Saturday, March 13, 2021

Making Watches (and Luxury Watches at that) A Little More Human

So a little known Henki factoid -

As an 11 year old Northern Youth, I dabbled at designing football (soccer) shoes that would ideally be useful for young players (i.e. kids with little to no spending money) who worked summer jobs to pay for their soccer registrations and their soccer gear. In my case, this meant shining shoes, washing golf shoes, cleaning the men's locker room and running (in hindsight) very dubious errands for the local captains of industry (a few, who in hindsight, were members of a certain fraternal organization that WAS NOT the Elks). That March (1980 if memory serves) our first game of the spring season was snowed out. So I grabbed a few of my father's many pens and very crudely sketched out a design for a pair of soccer shoes. And being the rather impetuous kid that I was, I mailed them off with a rather sloppily composed letter asking the then mighty Mitre shoe company to consider it.

About a month later, the phone rang (a yellow, wall-mounted rotary dial model from the good folks at GTE) and it was someone at Mitre USA calling all the way from Tennessee. They informed me that they got my design and wanted to send me a pair of Mitre Missile Shoes. How in God's name they got my phone number, I will never know. They asked me my size, which I timidly told them was a size 6 (that's particularly wee) and I remember my father's nearly apoplectic reaction to my not asking for a larger size so that I could get more use out of them. You would have had to know him at the time. He was a great coach with a somewhat short fuse around the house.

The shoes arrived a week later, and I wore them TO DEATH.  I did, naturally, grow out of them and all the way through my youth career was a dedicated customer of Mitre, my last pair being the "Pro Model" in high school.  I went on to play semi-professional soccer (football) up until I turned 23, when it became clear that my time playing at that competitive level had come and gone. But I still hold Mitre in high regard, and think of their shoes as my constant companion as a teenager dreaming of being the American Michel Platini ; )

And that story immediately came rushing back earlier this week as I was searching for the video from the recent Chronoswiss press presentation. I stumbled upon this video from a little over a year ago (if I read the date stamp correctly). It is a really, really nice story about a father and son and Chronoswiss. For Christmas, the son wanted to make his father something very special, and to that end, using drawings, images, a scalpel, colored pencils and paper, created a paper version of the Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph - his father's dream watch, a Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph -

Courtesy of Chronoswiss

The video speaks for itself, but bravo to Chronoswiss. This was a much needed "warm fuzzy" at a time when we all could really use it.

No comments:

Post a Comment