Whats in a watch?
Well for the aspirational who gobble up Patek Phillipe ads like sparrows their bird seed an awful lot. The idea that by wearing one they will join the old rich who worry not about such things but are forever teaching their boy reef knots on the family yacht, how to scull on the tailor made racing shell, giving a few words of advice before they mount the first class only Orient Express,and of course having a laugh as man and boy play at being cooks together.
So it came as little surprise to find that one of the many wonderful scenes in the unfolding Turkish corruption scandal(USA’s staunchest ally undermines its sanctions against USA’s most dedicated enemy Iran?) involves a $395000 Patek Phillipe*.
So expensive was this time piece that a special watch mule had to be sent from Istanbul to Geneva to pick it up. Remember you never actually own a PP you just look after it for the next generation. Whether ex finance minister Zafar Cagalyn will wear his watch as he counts the years in a slammer or just the hours to the next meal at his Monte Carlo hotel remains to be seen. Of course small kebab when we find that old Zafar(so good) has already trousered $50m in bribes in the $120bn gold for oil scam.
My favourite all time film is Pulp Fiction .No scene is more memorable than when Christopher Walken explains to the young Bruce Willis about how his father carried his watch where the sun doesn’t shine for several years in Vietcong captivity. This watch worn by your grandfather in the Pacific war before “is your birthright”. For seven years it was carried cheek to cheek so that this timepiece which neither father or grandfather never owned but were just looking after for the next generation could be passed on. It had to be a Patek Phillipe.
Even I have a watch story. On finding out who my biological father was fourteen years ago I went to meet my half brother and sister in Canada. As a bond between us they gave me my natural father’s watch. The watch(Eterna Matic 2002) he earned working for thirty years as a VP at Alcan. As some one who never lasted more than three years in any full time job I knew what this watch might have cost. Up until then I had never worn watch.
For three years I wore this watch. It climbed Kilimanjaro with me, in the Himalayas I dropped it and one of the porters found it. Then it went wrong. I took it into the wonderful local Putney clock shop. Two weeks later and £150 poorer I got it back. Six months later it broke down again. Not even a PP gets a second chance. I have been wearing a£50 Royal for the last three years. No problem. One thing I know is that my son will never wear it.
*On line the same watch can be bought for $319000. Did the courier pocket the difference, does this story never end.