A Safe Space

Be Constructive, Not Destructive

In which, the first thing I say is issue a warning to anyone looking to bash others.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

If you’ve looked around lately, you’ll notice that the world continues to be a scary place. A place where people don’t feel safe and secure, where paranoia is survival. If this is how you live your life, there is no shame in it.

However, this is where that way of life and this website differ. I strongly support constructive criticism and the building up of my fellow humans. Tearing someone down, even for a brief moment of relief, remains a constant way in which to perpetuate a painful cycle.

So if you have nothing good to say, nothing helpful, or supportive, don’t say it. Just like I choose to write, you choose to read. Do not like? Then do not read. In return, I will try to be as objective with my opinion as possible. I am only human, I feel things too.



My Must Haves For This Thing Called Life.

I’ve come to the point in my life where I am thinking about the things that I need to keep and the things I need to throw out. Beyond the standard things like a favorite pair of shoes or a warm hat, here are the things I’ve decided I must have at all times in life.

My Watch. Not a surprise given the amount of Watch related content this site has been putting out recently. I would need 1 watch, my Rolex Oyster Perpetual, to take me through life and to keep me on track. It’s made to be tough but elegant to the point that it would fit under a board room shirt cuff or hiking the highest mountain. It took me ages to save up for this watch (even before the price hikes) and it is proof that I can save money. I’m not going anywhere without it since I’ve taken it everywhere and it’s survived everything from drops to flood damage.

My leather jacket. Simultaneously classic and daring, the Allsaints Prospect leather jacket will go anywhere and do anything. Deep soft black leather, suede inner collar, shearling collar for the wind, this jacket is a comfort to be had on a cold night and brings back great memories. It stands up to nights out on the town or days visiting the relatives for lunch.

My Guitar. The Chapman ML2- Pro Modern in a Satin Fireburst. The satin finish is delicate and smooth as silk in the hands. The materials are of a high quality and even if I ding it, it keeps on going since it’s a through neck construction. This is the first guitar I reach for and while it’s not the rarest, it’s one of the most comfortable I own. I’ll get better at playing … eventually.

My Jade. One of the last gifts from my grandfather, in the shape of my zodiac animal, it is one of my important treasures. When I hold it, I think of him always, missing him and my grandmother dearly. It is a piece of them that I carry and it will remain with me always. It, unlike grandpa’s knife, would make it through airport security. The jade is statistically a better option.

My headphones. The Shure Se535 were bought from a trip in Japan along with some Luck Charms. Second hand but in pristine condition, I spent an hour sitting in a chair in a shop in Nakano Broadway testing them with various music. Whatever mobile device I have, I’ll always want to listen to music and so I must have an earphone with great sound stage, sparkling highs, emotional mid vocals, and punchy but clear bass. It’ll even do a half decent job at airplane noise isolation.

Google. If I am ever without Google, I would be totally screwed as I am so hooked into google that I would never make it out of any country alive without it. Google maps is one of my most trusted sources and google voice allows me to call or text anyone in the world. Every piece of writing I’ve ever done is saved there. Photos that document my history. Calendar that keeps track of my life.

Safe Travels on this thing we call the road of life. Whatever it is that you carry, may it bring you continued comfort and sanity. Part utility, part security blanket, and not always easy to transport in some cases, these are the things that we must have to go through life or else life just isn’t quite what it should or would be without.



A Terrible Fall of Angels By Laurell K. Hamilton

Like the Perfect Pizza, it depends on what you like. Give it some time.

As this is her first male lead, I didn’t know what to expect from Zaniel Havelock except a male version of her other (female) lead characters. What I got was a book that was really human, showcasing trauma, mental health awareness, and real connection that isn’t as well represented when compared to the first Anita or Merry books. Yes, it’s mentioned in other parts of her others work but we’re really seeing it in this book ( I haven’t read all of Merry, still waiting!). To be fair, the first Anita book came out in 1994 so she’s certainly improved.

These are people first and foremost, their gender part of their description rather than their sole defining characteristic. The characters you’ll meet in this book almost make it seems like there’s a prequel or an appendix of history that you the reader are not privy to and perhaps it’s better that way. There will be jokes and history that you the reader won’t know and good or bad, only you can decide if that’s something you can accept.

The same is true of the Angelic and other religious elements within this story as well. Faith here is different from how it’s shown through Hamilton’s previous work. It definitely has it’s mysterious parts, which I’ll talk about, but for the most part, divine intervention is powerfully obvious and results are direct in this book. You might expect Anita Blakes cross to glow around vampire threats but here? Zaniel himself see’s the glow of the world and it’s magical splendor. There’s definitely room to grow here in this urban jaunt.

There was some purposeful editing to keep things a tad more mysterious and anticipatory given the new supernaturals she was working with in this book. I admit that I am more familiar with how Were-animals and Vampires work, much less so with Angels and this kind of supernatural.  I can forgive that so long as the characters and the world are real but it still feels a tad more forced than in her Anita works. I’m not a fan of characters passing out as a method of ending a scene but this seems to be something that happens more than a few times in past books she’s written.

The differences in the reviews we as fans are seeing is the result of readers’ preference. What do you want in a book? Do you care more about character development and authenticity? What about Pacing? How about the World Building? Quirky cast of characters? Certain elements do need work in this book (looking at you Pacing) but I can really forgive it since the book pulled me in and left me wanting more.

There are a lot of characters we’re meeting and I’m sure we’ll meet them again in the next one (hopefully) but some folks have pointed out that there are a lot of people in this book. That can be trying for some but that only means the next books will bring these characters even more vibrancy and detail. If however, those characters never surface again, it may feel like a temporarily useful but wasted long term world building to introduce a solid character only to discard them completely in the next books. It’s a fine line that Hamilton hasn’t always balanced well.

The world itself feels real, like a place I could visit (but would probably not survive in for very long), and that’s worth it to me. The world feels, as always, well researched, and written with a very specific focus. Maybe too specific? Only in a few places but that could be because author Laurell K. Hamliton felt pressure writing a male lead character? Only time will tell but Zaniel definitely felt like a guy, where guys can get focused and be poorer at multitasking. It’s a different voice from what we’re used to with Anita but still have sprinklings of the witty banter we’re accustomed to reading.

As we expect, Hamilton writes realistic characters with human foibles, the mistakes and biases are what makes them so real. We can also probably expect to connect with her cast of characters but be forewarned that you may not see them after a certain point. Oh they’re likely still alive within the world but probably won’t take center stage once their story arc finishes in the authors minds eye. For better or for worse, as incredible as her characters can be, they don’t stick around forever. One of rarer elements that Anita books dealt with was the perma-death of a character that the lead was close to. Many have come close to the brink or had been brought back but something in this readers gut says that this time, it’s about to get serious.

I do like the way the main character interacts with the world around him and is written as a very self-aware (dare I say self-possessed?) character without the rose-tinted glasses that early Anita material possessed. Early Anita, for example, fell down the rabbit hole of the supernatural in her world and that led to much of the sex-capades that took place, which is fine. I just enjoyed the police work and supernatural bad-assery more. We can definitely see more of that painstakingly researched police work and fans have been told that we’re going to dive deeper into police work which I’m hopeful for even if it does include mountains of paperwork for Zaniel.

With Zaniel, you’ll get someone who is of course going to uncover supernatural things about this brand new world but he already knows a ton about the Angels and about Angel Speakers so there’s less chance of the book taking a path into the overly sexual that people seemed to dislike about some of the Anita books. There is an already established romance or two in the book that I’m certainly invested in (in all shades of the rainbow and not Zaniel centric), that indicates this won’t turn into a giant sex-athon. Again those are fine but I don’t see it for the character of Zaniel given his history.

There are seeds sprinkled in this initial outing for future books to expand upon for Zaniel Havelocks relationships, romantic or otherwise. The same can be said for event and showdowns foreshadowed in this first book that will keep readers waiting for the next book. You can bet it will be plenty violent but according to Hamilton, it will also lend itself to a greater degree of hope as well. The stakes are different in this book (haha Vampire joke) and so there’s a bigger sense of world-altering urgency in this book. It’s different from Anita and that’s okay.

It’s like she hasn’t gotten the recipe for this pizza pie perfect yet. Too many ingredients and it falls apart. Too few or the wrong few and it’s boring. The wrong flavor combo tastes a little funny and might not be everyone’s cup of tea. This time around, it’s a rocking good time and I can’t wait for more. She’ll get there, have a little faith.



10 Things to Miss about Japan

How one country can make you really miss it so much.

Being treated well when you travel shouldn’t be taken for granted and this is especially true if you’re going to a country where English isn’t their native language. Japan though, is a welcoming place to tourists. Most if not all shops are unfailingly polite and hospitable so the only real risk is coming from being late to something. Your personal safety is rarely at risk and women can generally solo travel this country with no issues.

Speaking of timeliness, the Japanese as a culture are very much strict about their time. It’s a sign of respect to be on time and even early in some cases. It’s viewed in a negative light if you are late to a meeting but what that means as a visitor is that if your train says it’s leaving at 12 noon, it’s definitely gone by 12:01. Equally important is to make restaurant reservations as they are very exacting with their spacing, seating, and portion requirements. Some restaurants may turn you away if you’re either excessively late or are an incomplete reservation.

It should come as no surprise, as the country in the world tied with France for the most Michelin Starred Chefs, that the food in Japan is nothing short of amazing. They’ve taken cuisine from all over the world and put their own amazing refinements on it. They’ve made curries a little sweeter while maintaining those amazing spices. The same for pasta, the sauce a tad sweeter but the cooking technique no less impressive. No matter the stand up sushi bar in a local train station or a 12 course Michelin Star dinner, expect to eat well in Japan.

I will be the first to state that Japan’s trains can be crowded and so they don’t offer much in the way of comfort during rush hour. However, comfort does reign in some very important area’s of Japanese culture. I am of course, talking about the porcelain throne. It’s no secret that it can get cold in Japan but what the Japanese have done for early morning cold posterior’s is nothing short of amazing. I’ve never missed a bathroom as much as I do the ones in Japan and I would consider it a worthy endeavor to convert an American toilet to the Japanese style heated seat.

The scenery in Japan is also one of the places where you feel at peace. There are awe inspiring places all over the world that seem larger than life and Japan has those too. What you should focus on though, is how you feel when you’re around those places. The shrines in Japan for example, evoke a tranquility rarely seen. Forests and hills, mountains and hot springs. Take in the beauty that still exists in this ultra modern country.

Japan is not for those faint of wallet. That is to say that the Japanese have made a culture of shopping and their second hand market is arguably the best in the world. Nearly any modern product that a discerning Nerdy Human might want to buy can be found in Japan, it’s that serious. The vintage shops in Japan are equally spectacular since the Japanese are fairly meticulous with the items they own so you can find items from 4 decades ago in unbelievable shape. They’re thoughtful like that.

There are plenty of old cities all over the world but the history in Japan is something else. Japan is famous for it’s technology and so it has some of the most modern buildings in the world built to reduce the impact of earthquakes. Equally well built alongside those buildings, are shrines and temples that are 2000 years old in some cases. So yes, you might find an ultra modern office building built next to a shrine that your great grandparents have visited.

As one of the most populated places in the world, it was definitely a requirement for commuters and travelers alike to be able to get around. Japan has one of the most modern and accessible public and private railway systems in the world. In one day, it’s possible to hop a bullet train and 6 hours later end up on the other side of the country. Simply put, the transit system in Japan allows travelers to experience the full range of city-to-country living at a moments notice.

If you’ve decided to take a day trip out to the country side or just a neighboring city, you’d be relieved to know that you can eat on the bullet train. Even as you accelerate to over 150 mph, you won’t feel it. So be safe in the knowledge that you can eat the variety of delicious snacks that Japan is famous for while you watch the countryside speed by. There are even cities with destinations for food lovers in mind and the snack minded.

Mindfulness, also known as consideration, is something that the Japanese have practiced for generations. As a culture they wear masks even when there isn’t a global pandemic as just a way to stop the spread of regular germs during flu season. Personal experience has shown that service staff in hotels and restaurants go the extra mile and are always willing to work with you towards your travel goals. It is perhaps this thing more than any others, that makes Japan shine.

For all the things I’ve talked about, it is truly the people of Japan that keep me coming back there. I never go in assuming I’ll be treated like a king who’s just returned home from a long journey and yet I’m comforted in the idea that here is a place that I visit, where I know I’ll be welcomed and treated well. A place where I can relax and truly enjoy without fear or reservation but always with politeness in mind.

Until Next time,


Why Brands Matter

In particular, why do brands matter the most when it comes to Watches.

There is a circle of thought that says the brands you buy and wear shouldn’t matter. The idea is that quality by any other name would be just as fine, so long as you liked it. To a certain extent, this is true because there are generic foods, drugs, or yes Watches, that are just as capable of fulfilling your needs without the fancy name attached.

Why then, is it that Brands matter and especially, Watch Brands matter more? Why is it that most regular people off the street know Rolex but not Jaeger- LeCoutre? Why Omega but not Grand Seiko? Branding. Advertising and promotion are some of the greatest tools a Watch company have at it’s disposal to bring attention to itself so it any wonder that Rolex or Omega are in all the Bond movies. Clearly the strategy works as they have some of the biggest celebrities in the world be their brand ambassadors. The title is fairly obvious I should think.

Now, before you jump down my throat by saying certain brands are overrated and shouldn’t cost half as much as they do, just wait. Yes, there are certain brands that are overrated and are over hyped. Yes, there are brands that cost double or triple their retail cost on the second hand market. Do not confuse cost with value, they are not the same thing.

To get the idea of why Branding works, you have to understand the human mind. Branding works by connecting brands to certain events or emotions, with memory. Ever wonder why the biggest brands fight for a spot during the Superbowl? The commercials have proven viewership and reach that companies have complete bidding wars over who gets seen for how long at what time slot. Remember those after school snacks or those toys in the happy meal? This brand exposure is serious business because everyone is emotional. Emotions trigger memories. Memories that help you figure out what to buy when you have an itch for a shiny new something, like a Watch.

Competition and exclusivity is another reason why brands matter. Within your immediate circle, no matter how big or small, brands matter. What car you or your friend drives, what clothing you share with your family, what Watch you wear out on a date. All manner of things are taken into account to build your own image and sometimes, to out do the image of those around you. Competition. You want to be better than the guy or girl standing next to you. To have something more impressive than them.

Culture also plays a part, just outside your immediate circle. Seen on the news, in music videos, movies, TV shows and heard on the radio, culture drives brands and spending trends. The hottest brands as I’ve mentioned are often endorsed by the biggest celebrities. This in turn does feed into your close circle of friends and family but has further reach, being evident and visible on a large scale. Sometimes recorded into history books, certain watches make it onto the tops of mountains, land on the moon, or get us through wars.

There is something also to be said for sheer Loyalty and Trust. Back when brands were first being mass produced during the industrial revolution, branding did and still does rely on reputation. Image your trusted local mom and shop cookie company or in this case, Watch maker. They just make a few dozen at first, maybe a few hundred. At some point though, they got big enough to gain regional, then national, and international renown. Large international brands still had to start small and gain local trust at some point, even Rolex, before they could get to where they are today, titans of their industry.

All of the things mentioned here are reasons why Branding matters. There is certainly some gray area but at the end of the day we attach meaning to brands. We choose to be able to identify a product with a name and then we assign meaning to that product. Good or bad, branding gives us Control of our selves, allowing us to sort out our priorities and make life easier.

Branding gives us control of the chaos in our lives. It’s why we name things, for control. To define and sort and categorize and recall for later use is part of the very nature of history. It’s why we record and name things, for memory and for control. It’s at the very core nature of life to name and categorize things. From the moment that mankind discovered it’s consciousness, it has been striving it control everything around it. Over time, reputations build, giving you greater control until you find one day that certain brands have a near monopoly over your life. Isn’t that just equal parts amazing and terrifying?

So yes, Brands matter and Watch brands especially, as an extension of the age old idea of categories and control, matter more. Nothing more and nothing less, outside of the huge amounts of money that it generates on a yearly basis, you know? It’s why Rolex is one of the most famous watch brands generating great control over the industry, one of the biggest movers and shakers of the Watch world.



The Perfect One Watch Collection? We’ve got a Rolex Explorer for you.

Why the Rolex Explorer II 16570 Polar might just be perfect One Watch that does rule them all.

We’ve previously discussed why having a One Watch Collection might be a reality that very few watch collectors ever achieve. It’s the idea that even if you have only one Watch at any given time, which watch that is will change over time. After all, as we grow older, tastes change, experiences mould us into different people resulting in preferences that evolve. Yet what if you really had just the one Watch? Which would it be? Here’s a suggestion for you.

Allow me to reintroduce, the Rolex Explorer II, reference number 16570. The technical achievements and specifications for this watch have long been sung to the heavenly watch gods so we need not do that here. You know that it has that lovely 40mm case size, the near perfect size for any wrist size. You are aware that it has the ability to tell you the time in a second time zone with that lovely GMT function. You are aware of it’s robust sapphire glass with 100 meters of diving capability and its slim 12mm case depth.

What we are going to talk about though, is how versatile this piece of Watch luxury is on a day to day basis. Yes there are those that will balk at wearing a 10,000 dollar watch to mow the lawn but hey, it’s your Watch, do what you want with it. There will be those harsher critics that say you should save this watch for special occasions and yes you can do that too.

Even still, some folks will say you should keep it in as pristine condition as possible and then sell it on for a handsome profit. You can do all of that and I wouldn’t judge you for it except in the case of you taking advantage of a fellow Watch Collector. That I would not abide and would recommend against. I also would not recommend the older 1655 with it’s sub optimal GMT capabilities or the 16550 for its lovely white aged-to-cream fade dial that has priced itself out of a regular persons salary. The 16570 is pricey but achievable rather than foolhardy or a touch more rare respectively.

Instead I say, you paid a rather tidy sum for this lovely time piece, enjoy it! You can slide it under a shirt cuff and wear it to work with no one the wiser. Equally easy is to use it when you travel with that great GMT function or out on the town on a date. There is literally no situation on earth that this Watch would be out of place. From boardroom to tarmac and beyond, this one Watch might be able to do it all.

Either Black or White Dial variant would suit you equally well, though we at The Patently Nerdy Human prefer the white “Polar” dial variant for it’s ability to contrast the dark painted 24 hour bezel. Unlike it’s newer bigger 42mm brother with the thicker clasp, the 16570 has the older stamped Rolex clasps that are light weight and slim.

But wait you might say, 10 grand (with box and papers) for a rattly hollow feeling clasp? Why would anyone do that when the 42mm variant comes with a much substantial clasp you might ask. Here’s the thing, that clasp on the 42mm Explorer II? It’s heavy, has presence and on the wrong wrist, adds unnecessary weight. If like me, you’re a skinny person, you might not want to have a Watch that can be used as a boat anchor. The older 16570 with it’s lightweight and ,yes, slightly rattly clasp is still as strong and robust as you will ever need. It has served Rolex faithfully for decades before the last generation of Rolex designs incorporated the thicker milled clasp and easy adjustment systems.

There are plenty of Watches that benefit from the convenience of a Rolex Glidelock or Easy Link for on the fly adjustment. The Explorer II 16570 isn’t one of them because with the aforementioned 12mm case depth and slim lug proportions, the newer milled clasps would look out of place and throw off the balance of the watch. The 42mm Explorer II has it’s place amongst the Watch Collectors of the world but I don’t necessarily think the same guy who buys the newer refence 216570 will want the older 16570. They look similar but in person are vastly different experiences.

There’s also the massive price difference between the 216570 and most of that is due to size, the clasp, and the movement. Now I don’t know about you but paying a grand or even more for the price difference just because of a clasp doesn’t seem worth it to me at all. I don’t disparage anyone who loves their 42mm Explorer II but that size just wasn’t for me and I’m okay with it. If you hate the older stamped clasp, change it, though I admit to not being a fan of putting 10,000 dollar watch on a 200 dollar Nato strap. That’s just not me. I’m also not going into a talk about Rolex movements, that’s another article for another time.

Here and now, what you want in a watch like the 16570 is stealth, like a constant companion you can trust to be there but isn’t in your face obtrusive. It’ll never be the belle of the ball nor will it ever likely go down in price if we’re being honest. It is a Rolex after all, so you know there are going to be people clamoring for them. On it’s own, it is still one of the best time pieces to own, scratch up, and make amazing memories while wearing. As a Rolex Watch, it’s finally getting the love it deserves from collectors and normies alike, much to the dismay of my wallet.

Happy Birthday Rolex Explorer II, you’ve earned it.



5 Accessories to Elevate Your Watch Game

How to choose a few things to make watch collecting even more enjoyable.

Collecting watches is a hobby or passion for most that involves having several Watches that you rotate throughout the week. The Watch debate for which movement, brand, complication or design is best continues to be a hotly debated topic that will be covered another time. Today, we cover the less hotly debated but equally deserved topic of Watch accessories. I will not be covering bracelets and straps as that deserves an entire separate article.

You would be forgiven for thinking that a Watch Loupe should and would be included in the repair kit. It often times is and should be it’s own separate purchase. A good magnifier is the first essential piece of kit you should buy even before buying a Watch. Fellow collectors know that there are times where the naked eye is not enough to inspect the quality of a high priced luxury item. Not only can it help you distinguish if the Watch is the genuine article, they can also help you negotiate the price if you discover some unknown damage or deterioration. Start with a 30x, but make sure you get the 60x and 90x as well for that deep dive into a Watch dial’s finer details.

Now that you’ve got your watch, you’ve got to have a Tool Kit. Assuming you’ve made the adjustment to the straps okay, be wary before cracking open the caseback. Many watches, especially if it’s vintage or a high dollar value, contain expensive parts that can easily break if mishandled. Still, if you must crack open that caseback, a tool kit that has the correct sizing tools will be a huge comfort. Doubly so if it’s just a quick battery change for a Quartz watch. Over it’s lifetime, the tool kit and some spare batteries will pay for itself in savings. Paying a little more is worth it for superior quality kit that won’t accidentally damage one of your precious collection.

The last thing you want to do is drop a watch while the case back is open so a handling station or Mat would be a good idea to have on hand. Gloves in hand, because you should always handle a watch with gloves if you’re repairing anything, the mat will provide a stable surface that prevents scratches or scrapes to your watch. It can also be a backdrop to the photos you’ll undoubtedly take of your collection because lets face it, you’re going to be photographing your collection a lot. Whether in leather or a soft fabric of your choice, this one accessory alone may provide a wide variety of unexpected uses.

A travel watch roll, unlike a watch box you keep at home, is another accessory that is hotly debated. Do you go for a hardshell case like you would for your sunglasses or a softer leather or canvas model? A Watch Roll is additionally an expression of personal style that showcases your personality. Unlike a Mat that has a ton of uses, a Watch Roll does one very specific thing, it helps you transport your watches safely. Yes it might fit some sunglasses if you’re in a pinch but it’s really only for watches. Just make sure to choose one that doesn’t cause any color bleed into your canvas or leather straps.

When not traveling, a Watch Box or Vault is purely to be used at home. Most likely being of leather, and with some additional features such as a winding function or security features, a box such as this is your watch’ temporary home before it lands on your wrist. An aluminum box may be sturdy but you may rue that decision if you accidentally knock your watch and ding it against that sturdy aluminum. Similarly, you should make sure you have cushions that cradle your watch, not cause your bracelets or straps to stretch and deform. If possible, try the box in person or get measurements for what watches will fit in it if buying online. Do not buy a box without doing one or the other.

In the end, there are a variety of accessories to help you further enjoy your watch collecting experience. Any and all of these items add their own value to enable you to be more informed and better capable of Watch ownership at any price point. The internet will provide a large number of recommendations for any of the aforementioned items and now you know how to choose some of them too.

Happy Collecting


Formula 1 in 2021, a once in a lifetime race.

Why F1 2021 Grid hasn’t been this hot since 2010.

For the first time in over a decade, we have a Schumacher back on the grid. The legacy continues with young Mick, son of World Champion Michael Schumacher. What can we expect from him? He may take a while to warm up so we shouldn’t expect results until the second half of the year or maybe 2022. Alongside him are rookies Yuki Tsunoda and Nikita Mazepin, each of them looking to make their own mark on Formula 1. Mazepin comes with his own share of news press, none of it positive recently. Tsunoda, with strong ties to Honda, means the return of an Japanese driver to the F1 paddock since Kobayashi’s exit in 2013.

Then there are the veterans, some very experienced racers indeed. 7 Times World Champion Lewis Hamilton returns to Mercedes alongside his fellow driver Valterri Bottas. Pre-season testing showed mixed results for the Merc and this only adds to the spicy mix as the once projected leader seems to be in for the fight of their lives. Will another world title fall through Hamiltons grasp or will be claw back an 8th victory to celebrate.

The return of Fernando Alonso to Renault has fans abuzz as well, the two times world champion will have to duke it out with Sebastian Vettel for his place among the front of the grid. Both drivers have come a long way, each fighting their way back towards a leading position. Vettel’s shock announcement wasn’t a surprise during the 2020 season but going to the newly renamed Aston Martin team in the British racing green livery, is a surprise. Here’s to hoping that the once 4 times world champion will be back to showcase his best driving.

Then we have those that are seasoned, no longer considered rookies but just as hungry for the win. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris in the Mclaren, Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles LeClerc in the Ferrari and George Russell in the Williams are all hoping to make big moves as well. Russell in particular, needs to show that like in the Sakhir Grand Prix, he has the speed and qualities that make him desirable to fill a Mercedes seat for 2022.

Special mention to Sergio Lopez for his 2020 season, the driver that fans rallied behind and celebrated when he signed with the then-named Force India Racing Point F1 team now drives with Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Racing Team. His drive along side Verstappen should bring great things to the grid and be a major threat to an 8th Mercedes world title.

If all cars hold to the same capabilities as they did last year, it is likely that the top 4 or 5 positions should be some mixture of Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Perez, Vettel and Alonso. This may not happen though, as Mclaren, Alpine, and Alphatauri have shown impressive results in pre-season testing. Alonso, as a returning World Champion, should be an old hat at getting up to speed.

Gasly and Tsunoda were especially impressive and while they are competitors, the two young racers may have the makings of a great team. Norris and Ricciardo in the Mclaren were equally quick, though it remains to be seen if these two experienced racers can get along on the track. Mercedes certainly weren’t slow but the gap is much closer than is comfortable for the defending World Champion team.

The 2021 season is shaping up to be a monster, with a stunning 23 races to go through. It is the hope of F1 fans that no races are cancelled, that all teams remain safe during this turbulent time and to bring some measure of joy and celebration to racing fans the world over.



Smart Tips for Building a Watch Collection

Don’t get bitten by the watch collectors biggest pitfalls.

Don’t over pay. This first one is hard to quantify. Overpaying is subjective to each of us but the most important thing is that you not regret spending your money. Whether the math doesn’t work out for you, or your research isn’t up to par, you owe it to yourself to make sure you work within your means. Do not go into debt or other great dangers borrowing money for that next illusive watch. It’s just a watch, it will not keep you warm at night or feed your family.

Maintenance matters. That is to say, that you need to be aware that your watch, just like your house, car, or relationships, require maintenance. If you truly love your watch and want it to run forever, you need to make sure you take care of it. Much like a knife that needs sharpening, your watches need a tune up every so often. Do not forget that they need to be taken care of or you might find your watch rusting from the inside out. Also don’t forget that a watch service is not free so factor that into your buying costs for down the road. Your Rolex will certainly cost more to service than your Seiko, unless it’s a Grand Seiko, which may cost more.

Buy what you want. This is your collection so if you want an Omega, don’t settle. Don’t let someone else’s opinion on watches sway you into buying something you don’t love. don’t let hype, trends, pop culture or celebrities influence your purchases. This, like over paying, leads to regrets. Often called buyers remorse, you’ll get feel this upon arrival of the new watch, the high you’re expecting from your new shiny bauble not as great as you’d expected. This isn’t the watch you wanted, but rather the one you’re now stuck with and will likely sell at a loss later on. So chase your dream and don’t let anyone else judge you for it.

How to know what you want. Much like buying a house or a car, nothing is perfectly perfect. There will be some trade-offs and you have to figure out what you can live with or without. So make a list of your must haves versus your wants. Do you want or need a specific brand. Do you want or need a bracelet or Nato strap? What are your min/max sizes based on your own wrist size? What complications do you need? These are all things you very much want to determine before you buy any random watch with a fancy logo. Your Apple Watch is a far cry from a Vintage Omega, especially as one has timeless heritage and the other is destined for a trash heap once the battery permanently dies. Narrow it down or else you’ll end up overspending on the wrong things at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

Trusting in your Seller. If you are new to the watch game, go with an Authorized Dealer. Especially as in the case of high dollar luxury watches, an AD will not only be able to provide answers to your questions, they’ll also have the correct paperwork and authentic tags attached to the watch. Going to the untrusting internet can lead to massive heartache if you don’t know what to look for and someone takes you on a merry chase with your own money. Choosing the right seller, even those that are Grey Market, can lead to a fairly fruitful relationship if cultivated correctly.

Box and Papers. A sensitive subject to be sure, especially for luxury watches. Realize that life isn’t perfect and so sometimes you’ll come across a watch that is pre-owned, without box or papers or both. This does not automatically disqualify the watch from being the one that will join your collection but comes with some caveats. You’d need to look for signs the watch isn’t legitimate and if you don’t know how, find someone who does. Boxes and papers will only help if you plan to ever sell the watch down the road. If not, they don’t matter and can save you several hundred dollars in upcharges. Just get the watch authenticated.

Hands on Experience. With or without box and papers, all you can judge on is condition and that’s usually obvious with the naked eye. Yet a watch also has that expensive delicate movement housed in the case so getting your hands on the watch and feeling the crown as you wind the watch can often tell you if the watch is legitimate. A Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, or any other luxury watch should have a smooth winding feel and sound. a fake will have a crown that either breaks off at the drop of a hat, sounds like rusty metal grinding together or feels like your churning ice cream instead being smooth as silk.

Acknowledge that collections can change. The argument a larger affordable collection versus one or two signature pieces that cost significantly more is one that every collector experiences. Some adhere to the strict idea of having no more than 3 or 4 max and are steadfast in their belief. I’m sure their wallet appreciates it but there are others who do not have this firm grasp of their wallet and so their collection goes into the dozens, filling a roster in their list of watches they must own. It’s okay if this change through your life, especially as you grow older or find greater success. What you can afford or focus on will naturally change. That’s okay.

Appreciating others. In it’s own subtle way, collecting watches or anything else really, leads many of us to respecting the hobby as a whole. Yes there are the naysayers and the flamers but at the end of the day, we’re all collectors looking for our next timepieces to enjoy. There is great joy in being the start of a watch hobby within your friends group and sharing those similar joys together can be very rewarding. The watch collecting community, by and large, is mainly about appreciation and respect. It should hopefully always stay this way.

Making Lasting Memories. One of the great things about watches is that they can be given as gifts. In many positive ways, watches mark great occasions in ones life such as what you wore when you were getting married, or which watch you bought while on your anniversary. These memories will come to surface every time you look at that watch or think of that trip. It can bring a warm feeling of satisfaction that you had such a timepiece with you on your journey through this thing called life.

In the end, buy the watch you want, at the time of your choosing, for the right reasons, the correct price, and can live with-without regret.



The Allure of the One Watch Collection

One Watch to Rule your Heart, Forever.

Imagine the scenario where you find yourself marooned on a island alone. You’ve got a small list of things with you, one of which is your watch. You can choose one that can track the moon, or one to drive down into the depths of the ocean, or dare it be suggested, to tell the time.

Which one would you choose, if you could have only one? This is a scenario that many watch collectors have played out in their minds while looking at their collection of watches. Whether great or small, a collection of watches is a fairly normal thing to own, even if most of us rely on our phones for the date.

As a watch is an expression of identity, style, status, and trends all at once, it can therefore be difficult to choose one watch to live life with for the rest of all time. Just how much could you love a watch, such that you would never be swayed into buying a second, or third, or more. Unlike your spouse, your watch will never hug you back, keep you warm at night, or yell at you for spending outrageous amounts of money on well-another watch. Just how many is too many, asked every collector ever.

So what does it mean to someone, who only has chosen one watch that satisfies them completely. It could be that this person is a traveler and so the GMT function is what they need for their Rolex. Perhaps this person is an avid diver so they wanted one with a Helium Escape valve on their Omega. A graduation gift is also possible, given from parent to child or from spouse to spouse. How do you decide which one is the one? The answer is that, cheekily enough, you just know.

In actuality, the allure of the One Watch Collection has nothing to do with forever. On the surface, it may appear that this person has chosen one watch and is perfectly happy about it. There are many people who profess this exact thing. The psychology behind it though, is different.

What is actually happening, is that this person has chosen a watch that they fall in love with over and over again, every single day. They find some new facet of the watches design, shape, color, heritage, or emotional significance and cherish it. Much like a spouse and sometimes lasting beyond the length of a marriage to be inherited by ones children and grandchildren, a watch that one falls in love with is an unmistakable lifelong friend.

You’ll take that one watch through every major milestone in your life, from home to home, job to job, birthdays and vacations. Properly serviced, there are stories of people owning one watch for 50 years and being buried with it. Now that’s love, if a little morbid. A watch, especially one that is the singular in a One Watch Collection, therefore does more than tell you the time. It will mark the passage of events in your life and looking back, this watch will be a constant companion.

In the end, whether your watch collection is 1 of 1 or 1 of 100, as long as you can afford to enjoy them all, more power to you. If you’ve chosen one watch and only one watch and shall not have another, you my friend are lucky. The rest of us collectors will be off in the distance, hunting for that allusive next watch to add to the collection.

Meanwhile, One Watch Collector, kick back and bask in the safety and security of your one amazing, surely loved, timepiece.

Until next time,


The 5 styles of Watch Every Modern Man Should Have

The world today can tell you the time a dozen different ways in the blink of an eye. Sweep your eye across any room and everything from a wall clock to a Amazon Alexa or her rival Siri will tell you the time. Wearing a watch is therefore a choice, one in which many people choose every day. A watch is a non-verbal expression of style and success, the perfect union between beautiful form and utilitarian function. The modern man who lives a varied life needs at least one watch, though some will argue that more should be enjoyed. Hopefully it’s water resistant enough to survive a run through a pool or the washing machine but at the very least you should expect be able to wash your hands with it. Whatever your taste may be, there is a watch in every style at nearly every price range to satisfy the discerning consumer.

1. Silver Beater

This is your day to day watch. You wear it everywhere and you beat the hell out of it without shame or embarrassment. All metal band and casing with plenty of options to boot, a scratch on this watch is a mark of honor. The watch industry makes a ton of them with different face colors, band colors and date features. Pairing it with a suit or a polo shirt is just as easy as picking out your underwear- just go with dial colors you like. Never pick a watch face over 45 millimeters; you are not trying to signal a plane or hail a cab. Chronograph options are also available and this watch will likely be on the less expensive end of the spectrum.

Iconic style choices: Ashton Kutcher, Hamilton Khaki Field King. Leonard DiCaprio, Tag heuer Carrera. 

When to wear: To work, to vacation, to visit grandma.

2. Dress Watch

To be worn with a suit at a special occasion such as a friend’s wedding or someone’s passing. Strictly less than 40 millimeters in face diameter and always with a leather strap in the color of your choice but usually black to match your shoes. This watch is classy with no extra dials or other embellishments.  A date feature is acceptable but diamonds are rarely a good option on a dressy watch, you want class here. The dial and general design alone should be the center of attention. Your goal is to have the watch seamlessly match your outfit since you’ll want to represent yourself well.

Iconic figures: Jon Hamm, Omega Vintage Seamaster Deville. Will Smith, Hamilton Ventura.

When to Wear: Weddings, funerals, promotions, first dates, prom, and legal hearings.

3. Work It Out

This is a training watch with a synthetic band and closure. It will do all manner of scientific measurements as you jog, swim or any other type of hard breathing exercise. Likely smaller in diameter than your day to day watch and with a digital read out, this will help you calculate the work out your body is going through no matter the sport. Other features include a stop watch, lap timer, date, time, alarm and heavy duty 50+ Meters water resistance. More than likely, this is going to be the cheapest of any watch to get. This does not in any way include smart watches that are paired with your phone, those are usually not very rugged.

Iconic figures: President Barack Obama, Highgear Enduro Compass. Nicholas Cage, Ventura V-Tec  W25-R1.

When to wear: When you get sweaty outside the house, rarely with any formal or social attire.

4. Divers

While not indestructible, a diving watch is designed to withstand a ton of pressure, just like the men who wear them. Features on such a watch may include a screw down crown, a double safety clasp, water-resistant to 200 meters, and a unidirectional turning bezel for marking dive times. Many divers’ watches are ISO 6425 certified, but that is up for debate since not all watch brands choose to undergo this optional testing. This test by the International Organization of Standardization for watches approves these watches to be beyond merely water resistant and certifies that they can handle the pressure of diving at least 100 meters or more. 

If that were not enough additional features found on dive watches include helium release valve, underwater lumination, various sizing, sapphire crystal faces, and the date. They run the range of size from 40 millimeters and higher but bigger than 50 mm is going to cause problems for the center of gravity on your arm. Some of these watches will have rubber straps while others are a more traditional stainless steel. Given the feature set, expect to spend more than you would normally.

Iconic Figures: President Barack Obama, Tag-Heuer Series 1500. Daniel Craig, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.

When to wear: When you plan on boldly going where no man has ever gone before-underwater.

 5. Luxury

The legacy watch, worn on momentous occasions that you will immortalize in your memory. Expensive, possibly passed down from generation to generation. A watch of this caliber is meant to convey importance and great success. The meaning of luxury notwithstanding, this watch should be of a noticeable quality and origin that will last several decades if not longer. Not only does your watch command attention but it should also add to your persona, not outshine you. It does no one any good to wear huge bling at a special occasion; you wear this watch to celebrate you.

Iconic Figures: Steve McQueen, Rolex Submariner. John F. Kennedy, Rolex President.

When to wear: Wedding Days, Birth of Children and Grand Children, Ending a War.

In the end, regardless of whichever watch you choose, make it situation appropriate. A watch doesn’t need to cost a small fortune to be stylish nor does it need to be big enough to weigh down your arm. Recent watch trends move toward the slimmer side of things with a touch of vintage design thrown in for good measure. All it needs to do is express your sense of style and purpose.