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What’s in a grail watch?

Tudor logo

Behold the holy grail!

Is that what I will tell my fellow watch enthusiasts in a few weeks time when I proudly wear my grail watch on my left wrist? Probably not. Sure, the grail is a grail because it’s been a barrier to acquire, and as such bear a level of desirability. But it’s desirable to me, not anyone else.

In fact, I’ve never seen my grail on the wrist of anyone else, ever. It made a big bang at Baselworld 10 years ago, yet I’ve never seen it in the flesh (other than when I tried it on in 2018). And for me that’s a good thing. I like the unbeaten path and going against the grain. I like standing out a bit. If my grail was a Submariner I’d have to sit down and have a serious talk with myself.

Instead I’ve got a soft spot for 1970’s chronographs and dive watches. Funky, odd and tool-like – that’s my melody.

A grail watch wouldn’t be a grail unless it’s hard to acquire, maybe even unattainable. But my watch aspirations are modest. My mind is realistic and settles for the attainable (without compromising, mind you, but think Cayman instead of 911 GT3). I think it’s fair to say that it’s grail nonetheless. While other models have charmed me temporarily, this is the one watch my desire has been loyal to pretty much since its release in 2013. This particular grail watch is entry-level luxury from a brand that resonates well with me.

I’m not a fan-boy, but it certainly helps if the brand feels aligned with my own values. For instance, I’m definitely not Rolex. I’m not Breitling either and Omega just feels so vanilla. I’m not feeling Hublot nor TAG. I do feel Fortis, Oris and Sinn.

And I feel Tudor.

So it will be with a certain feeling of pride that I will wear my Tudor Heritage Chrono.

Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue

Why now?

I’ve been struggling with the idea of buying a luxury watch for a long time. I don’t like the idea of putting that much money into something as superficial and unnecessary as a watch. Besides, I like to wear my watches without too much caution. They are there to be used and abused. I’m not sure I’d be that carefree with a luxury watch.

Despite this, as with many collectors I’m sure, the idea of owning luxury watches, and in particular my grail watch has become more and more acceptable to me. I always thought I’d take the plunge in association with a big life event. A celebration or milestone. But this isn’t the case. I’ve got nothing going on in my life that I can tie this purchase to. The only post -realisation I’ve come up with is that it’s the watch’s 10 year anniversary – so maybe it’s celebration of the watch itself!

In reality though, Tudor is discontinuing the model this year and I think I rushed to acquire one before prices would go up, as they could easily do for discontinued iconic models like this one. That combined with a good deal found on Reddit, me not getting any younger and the realisation that money comes and goes so we might as well enjoy it (I’ve been working on letting go of my frugal mindset recently) sealed the deal in my mind.

And then what (life after acquiring a grail watch)?

What happens after one achieves a goal? Satisfaction? Emptiness? It’s not like I’ve ben savings up for this watch for years and finally get to reward myself. I’ve been holding back for other reasons mentioned above. But now’s the best time to do anything and I’m curious. Maybe I love it, maybe I’m too cautious to wear it and it ends up collecting dust.

One of my main concerns was that it will clash with my other pieces and I will somehow feel obliged to wear the Tudor more often as it’s now a main piece in my collection. But sop what? Who cares, if I want to wear it i wear it. I’m over that concern and most likely I’ll treat it just like any other watch I’ve got – wear it on a daily whim and to match the attire and occasion. It’s a summery watch though and I might wear it less in the autumn and winter.

I’m not done yet. Now when I’ve opened up the door to luxury watches it might not take long before I add the Sinn 103 ST – my other grail. With those two in my collection I’m not sure what would come next, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the journey to come.

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