Cyber-Duet Replay:
Time Flies’ Big Questions and
Justin Time’s Puny Answers


Posted by Justin Time on February 26, 1998 at 8:17:17:

TIME FLIES–Hi, folks, I’ve been thinking about where I’ve been with regard to my watch purchases since the 1960’s and what I’ve noticed, thought about and concluded about wristwatches and watch buyers. None of this is intended to infuriate, upset, challenge, question, or provoke any of the folks here on the Forum. In fact, a lot of this stems from my own behavior and the resulting list is as much a product of introspection as it is observation of others. These are random thoughts and there is no underlying purpose to this post other than for pure entertainment and stimulation of your own introspective analysis.

JUSTIN TIME**Don’t be so humble. I do detect a certain method to your madness

TIME FLIES–2. Big, flashy, robust, hunky, colorful, dazzling, lots of crowns and pushers characterize many watches aimed at the lower and middle parts of the market. Obviously, there are some good marketing reasons for this. The higher you go up the ladder of watch fineness, the more straighTime Fliesorward and timeless the designs seem to be.

JUSTIN TIME**Agreed! The Rolls-Royce/Bentley look pretty tame. Same with most Benz/BMW. Exceptions: Gerard Genta for watches and
Ferrari/Lamborghini (SP?) for cars.

TIME FLIES–6. Why do I always buy a watch on a strap, then buy the bracelet afterward? I end up paying more for the combination that way.

JUSTIN TIME**Reason: insanity is easier to take in small doses. BTW, if you ever buy the IWC Flieger, please get the bracelet right away!

TIME FLIES–7. Mechanical chronographs, really and honestly, are antiquated and not all that useful. For important timing functions, for which a chronograph might be needed, digital technology has it all over trying to read little subdials with the readability precision of smeared newspaper ink. Mechanical chronos are for looks and having fun with “timing” things where accuracy and precision are not critical. For me, air navigation is not an inconsequential activity — give me digital.

JUSTIN TIME**I strongly agree and disagree :-)) ALL MECHANICAL WATCHES are antiquated as time-keeping tools. But speed, accuracy, convenience, and progress aren’t everything. Tradition and rituals are just as important in our lives. Chronographs just push the lunacy of a mechanical watch a little further. Confucius said “One-eyed men should not criticize blind men for their poor vision.” Got this from a fortune cookie.

TIME FLIES–8. Mineral glass crystals are the worst. I would rather have sapphire or acrylic. I can polish acrylic and it is the most elastic of the three materials. Sapphire is great, but they do chip and are prone to shatter if hit just right.

JUSTIN TIME**Completely agreed. A compromise is often far worse than either alternatives. Got this from experience, not fortune cookies.

TIME FLIES–9. I used to abhor quartz watches. Now, I appreciate them for what they do. It is a function over form choice — although I now appreciate the form of some of them. This “enlightenment” came after years and years of watch mechanical watch ownership and collecting.

JUSTIN TIME**Quartz has made watches extremely accurate, inexpensive, and…DISPOSABLE. Everything has a price. You just don’t always pay it with money.

TIME FLIES— 10. You can only see the “roughness” of mid-tier watches after owning a much better finished and fitted watch. For some reason, you cannot see this in a watch salon or show room before your purchase of a finer watch. After owning a finer watch you can immediately see the contrasts anywhere, even the show room!

JUSTIN TIME**That is the hardest thing to explain to rookies–no offense. You just have to let them learn it on their own.

TIME FLIES–12. Date apertures are made for people with eyes of Chuck Yeager. In addition, date apertures should be at the 6 o’clock position so that you do not have to “roll” your wrist to read the date.

JUSTIN TIME**My Longines chronograph has the date at 12 o’clock. Does this count?

TIME FLIES–13. White on black provides the easiest and most error free readability. Aviation instruments use this combination and my participation in human factors engineering research bears this out. So, why do I like silver dials?

JUSTIN TIME**Because you are not buying an instrument, though I do like my IWC Flieger in black and white.

TIME FLIES— 14. Titanium is light and strong, but despite what anyone tells you, the scratches on and in titanium do not “heal”. It just looks scratched. And, I might add, it looks worse scratched than stainless steel does.

JUSTIN TIME**My titanium certainly heals. Your titanium must have bad karma–translate: wrong kind of finish. Or worse, a titanium finish (!) on aluminum

TIME FLIES–16. I am a pilot and I do not own “aviation” watches unless you want to call the Mark XII an aviation
watch. (it’s really not — it has some partial aviation heritage). I wonder if most who own aviation watches have done all their “flying” from seat C-12?

TIME FLIES–17. I wonder how many dive watch owners dive, and how many secret agents own

TIME FLIES–19. Real aviation watches would be large and digital. This would be the best combination of characteristics to have when I am crammed in a C-152, at dusk, fighting chop, maps, and tired eyes.

JUSTIN TIME**Mechanical watches are not tools or instruments. They are jewelry or toys for big boys. Actually, they are our security blanket. The world is changing too fast for many of us. We need something immutable to hang on to.

TIME FLIES–20. How can a little, bitty watch strap, even if made out of one little chunk of alligator belly, cost $200 or more? Whew! These straps have higher percentage markups than the darn watch!

JUSTIN TIME**Are you kidding? Do you know how hard it is to catch and skin them tiny alligators? Actually they are nice boiled or fried.

Time flies when you’re having fun. Tempus fugit!

Justin Time