Friday, August 28, 2015

The Right Title for Watch Collectors

It struck me the other day—in between beers under a hot, August midday sun—that watch collectors should have a title. After all, many other people have titles such as King, Monsieur, The Very Reverend, Air Commodore, Countess, Captain, Lord, Lady, Duke, Duchess, Honorable, Professor, Astronaut, Brigadier, Baron, First Officer, Reverend, Viscount, Doctor, Master, and more. Many of these are titles that you can choose from a drop-down menu when you book a flight on British Airways and Emirates Airlines.

The watch industry has the title Watchmaker for people who build watches, Horologist for people who study watches, and Ambassador for special celebrities who promote a watch brand, including Omega Ambassador George Clooney, Hublot Ambassador Usain Bolt, and TAG Heuer Ambassador Cara Delevingne. So those titles are already taken.

TAG Heuer Ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio
Photo from TAG Heuer
We need a staid, stately, descriptive title for people who collect watches.

Granted, some watch owners are already dukes or barons, kings or ladies. But for the rest of us, devoid of a drop of royal blood, this may be our one chance to have a title, short of going back to school for eight years to earn a PhD.

Here's a short list of what watch collectors do to deserve a title:

1. We support an industry that's one part artistry, one part engineering, and inseparable from history.

2. We're knowledgeable about mechanics and physics in more than a superficial way.

3. We have a keen sense of style.

People don't usually notice our watches, but they might if we had an appropriate title.

Movado Ambassador Lily Collins
Photo from Movado
What should our title be? “Timelord” is pompous sounding, and we don't want to sound more grandiose than the watch we're wearing. What about Timemaster? No, same problem as with Timekeeper, plus it sounds a bit domineering. Chronoking? Hmm. No, that's just weird. Maybe after a century Chronoking might not be so brash, but for now, it's out. Watcher is kind of nice, but the problem with Watcher is that people might wonder what we're watching besides our watches. Plus, it sounds creepy. How about Minister of Time? I like it, but that title implies that we are in charge of more than just our own watches. Minuteman. I don’t think so. Time Captain? No. Chrono? No. Marquess de Watch? No. Professor Time? No, no, no.

The title I'm gravitating toward is Timekeeper. It's already in use in sports, so it won't sound jarring to ordinary mortals’ ears. Timekeeper isn't pretentious or self-important: nobody will think that, in addition to wearing a gold Patek, we also live in a 30-room mansion on some kind of hill with fairies living in the nearby woods. Timekeeper is descriptive. Timekeeper also carries a hint of omniscience and mystery. I like it. Timekeeper it is: just put Timekeeper in front of your name and you're good to go.

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