Friday, September 14, 2018

My Astro Boy Watch and Some Thoughts about Fun Watches

Fun is part of watch collecting. 
Even somebody who enjoys steak wants a BLT every now and then.

The same is true for watches. Even if you're a Patek, Omega or Rolex dress watch kind of person, you probably want -- and should have -- a fun watch.

I have a watch that's built for fun. Enter my Astro Boy Watch, which I bought from Japan's JR Railway catalog for a little under $400. This limited edition watch is no longer available, though like most watches you'll eventually find one on eBay or at a second hand watch store.

I've got Breitling, Omega, Rolex, Grand Seiko, and some minor planets, too, but I'm going to be wearing only my Astro Boy watch for the foreseeable future. The Astro Boy watch is playful. It's colorful and curious. It's retro, nostalgic, and 37 mm of pure automatic watch joy.

It's not a Rolex box, that's for sure. 
The watch is likely overpriced for a Chinese-made timepiece, but I don't care. How can you beat the watch box that the Astro Boy watch lives in? When I wear my Astro Boy watch, I feel as if I'm tuning in TV cartoons across the decades from my childhood, a sensation that no luxury watch can provide. This watch commemorates the 70th Anniversary of manga artist Tezuka Osamu's work.

There's another reason behind this post, beyond merely writing about this fun, Astro Boy watch. It's to point out that watches in general can be, are, and should be fun. One does not live by Calitravas and Submariners alone. While it may be important to find the perfect watch to compliment your blue blazer or Armani suit, a watch collection without at least one purely fun watch is, well, not fun.

The very serious Robert Langdon (of The Da Vinci Code fame) wears a Mickey Mouse watch. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Computer, sports a Nixie tube watch. Fun watches don't have to be cartoon watches. They might even be wallet busting timepieces. I'd count Alain Silberstein and Urwerk watches as ultra-fun watches.
A Lego watch can be had
for about $320.

A fun watch. How to define that? It's certainly possible to say what it's not, as I've already done. But what is it? A fun watch is one that brings you back to your childhood or makes you smile in ways that a Audemars Piguet Royal Oak can't. We may love and enjoy our Omega Speedmaster, but does it touch you with glee? An Astro Boy or Mickey Mouse watch might.

Why not wear a Lego watch from time to time? After all, you almost certainly had a blast playing with legos as a kid.

A fun watch makes other people smile, too -- it spreads the joy. When I wear my Alain Silberstein Krono 2, with its grim and silly moonphase face, I can see people's lips curl upwards as my watch comes into focus. That never happens with my much loved Rolex Explorer 1.

You could even turn an ordinary watch into a fun watch by having The Dial Artist turn your yawn of a Omega into something eye catch and unique.

If you like fine chocolates, every now and then I'm sure you buy a soft ice cream cone with colored sprinkles. The $5 a piece dark chocolate tastes better, but oh, that ice cream cone with sprinkles is so much fun.

Having an espresso with an Alain Silberstein
Krono 2.

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