Monday, June 24, 2019

It Started in Tachikawa

A little bit of Henki-lore today.  Way back in 1994, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Wendy and I were living and working in the Tokyo suburbs.  I had a quartz Tag Heuer that I had bought myself as a graduation present from the U of O a few years earlier and it was, well, "buggy".  Several battery changes later, it became clear that the watch itself was as doomed as the University of Oregon's football team of the mid-eighties, and after three solid years and one very "iffy" one, I was convinced that it was time to get an automatic watch.  Now keep in mind that I was an English teacher, not a wealthy expat so there was never a possibility of buying something at a regular retail store.  So I started poking around the local pawn shops, and found a Rado Golden Horse (I think it was golden, but maybe purple or green), in a pawn shop in Tachikawa.  It was definitely "worn" and loved, and it worked.

The pawn shop took my Tag Heuer in trade and I needed to come up with an additional 4,000 Yen to cover the balance.  And to be honest, I was so frustrated by the failure of the watch that I gladly made the trade, handed over the cash, and "wore it off the lot".  In my more sentimental moments, I think back on my graduation watch.  I hope that it finally got repaired and the "burned out" movement finally got replaced and maybe, just maybe, there is another English teacher who worked in the Hachioji/Tachikawa corridor who discovered it in a pawn shop window and treated themselves.  

Now my Rado was a bit smaller than this re-edition.  But it did have a beads of rice bracelet.  It had a silver dial, and the date window had an "inverted" cyclops window which I really appreciated as it made the date very, very legible.

Here are the pertinents, straight from Rado -

Thickness : 10.4 mm
Water resistance : Water-resistant 5 bar (50 m)
Crystal : Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Case back : Transparent sapphire case back
Shape : Round
Case color : Light
Gender : Gents

Dial : Colored
Date : Yes
Movement Power Reserve : up to 80 hours

Bracelet : Stainless steel
Bracelet reference : 07.03912

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