Chasing Time Volume 5: Finding Worth | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
January 09, 2017

Chasing Time Volume 5: Finding Worth

Text by Vikram Ramchandani

A man chronicles his adventures in the hunt for that most elusive of companions — the perfect wristwatch

As I started to progress with both life and work, I started to travel more, learn more and listen more. I began to see more, and felt fortunate enough to experience the finer things that our material world offered. Living in Bombay, I found it almost futile to be able to properly enjoy a motor vehicle (and the ones that I was attracted to weren’t available for purchase or import). So my passion shifted towards more accessible things; wine, food, gadgets (for a while), photography and timepieces.

The first mechanical wristwatch that I had purchased was an Omega Seamaster Professional, 42mm, on a metal bracelet. The heft added an aura of weight to my own self esteem and allowed me to feel and act as a professional. It is the watch I purchased for my wedding day and it was the watch I wore when I first held my daughter. When I got my diving certifications, and when I closed my first investment banking deal. It will be the first watch that I will give my daughter when she comes of age and the last watch that I will ever sell. It is not, however, the first watch that I wanted to buy.

I wanted to buy the Rolex GMT Master II but I couldn’t find the monies to afford it during the time.

When I received my first big bonus I purchased a Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 183. It was 45mm in case diameter and my wrist is a blip over six inches. It felt like a grandfather clock but I enjoyed it thoroughly. It allowed me access to a club of watch lovers that ‘know’ — but I didn’t know, and I’m fairly sure neither do 95% of watch buyers. I was mesmerised by the sapphire back display, legible dial, bright lume, and manual wind. It was once again, cool.

After which, and in coming years, I purchased a number of varying pieces for ‘key events’, from vintage Omegas for my wife, to a rare Girard Perregaux, Glashutte GUB, Bell and Ross BR03, and a Suunto Mountaineering piece. They were — and are — all wonderful, but none of them were loved. And none of them were a Rolex.

By now, I had just managed to save aside enough for what I had initially wanted to purchase, a Rolex GMT Master II. I was ready and nothing was going to stop me.

With a thicker wallet and slim options, I went to the dealership with my wife. She probably felt herself being emotionally dragged into a wasted afternoon at a watch showroom. But as soon as we arrived, I showed her the watch that kept me wanting and she said, ‘Yuck, what is this?’ She then walked around and pointed at another timepiece and said, ‘Why don’t you get this instead?’ and continued with, ‘Can I try that one on please?’

That day we walked out with a Rolex Milgauss for myself and Rolex 34 mm Stick Dial Date for her. My dreams of owning the GMT Master II had flown away but she had a smile on her face that made up for the loss (or so I have to force myself to believe).

I was happy but not satiated, just as one would be with a meal at an a la carte sushi joint.

Read Volume 4, here.

Read Volume 6, here.

Vikram Ramchandani is father to a beautiful girl and husband to an even more beautiful girl. Canadian but really Indian. Left university and home at 21 and became an investment banker for many unhappy people and is now an entrepreneur who employs many happy people. Is full katti with the current education system for mutating children into adults.

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