My attraction to watches is relatively new. It started when I wanted to swap out my trusty, reliable Seiko kinetic for a leather watch. I got a pretty Timex, then I got an even prettier Fossil on clearance during my trip to Europe, and I was officially hooked.
Generally, I’m more of a tech geek than an old school person. I like my stuff to be state-of-the-art. So you would think I would want a smartwatch over a mechanical automatic watch that doesn’t keep time half as well as a basic cheapo quartz watch, and requires winding to keep time if I don’t wear it every day.
But there’s something charming about mechanical watches, the intricate engineering involved to let it run without needing a battery, just the motion of the wearer’s arm. And having a skeleton watch to show off the engineering was just icing on my increasingly vain cake. Once upon a time I cared so much more about function than form. Now, form sometimes takes precedence.
So I scoured the internet for nice watches that fit my criteria of:
A) a mechanical automatic
B) a leather watch
C) a skeleton watch
D) has date function; preferably also day and month
E) under S$300
Given my somewhat modest budget (for a watch, anyway), I wasn’t going to find a lot of options that weren’t some unknown Chinese brand. Fossil was one of those that stood out the most, and while I considered some Citizen Eco-Drive watches (which weren’t mechanical, but had some interesting technology), the cheap ones weren’t pretty and the pretty ones weren’t cheap.
I did say I was drawn to form over function these days.
This particular model I got, the Fossil ME3028, is apparently out of production, and was no longer carried by watch shops in Singapore. Thankfully, online watch shops still had stock. I initially wanted the Navy version, with a rose gold body. But the black version was cheaper, was in stock, and would probably be easier to match clothing with. The brown version was even cheaper, but I preferred a black watch face over the white.
So I plumped for the watch, and it looks smaller than I thought it would be. It is also quite the busy watch face, given the four inner dials and the exposed gears. It is ridiculously hard to read the date and month at a glance, but damn if it doesn’t look gorgeous. And it’s at least more useful than a chronograph, which I’ve never found use for on my Timex.
The back is just as gorgeous, with the exposed mechanics making the watch seem far more expensive than it is. But of course, it’s not a Swiss movement, and it’s made by Fossil who aren’t known for their watches’ endurance and quality. I don’t expect this puppy to run smoothly for decades, or even years. But it looks great, and that’s all I need.
Let’s hope this isn’t going to be the start of a very expensive hobby…