Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Some Watches, a Friend, and Life

This is one of the Paajanen era Vulcain Crickets.

For those just tuning in, you can read about the one-time custodians of the Vulcan Cricket and their tradition of presenting Vulcain Cricket watches to Presidents visiting Helsinki here -

A few months ago, I received word via Linkedin that the last connection to that era for Vulcain had passed away.  His name?  Keijo Paajanen.  He was still a young man, and was enjoying his next phase of life as a budding entrepreneur in Helsinki following the closure/sale of his family's store (if I understood that aspect correctly). 

I can't claim that Keijo and I were lifelong friends, but I can say that I was glad to have him as my friend, and always appreciated his efforts to help me in writing about the Cricket, and I admired his tireless efforts to continue his family's tradition of presenting a Vulcain Cricket to visiting US Presidents.  Keep in mind, there was NOTHING in it for him.  He was, essentially, giving away something he could just as easily have sold.  But he still did it.

He was a true ambassador of the Vulcain brand, and I would go so far as to encourage Mr. Magada to create a basic model in honor of him.  Of course, I realize that is highly unlikely.  You see, Keijo Paajanen was, as his father before him, a romantic.  And sadly, there are far too few Keijo Paajanen's in the watch business these days.

Now I've held off on writing about this for several months.  I reached out to contacts in Helsinki to see if they could find an obituary, etc., and they found nothing.  But I can also say that every effort myself and others have made to contact him via email and social media have gone unanswered.
And if it is so, then I am truly sad, as he was an important person in my watch journey, and a true steward of the Vulcain legacy.

But life is funny, and stranger things have happened.  There is a not-so-small part of me hoping that maybe he simply packed a rucksack and hopped on his motorcycle one day for a round-the-world getaway, cutting himself off from social media, etc., and that maybe his Linkedin connection got it wrong, and that maybe, one of these days, a reply to my email to him will pop into the Tempus Fugit in-box, along with photos from far-away lands, selfies of him smiling broadly, wearing his personal Vulcain Cricket.  That's the hope that I am holding onto.

Enjoy your watches

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