Sunday, February 06, 2005

Seiko SNA 429

Seiko watches have been a constant desire in my life. You could say they serve as milestones of my life. The very first one I ever received from my parents was a simple blue dial 17 jewel watch. It was my first year in high school in the Philippines. Very soon after that year, we went to America. When I went to college, for some reason, I lost the watch. All I can remember is that it was with my collection of coins.

It took me nearly fourteen years before I bought another Seiko watch. Being a poor graduate student, I could afford the forty dollar and the fifty dollar watches. But the plastic bracelets always seemed to break. I remember buying several of them during graduate school.

To mark the end of graduate school, I bought my second Seiko watch. A white dial 17 jewel automatic just like my first watch. While wearing the watch, it ripped every single hair on my left wrist. Good Lord! I should have shaved my wrist instead of enduring the pain over a period of weeks. The second watch was with me during my post-doc years. It served as a nice reminder that I got through graduate school in one skin. Maybe I can do it again in the post-doc.

The advent of cheap cellular phones changed my thinking about watches. I stopped wearing the watch since I began carrying the cell phone. Why carry jewelry when you don't need it? It wasn't my persona anyways. I was a happy go lucky scientist who dressed in jeans and t-shirts. Who needs a high class watch?

In 2004, for some reason, the bug hit me again. For some reason, my obsessive-compulsive self began to desire and lust after Seiko chronographs. It got so bad that one time, I went to downtown San Francisco near Union Square to buy the watch. I looked at the displays. The daughter of the owner sensed an opportunity. She began talking and I pointed to a blue dial stainless steel chronograph. The suggested retail price was $375. She said that it was on sale for that day only. She took off $50. I said that I could not afford that. What I was really doing was thinking about how to get the money from two bank accounts that I had.

When I made a move to leave, she insisted that I should buy the watch. I said that I had to consult my wife. Those were magic words. Realizing that the decision was not on one person alone, she took off another $50. Wow, the price was now $275. I left the store and went to the two banks and withdrew $300. But while I was going back to the store, I got a call from the SO. The short end of the conversation was that I should try to connect my watch with an achievement. I walked the streets of San Francisco for about two hours trying to talk myself into buying the watch. But the obsessiveness had already left me. I ended up redepositing my money.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving weekend of 2004. I was ready to leave my miserable job. But the word on the grapevine was that a bonus was coming up in January 2005. Imagine, the photofinishing business was making so much money that they wanted to share the wealth. Truthfully, the work load was so big that I had a difficult time imagining to stay. The SO suggested that I attach my watch to getting the bonus. I did not want to, but it made sense. how much did I want that chronometer? How much suffering could I go through?

Well, by doing a seminar for a company, I got $200 of Amazon bucks. The seminar was something like ten minutes. When the bonus came, I was off to the races. I could finally buy the watch. But since I waited this long, I searched some more. The SO suggested looking at Amazon for a watch. I did not think that they would have any. Boy was I wrong. I was able to buy a great titanium chronometer for only $90. The amazon bucks helped me out. Now, I have a blue dial chronometer which is better than what I would have gotten six months ago.

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