Saturday, February 17, 2007

Object of Desire

Maybe we're unusual (no comments please) but my family has a thing about watches. My kids are always saying they "need a new one" and sometimes even prove the point by losing the old one. Personally I love them (watches I mean, not the kids), but I'm torn: do you go for lots of cheap watches so you have a different one for every occasion/day of the week/outfit, or do you splash out on a superbly crafted luxury watch that will be an elegant and trusty accessory for a lifetime? If your name is David Beckham then you can do both at once, but if you're Chris Neal there's a choice to be made (and you can't play football or snog Victoria).

I already have several nice watches, the most recent two of which I love and wear all the time, but I feel I haven't yet achieved my timepiece ambition in life.

Allow me to introduce you to the Omega Seamaster 300M Chronometer:
Truly a thing of beauty, and the watch of choice for James Bond in his last four movies (not that I'm swayed by that of course!) I've been admiring it from afar for some time now, laughing off the price tag as a sum I would never fork out for a watch, but today we went shopping in the Faisaliah Mall in Riyadh and -- Karen's fault for leaving me and Elliot alone too long -- I went into the shop and tried it on. The bracelet was too big, they always are unless you're a seven foot man-mountain (which I'm not), but that didn't matter. It felt good on my wrist, it's reassuringly heavy and when you turn it over you can see the movement inside through a little window.

When I was in photographic retail (a long time ago) we were trained to always put the camera in the customer's hands as soon as possible, because holding an object conveys a sense of ownership, helps you to feel what it will be like when it's yours, and helps to beckon those lovely words, "I'll take it!" So you see, despite the steep price tag I feel I just took a step onto the slippery slope towards acquiring me a Seamaster 300M.

"The name's Neal. Chris Neal." ... has a nice ring to it....

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