wear it I was so worried I would ruin it and I didn't want to do that as it certainly wasn't cheap, so for most of it's life sat in a box in my mother's cupboard.

My first digital display watch I recall I received from my uncle in the early 90s when they had just started to make cheaper reflective digital LCD display watches.

He used to run a petrol station and the whole chain had a big promotion I remember where you spent a small fortune on petrol and got the watch for free (Any Australian's here remember that Ampol 'Dolphin' Digital Watch campaign??) About a year after that promotion I was visiting and at that point they couldn't give the things away and he had some laying about still and I remember scoring one and being over the moon at age 6 lol. I remember being fascinated with the tiny little light in the corner you could push to barely illuminate the display and wondering how the heck they made the light globe so small.

😅

I don't know what ever happened to that watch but I had it for a few years till I won a cheap digital display watch at mini golf during the mid 90s Jurassic Park craze. That should be in storage too... I need to figure out where Mum has put all these and see if I can get some photos!

Edited by WatchingOracle
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My first watch was a mechanical "Continental" that I got for my seventh birthday and I was over the moon because I was crazy about watches and thermometers (the ones with a hand on a spring of some kind, not the mercury ones). I was allowed to wear it to pre-school and I wore it everyday but after like two months, I got into a fight with one of the other boys. We were just wrestling and rolling around on the floor and after the teachers separated us I saw that the watch glass had a crack in it and a small piece of glass was loose inside the case. I was crushed !

During the summer break I told my grandfather about what had happened and he offered to buy the broken watch so I could get money for a new watch. I took the deal and later bought a casio LCD digital watch but that watch is just long gone. My grandfather kept the broken watch in a box in his house for several years but I had forgotten all about it. My grandfather then passed a way as elders do and my mother inherited the house and all things in it and a couple years ago she came to me with a box that had several watches in it and lo and behold, there was my old watch ! That box with old watches contained several good practice objects as well as some that I fixed up and actually wear on occasion. I fixed up my old watch (with help from this forum actually) that was in very good condition after having just been laying around in a box for a couple of decades.

It has an old pin movement (EB 8800 if I remeber correctly) with a KIF spring shock protection that really tried my patience. But now it works but the bracelet is too small now so I can't wear it.

3F4507E6-AE1A-41EA-BF46-61F54C8FBAD6.jpeg

Edited by Flubber
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I don't remember my first quartz watch. I was young, and it didn't have much of an impact. I absolutely remember my first mechanical watch though. I was in college, and the battery had given out on a quartz watch (I think a Fender branded watch given to me as a sales incentive when I sold/serviced guitars in high school). I have a visceral distaste for disposable batteries, and wanted something that wouldn't die unexpectedly and be a PITA to replace. I recalled my dad had a watch that worked by moving around in a closet somewhere (which I now know to be an automatic Seiko), and thought I would try to find one of those. In my eBay perusings, I discovered that there were watches that you had to wind by hand and were powered by springs! I thought that was a step cooler. I found one I thought looked neat from Ukraine for $35, and won the auction.

I wore it for a while, and it was passably accurate, but not great. I found a local watchmaker, and paid much more than I bought it for to have it serviced. By that point, I was very interested in mechanical watches, and was entertaining watchmaking as a career. The watchmaker gave me the grand tour of his shop (in his house), and then essentially talked me out of it because "it takes millions of dollars worth of equipment and years of specialized schooling and it's just not worth it" or some such (he did actually say millions). When I picked it up, he asked me what I knew about it. I knew it was $35 from eBay and shipped from the Ukraine. Full stop.

He pointed out the case back was all scratched to hell, little nicks around the crystal, and a few other details, and told me it was likely a German officer's watch issued during WWII. The scratched case back was to remove the stamped issuance number. The nicks around the crystal were likely from a bayonet tip in an effort to achieve a battlefield repair when the crystal fell out in order to make little spurs in the case to hold it in. It was likely picked off a corpse or traded for cigarettes in a POW camp on the eastern front for it to end up in the Ukraine like it did.

So here I was, just doing the college thing, going to classes, eating lunch at the student union, going to parties and bars and whatnot, all while unknowingly wearing a piece of dark history on my wrist! My brain reeled. I was already interested in mechanical watches, but this thing was... Straight from the history books. I stopped wearing it shortly after that because it had ZERO water resistance (a rain drop hitting the crystal would have no trouble getting into the case due to the battlefield repair), and I thought I'd probably like to keep it around.

So I had to get another watch! I believe that was a Seiko 5, which died in a car wreck in 2016 when I nearly did the same. It was replaced by the exact same (but with a later movement). I kept it, and recently used the case and bracelet to make it back into a functional watch that I wear when doing things that might damage my daily driver.

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I always had a bit of a thing for the trend of the 'rock watch' when they came out. Never did anything about it though. Didn't make enough money at the time.

The rock watch was Swatch wasn't it? I loved the fact that each would be unique. Even if another was made from the same stone as the previous one, no two could be identical.

Edited by Michael1962
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11 hours ago, Michael1962 said:

I always had a bit of a thing for the trend of the 'rock watch' when they came out. Never did anything about it though. Didn't make enough money at the time.

The rock watch was Swatch wasn't it? I loved the fact that each would be unique. Even if another was made from the same stone as the previous one, no two could be identical.

I'd never heard of a rock watch until I read your post - and me a child of the late 50s!  I had to go and look it up.

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