Saturday, 8 November 2014

Christmas Shopping

This morning we headed in to Stratford as 30% wanted to gauge my reaction to a couple of ideas she had for my Christmas and Birthday presents. She had given me advance notice that she was considering a tailor made leather coat from a chap who operates from a stall on the market and also that Pragnells; the high end jeweller had slashed 30% from their prices on Tag watches … This was definitely shopping at both ends of the commercial spectrum and ranged from sipping coffee amongst millions of pounds worth of gemstones to chatting with Johnny under his tarpaulin covered pitch surrounded by vendors that range from artisans to costermongers.

I do already have a Tag watch.* I bought it back in the late 1990's after my unexpected exit from the Inland Revenue. An out of court settlement, in response to my claim of constructive dismissal, produced a small windfall and I purchased a Swiss watch rather than just fritter it away. At the time I bought it I had no idea what a fantastic watch I had bought, only that it looked subtly beautiful and was far from common amongst my friends and colleagues. It is only after fifteen years of ownership that I can report that they are incredibly tough time pieces. The entries in this Journal show that I do tend to get involved in some rather grubby jobs from time to time and, for all but the filthiest, my watch hasn't left my wrist. There is not a mark on the sapphire glass and it still keeps perfect time. I love it for both it's reliability and it's looks.

So, why do I want another one? It is a good question but I am not sure that I can give a good answer. Probably because we can afford one and, although they are expensive, I know it will give decades of service unlike most of the time keeping shite that most people wear on their wrists.**

To cut a long story short we wandered out of Pragnells with not one but two new watches. Both were Tag Heuer and both are automatic. Basically the combination of huge price discounts combine with plenty of surplus cash sloshing around in our bank accounts meant that 30% and I will work out the fine details of what is present and what is self indulgence at some point in the near future. The first of these indulgences is a 2012 Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronograph SpaceX. It is a limited edition of 2012 watches that was produced to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of a Swiss watch in space. The second is a Link Automatic and is probably a little more workaday than the SpaceX but is still a delight with it's second glass on the rear showing the self winding mechanism.

The leather coat has yet to be made but I was shown a sample that Johnny had made for his wife. It is based on a Belstaff jacket but will be made in leather and mine will have a few minor modifications beyond those to suit the contours of my frame. I need to give colour and design some thought over the week before we return next Saturday to confirm the order.
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* It is a 1997 2000 Quartz model
**  It took me more than ten years to get 30% to realise that she, or more accurately I, was spending a lot of money on fashion watches that would break after a year or so of ownership. Last year she finally succumbed to a ladies Tag with a black face and a ring of tiny diamonds embedded around the face. It was her Christmas present and she adores it. On the subject of cost of ownership I bought mine back in 1999 for around six hundred pounds. After fifteen years of ownership it has cost me about one pound a week!

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