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  • HIGH MAINTENANCE

    by Beata Henrichs-Lieb December 19, 2016

    HIGH MAINTENANCE

    When I met my future husband, Josh, he had a watch collection. I say "had" because we got rid of most of those timepieces. Let me explain. His collection consisted mainly of broken watches. Some beyond repair, plus some not worth repairing. There were watches with no crown, no cover, and no bands. The pocket watches were missing chains, or in one case the flip door/cover was off. This "collection" was all jumbled into a Havana, Cuba cigar box, naturally, and shoved to the back of his mint colored custom built-in closet… also a mess, but that's another story. 

    So, I kept the box. Moving it from house to house… New York to LA, then back again. And then back AGAIN to New York, for what I hope to be the final move. During that last move, in the midst of having what I’m pretty sure was a nervous breakdown, I was walking up Madison Avenue and looked up as I tend to do, noticing a watch repair shop specializing in antique watches... antique watches? I have some of those! So, when I got home I found the moving box with the cigar box and went to work. Out of that mess I found one worth saving, a 1941 Rolex Chronometer Oyster Perpetual. The band was this tacky 1940s gold link thing that reminded me of an old timey, traveling salesman’s watch. It was simply hideous, which is why I probably never paid much attention to it before. The other issue the watch had? It was as dead as a doornail. 

    I brought it over the next day. 

    The shop was run by a husband and wife in their seventies. She was extremely positive about the work and he was much more "I don't know... This is a very old piece... Can't get the parts for these old watches anymore," but he reluctantly agreed to try it. "No guarantees" he grumbled as his sweet wife took my deposit, and winked and smiled. "Don't worry, he likes a challenge," and indeed he did. He had the watch for about three weeks before I got a call. 

    When I got the watch back it came with a new set of instructions. The biggest one STAY AWAY FROM WATER! The main reason being that the crown is not replaceable. It’s not sealed, so I can never get the thing near water. I can't wear it in the rain or even on a very muggy day. I must be cognizant at all times of what I'm doing when I wear it. Washing my hands, bathing my children, and sometimes when I'm not the face will cloud up and even stop, and I actually have to let the watch "dry out." It must be wound and reset frequently and simply not worn ALL the time. 

    But it's lovely now and I do wear it frequently regardless of its high maintenance issues. It's very understated, but it's also made by a great brand that I trust, and I wear it proudly when weather permits! I did have the band changed to dark brown crocodile and it looks so much better. In my opinion… less in some cases is more! 
     


    Beata Henrichs-Lieb
    Beata Henrichs-Lieb

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