Sunday, November 12, 2023

The One That Got Away - And Came Back Reborn

I am convinced that the Four Noble Truths were originally penned with the watch-obsessed in mind. And although I am a semi-functioning Buddhist, I accept my imperfections, not the least are that I eat meat, and I like shiny things that keep the time.

Enter the MeisterSinger Edition Primatik 365 -
Courtesy of Meister Singer
Clapping eyes on this last month at the Wind-Up show, I was reminded to try and keep control of my longings and desires, or as was written (albeit originally in Sanskrit), Taṇhā. 

The Primatik 365 is a wonderful time machine. The case measures 41.5 mm and is of stainless steel. The movement is Sellita's SW270, which has been modified to suit the needs of MeisterSinger's single handed functionality. It also includes both a date and power reserve function.

But more than anything else, I was captivated by the look and feel of the Primatik 365. It is clearly legible without being spartan. It is colorful and fun without being garish. It is, at least to my eye, very nearly perfect. Your mileage, of course, may vary ; )

It is limited to 100 pieces and is very reasonably priced at just North of $2,500 (if my memory serves me correctly).

So I am going to hit the pause button and ask you to hop in the Way-Back Machine with me. We're heading to those thrilling days of yesteryear, specifically 2003. 

Now at that time, I was living in San Francisco. I had just gone through a fairly major life shift. Wendy and I had moved to the US after 8 + years overseas (Japan, Portugal, Finland, UK), and I had been relieved of my duties at my first big-time job. I then slugged it out as a Starbucks store manager in a pretty ragged-out location which boasted, among other things, a fairly aggressive rat population. I would get up at 4:00 AM, walk across a still (mostly) sleeping downtown San Francisco, and open up the store, each time grateful I had not run across a predator. I would work my (usually) 10 hour shift (don't worry Howard, I'm not going to get litigious about all of that unpaid overtime), and after that I would grab my suit bag, and hot-foot it over to Tourneau. I would take a quick "hooker's shower" in the men's room, slip into my suit, and work the floors of a very small store, and hopefully sell a few watches. I would get home about 9:30 and share an hour of conversation with Wendy before going to bed to get up and do it all over again. 

And then the sun came out again (at least professionally) and I got a job at a college, re-entering my "field". And after a month, I saved up my lunch money and wandered into Seregin's. This was back when they were behind the big Macy's on Union Square. And that is when I became acquainted with a new (to me) German brand, MeisterSinger. They had one model in 3 different colors. I chose the one that this current one is based on -

Courtesy of Meister Singer
Francis Zanneti was working for Paul Seregin back then. And if ever there was someone who would have rocked a watch podcast it was Francis. He was the one who coined the ultimate watch descriptor:

"The Shit That Killed Elvis!".

Francis explained that I was the first person in San Francisco to buy one, and it was likely I might be one of the first owners in the US full-stop. And that watch meant a lot to me. It reminded me that life, inevitably, moves forward. No matter how bad things might get, those moments of failure, of doubt, of fear? They are temporary. As, it would turn out, is watch ownership. A good friend really admired my MeisterSinger. He was going through a bad time, and I was pleased to see my MeisterSinger go to someone in need of a confidence boost.

Flash forward literally 20 years (and I kid you not, nearly down to the day), and we were wrapping up our booth at the Wind-Up show in New York. I am getting wine and beer for our fellow exhibitors and I look up and realize that I am pouring for Rainer Eckert, the Co-CEO of MeisterSinger. Needless to say, I felt compelled to share my MeisterSinger story with him. And thinking back on it, I am reminded that life is a journey, there really is no set destination - and wouldn't it be boring if there was? 

Nothing is permanent in this life, whether we are ready to accept it or not. But we will always have memories, both good and bad. Time will march on, with or without us. So take those moments to reflect back, to look forward, but most importantly? Take time to enjoy the present.

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