Without the Watchville app, the global watch community no longer had a central hub, an intersection through which much of this community’s endless output would pass all day every day so that the siloing effects of digital life didn’t divide our community the way it has divided nearly every community I can think of over the past decade or so. This is why you’ll find The Watch Space app is so inclusive.
For me, the Searambler is the weirdest Doxa of them all—less sporty than orange or black, and totally ready for bare chested-Dads of the 1970s. The Searambler is the watch for men who smoked cigarettes with their wetsuits tied around their waist as they discussed the next dive plan. The Searambler is the watch stuck in a drawer in a lakeside cabin in northern Michigan ready to be discovered by some yet-unborn great-grandchild who will hold it as a genuine antique, a lost family heirloom this great-grandchild may see on his great-grandfather’s wrist in a faded Kodachrome photograph in a shoe box. In this hypothetical photograph, grandad has a cigarette in one hand and the backside of his bikini-clad wife (that’s great grandma?!) in the other. Their carefree smiles and sun-burnt skin suggest a pre-apocalyptic moment when hope and happiness weren’t so rare—a mid-century moment when technology was still a good and simple, not some self-taught AI unleashed to consume its maker. The SUB 300 Searambler is a watch a man could wear while water-skiing without a life preserver, maybe even with a beer in one hand.
I think it’s fair to say that any watch which replicates another instrument is a kind of gimmick. Dashboard watches come immediately to mind, as do more specific gauges like altimeters and speedometers, and even digital recreations of vintage video game consoles, and so on. Rarely do I find these gimmicks interesting or original, but the Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph is an exception to my general disregard for such timepieces.
One of the problems I often have with two-piece watch cases this thick is that the sides can be super boring or, as the kids say, “slab sided.” The 40mm Broadsword case is 11.9mm tall, which is the exact same height as Tudor’s Black Bay 58, a watch I don’t buy precisely because the thing is so “slab-sided.” (The new BB54 is better, I hear, but I digress.) The Broadsword case is simply not slab-sided. It’s actually quite elegant and interesting.
Indeed, there is a bonafide luxury revival going on, a kind of fuck it moment born of what I won’t speculate too broadly, but I haven’t seen anything like it since the 1980s. Whatever down-to-earth aesthetic we had up until the 1980s was tossed aside as the hippies became yuppies, tax reforms favored the rich, and people like the previous president of the USA became (I can’t believe I’m going to say this) tastemakers. Maybe today’s glitz is his fault. Yes, I know he wears a Vacheron, but have you seen his toilet?
I can’t think of another serious watch brand—Swiss, nonetheless—of which one can genuinely—that is, without Irony—say: Fucking brilliant, mate…really taking the piss. And it is certainly elevating my foul mood to be awash in thoughts of Moser on this shit morning. This is what I turn to watches for, exactly. I aspire to be as unlike the inhabitants of Hollywood as possible. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool East Coast Aesthete, high-minded and always a little angry at the world for not being as smart as I think I am. I enjoy the illusion that I am an independent thinker, and so when I see something like this Moser Perpetual Calendar awaiting judgment on my desk, I smile knowing that this watch is not going to insult my intelligence, and that it may even challenge it.