The Monogamous Wrist – Summer 2020

Our poor wrists bear the literal weight of our horological obsessions, and yet we never hear from them. It’s time to let our wrists speak!

PEDRO MENDES’ WRIST’S SUMMER STAPLE

  • King Seiko 5626-7110
  • 37mm
  • $ = vintage, so who knows?

I should have seen this coming. All spring, Pedro was starting to go crazy for vintage Seikos, thanks to that David Flett guy. Pedro bought one vintage Seiko, then another, then another. When the King Seiko arrived, I didn’t complain right away. It’s thin with a relatively small case. Elegant and lightweight.

Truth is, though, it’s not waterproof at all and has a leather strap. “Don’t wear it until fall,” I kept thinking. But no, he’s obsessed, so he’s putting it on every day. Every day. Which means, five or six times a day. He takes it off to do the dishes or to wash his hands (which he’s doing a lot these days for some reason). He also has to take it off when he inevitably gets sweaty. And damn, does he get sweaty. And despite all this hassle, I’ve never seen him happier. He’s constantly looking at the thing, as if his brain is so addled by the heat and humidity it’s taking him forever to figure out how to read the time.

PEDRO’S WRIST’S SUMMER GRAIL

  • Rolex Explorer
  • 39mm
  • in-house auto-winding movement (time only)
  • $6550

Meanwhile, the perfect summer watch is out there in all its splendor. Not only is the Explorer waterproof and rugged, its history just screams the outdoors. It epitomizes that thing he’s always on about when it comes to clothing: casual elegance. He could wear it anywhere, not that he’s going many places right now other than walking the dog. But at least he wouldn’t have to constantly take it off. Despite its sporty history, it’s so classy, with that polished bezel and Mercedes hands. It’s slightly thicker than the King Seiko but easily slim enough to slip under a cuff, and light enough to hardly feel its weight during the day. Plus, with that oyster stainless steel bracelet, water and sweat be damned. And oh my god, there’s so much sweat.

GREG BEDROSIAN’S WRIST’S SUMMER STAPLE

  • Casio “Casioak”
  • Ref: GA2100SU-1A
  • Carbon Resin. Resin Band. Shock Resistant. Mineral Glass. 200-meter water resistance. Double LED light. World time. Countdown timer. 5 daily alarms.
  • MSRP $110
The camo “Casioak” blends in while on-trail.

I need a summer watch to be perfect. I’m a discerning wrist. I’m an active wrist – a well-tanned wrist. I always wear a watch and I don’t spend the summer sitting around the 19th hole congratulating the other wrists about how great they are. G-Shocks and I have never gotten along. Not with my pixie-like 6.75” size.

The temptation of making a quick buck brought me to the Casio Ref GA2100SU-1A aka the “Camo Casioak”. Back in March I found one for $87 on eBay. Good feedback, free shipping…Add To Cart! A greedy wrist like me figured that if the Casioak wasn’t a good match, I could flip it. Demand for these has always outpaced the supply.

It was turned out to be the right fit. Mowing the lawn, early morning runs, and general home repairs stood no chance against the Casioak. I was covered in sunscreen and bug spray constantly. Mix those with some sweat and you have a lethal cocktail. Dish soap and a quick scrub for this wrist and G-Shock and we are as good as new.

Cycling, paddle boarding, and hiking, have you ever seen such a tough and tan wrist like me? Didn’t think so. The camouflage printed bezel lets you know it. The Camo Casioak is here and won’t be stopped.

GREG BEDROSIAN’S WRIST’S SUMMER GRAIL

  • Rolex Daytona
  • Ref 116519LN
  • MSRP $28,800
The Rolex Daytona ref. 116519LN is definitely not steel.

I’m not the gear-shifting wrist. That’s the other one’s job. I hold the steering wheel while my twin on the right runs through the long gated throws. Ok, that’s not true. I wish that it still was. Most of the time it’s a few clicks from P to D. Occasionally it’s the paddles on either side of the steering column. I need a thrill. I need to feel it. Not even steel and ceramic will do. I need a white gold Rolex Daytona for maximum driving pleasure.

Heavy, comfortable, and a big-time flex.

Just being your average wrist, I need to be dressed up bit. I’m sure you understand. I’m not a race car driver’s wrist. I don’t even like going to the track. Why should all the other wrists have fun while I spectate? Still, I don’t care. Give me the destination. Give me life. I want a white gold Daytona.

On date night, forget the valet. I’ll rush around the front of the car and get the door for my wife. She’s picked me and stuck with me, even when we didn’t have two pennies to rub together. This reference (116519LN) only comes on a black rubber “Oysterflex” strap. We’re eating outside on a typical August evening. It’s a nice restaurant and a lavender oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled up is still appropriate. After all, it’s summer. Casual elegance is king. I’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears to be able to afford this watch. If I want to flex, so be it.

DAVID FLETT’S WRIST’S SUMMER STAPLE

  • Seiko SNDA65
  • Quartz Chronograph
  • ~$200.00 pre-owned (if you can find one)

He must be sick… he’s been wearing the same watch for 6 days now. That’s definitely not normal. Normally, he changes his watch at least three times a day. Please don’t ask him how many watches he owns or he will start doing that awkward shuffle of the feet, look at the ground and his palms will begin to sweat. I know this all too well – as his left wrist I am right there next to that sweaty palm. There are the King Seikos, Grand Seikos, the Marvels, Lord Marvels, Lord Matics. I swear it sounds more like a royal court than a watch collection. Then there are the 60s watches, the 70s watches, the Pogues, the UFOs, the Bullheads, the Turtles and the Tunas… what does it all mean? I have no idea.

My companion for the last 6 days has been the Seiko SNDA65… at least that is what I think it is. I can’t feel the caseback because David has it on a pass-through nylon strap so it’s mostly hidden but the sides of the case I can see are black so unless he has bought another black PVD chronograph, it’s the SNDA.

I like it. It’s a nice size. Large enough to cover my tan lines unlike those vintage dress watches he’s been eulogizing lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love being next to those warm, well-worn gold casebacks that are so comforting but they are tiny and cover about as much of me as Borat’s mankini.

It was one of those dress watches that came off to be replaced by the SNDA last week and then 20 minutes later he jumped in the swimming pool and it has remained there since. I must admit I was a bit surprised when he jumped in with it. The SNDA is a 1/20th second quartz chronograph with neither a screw down crown nor screw down pushers. I thought you were not supposed to do that sort of thing. More evidence that he is sick I’m afraid.

Another thing that watch does not have is a loud tick. In fact I can barely perceive its slow, lazy tick. This is not like those vintage hi-beats he wears with their manic tictictictictictictictictictictictictictic. Those watches are like being next to an amphetamine-fueled woodpecker all day. They drive me up the wall… their noise is constant, but him and his Redbar friends seem to stare agog at the other side and wax lyrical about the smooth sweep, whatever that is, whenever he wears them. In contrast this quartz chronograph is quiet and so relaxing for me. It’s like being on vacation. I guess the SNDA is my vacation watch. And now I realize, it’s probably David’s vacation watch too.

DAVID FLETT’S WRIST’S SUMMER GRAIL

  • Rolex Milgauss
  • Ref 116400GV
  • $8300.00

I can choose any watch for summer duty you say? And you can sell all those impractical and fragile vintage watches David likes to strap on me every day? Awesome! He has some nice pieces that if you could sell them for me, should cover the cost of the watch I really want wear this summer. That would be a Rolex Milgauss reference 116400GV. None of this vintage stuff, brand new and shiny and pressure-tested is what I want. I can imagine it now, that cool stainless steel toothed caseback, with the same cool steel oyster bracelet wrapped around me, making me feel all secure, physically and emotionally. No more worrying about if I will damage his precious 1968 Grand Seiko.

You see, as a wrist, and you may not know this, wearing a Rolex gets you respect from other wrists, even non-watch wrists. Those vintage watches he normally makes me wear garner some respect… sometimes… but certainly not from everywrist. Now before you go labelling me as another Submariner-conformist, remember it is the Milgauss model I crave. Apparently, I am one fo the few wrists that really digs it. Maybe it’s that crazy orange second hand zig-zagging from the center of the dial to its edge. I could see how that might bother some wrists. Or maybe it is the the green crystal and seal that gives the reference its GV, ‘Glass Vert’ suffix which turns other Rolex-wearing wrists off. Maybe this sticking point is the orange lume at 3, 6, and 9 but since that is only on the black dialled version it cannot be that. The metallic blue irridescent dialled version has no such orange lume. I suppose Rolex considered that would be gilding the lily.

The real cool stuff is inside that near-indescructable oyster case of course. While the case provides protection from the environment and summer activities, it is the Faraday cage inside the case that gives the watch its resistence of one thousand (mille) Gauss of magnetic flux density. Named after famed 18th Century German mathematician and physicist, Carl Friedrich Gauss, who among many things is also famous for the Gaussian statistical distribution, the Rolex is possibly one of the few places you will see flux referenced thus, having been replaced by the Tesla as the SI unit of magnetic flux density. No-one is going to step on Elon’s toes however to use that as a product name. And regardless, the ‘thousand Gauss’ sounds so much more impressive than the ‘point-1 Tesla’.

Is any of this magnetic protection practical? Well, the original Milgauss was tested by CERN in 1956 to withstand a magnetic field of 1000 Gauss, giving the watch its original Milgauss name. However, the modern standard for anti-magnetic protection in watches, ISO 764:2002, specifies that a watch only needs to resist a magnetic field of 4800 A/m, which is about 60 Gauss. That is a long way short of 1956’s thousand Gauss which equates to 80000 A/m but does any of this really offer any protection? Probably not really. That iPhone in your pocket emits up to 1 Tesla of magnetic flux density which is 10000G, in theory enough to easily overcome the protection provided by you anti-magnetic watch of you happen to place your watch near it.

But I don’t care about all that science, I’m a wrist and a Milgauss is what I want to wear this summer. The only decision to make, is would I choose the black dial or the blue dial. So can you list those vintage watches on eBay for me or not?

JAMES’ WRIST’S SUMMER STAPLE

  • Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer on Mr. Beads Bracelet
  • 36mm
  • $875

I’m complex and underappreciated. The hand, with its high density of nerve endings and opposable thumb and the forearm with its muscles get most of the attention. But for the hand to position itself to work effectively it needs my range of motion, and for those fingers to flex and extend with forearm muscles their tendons have to pass through me. I’ve been in the shadow of the dominant right wrist but I’ve always been more fashionable. I used to sport a quartz Tissot and the eyes and brain would pull me up to check the time. But then the iPhone came around and the watch came off and right hand would be used to check the time. I was bare most of the spring but nowadays I am again the timekeeper. I am wearing a Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer on a Mr. Beads bracelet. It’s comfortable, lightweight, thin, and best of all it can go in the sink at the end of the day for a wash. I used to change watches almost every day and often wore vintage watches on leather straps. Hygiene is an issue now though so it will be the Hamilton for the foreseeable future.

JAMES’ WRIST’S SUMMER GRAIL

  • Omega Soccer Timer
  • 38mm
  • 861 Chronograph Movement
  • $Vintage, so who knows.

Am I the only wrist who actually gets to wear his grail watch? Sad to hear how everyone else’s wrists are bereft of this greatest of pleasures. Almost always, I’d rather be wearing the Omega Soccer Timer. James has it on a blue Veblenist perforated racing strap that wraps around me just perfectly. The 38 mm cushion shape case sits on me perfectly and just screams 1970’s style. I love hearing the lovely crisp clicks from the chronograph pushers. The 861 movement beats at a nice 21,600 vibrations per minute, not too fast, but not too slow.

The Omega Hippocampus on the caseback is so much more interesting than the engraved text on the Hamilton. It’s a real screw down caseback, not a rectangular piece held on with screws. The cushion case sort of floats over the caseback so it feels lighter than it is. I get pulled up to the eyes and brain a lot when I have this piece on. The dial must be quite something. I do have to watch my swings though because that sunburst case finishing is too perfect to ding and scratch. Gotta hide behind the back when I see a doorknob! I see the right hand going for the phone a lot less when I have on the Soccer Timer – well, except for wristshots. One day we’ll go outside with the Omega Soccer Timer again.

ALLEN’S WRIST’S SUMMER STAPLE

ORIS X MOMOTARO JEANS ORIS DIVERS 65

  • 40mm
  • Auto-winding time only movement.
  • $2200

When Allen is in the honeymoon phase with a new watch, he fails to realize that I’m the one having the flesh-to-flesh experience worthy of the term “honeymoon.” Summer 2020 has been all about Allen’s new Oris Divers 65, the one they did with Momotaro Jeans in Japan. I lost my mechanical virginity to an Oris three decades ago, and I feel young and handsome again snuggled up against this retro-styled diver with its high-end Japanese denim strap. All was good in the world.

Then Allen swapped out my awesome Japanese denim for the Oris two-tone bronze and steel bracelet. Yo, Allen, did you have to take away my awesome jeans just when they were breaking in? The bracelet is – brrrrrrrrr – cold at first, and by the end of the day I’m all oxidized and green. Talk about a chemical reaction – honeymoon indeed! I feel a little dirty wearing the marks of my intimacy like that, but I’ll admit to also feeling sexy with my hair all tussled with summer heat and bronze patina. But, I’m looking forward to Fall so I can wear my Japanese denim again and get cozy under Allen’s sweaters.

ALLEN’S WRIST’S SUMMER GRAIL

PANERAI PAM01037 Luna Rossa Carbotech Chronograph

  • 44mm
  • Autowinding in-house chronograph movement
  • $18,000

Now, if I could get it on with any watch this summer? I’ve been doing a lot of duty on Allen’s new Ducati Panigale V2, which puts inordinate stress on me and my counterpart over on the right side (thank goodness I’m not the throttle hand, though, because that dude is completely wiped out at the end of Allen’s rides). Allen promises he’s going to lose 30lbs so that we wrists no longer bear the weight of his culinary indulgences, but we’ve yet to see that happen.

So, in the spirit of being lightweight, Italian, and cool-as-hell – like his Ducati Panigale V2 – I’d be wearing one of those new Panerai Luna Rossa carbon watches – light as a feather, anti-microbial, super badass in-house movements, and – ooh la la – that touch of red would have me all matchy-matchy with the rest of Allen’s armour-clad body parts. I’d go with the 44mm chronograph – a tight little package with a rubber strap that’s like Do-Me Boots on Monica Vitti. At $18,000 MSRP the PAM01037 is literally more expensive than Allen’s Ducati Panigale V2, but I haven’t given up on Allen making this fantasy a reality just yet.