The Humble Grail

Within the wristwatch-wearing community – those who wear timepieces, not computers – there is a term which describes the watch (or watches) you someday hope to own. These watches, often expensive and/or rare, are called “grails.”

A few watches immediately come to mind when we think of “grails.”

Grand Seiko Snowflake Dial
  • Rolex Submariner ($15,000 avg.)
  • Omega Speedmaster ($5,000 avg.)
  • The Grand Seiko “Snowflake” ($6k-$7k avg.)
  • Rolex Datejust ($6k – $15k and more…a lot more)
  • Tudor Black Bay 58 ($4,000 avg.)

Grail watches, depending on a person’s dreams and aspirations, vary greatly. However, what is typically the same is that they are difficult to obtain and often prohibitively expensive. And we’re not even talking about upper-end luxury watches that can cost over $100,000.

But not all grails are expensive. Some are simply rare. For example, those who collect Timex watches have different models they would love to obtain. My first Timex grail was a 1967 Marlin “dot-dash.” I picked one up for $67 off eBay, but only after I lost a bid on another a few weeks before. Other collectors dream of that perfect vintage Timex dive watch.

Just recently I was thrilled to obtain a grail. For months I had been going to farmer’s markets and posting paintings online, all to generate enough money to buy a Seiko SRPE 55. When the last painting sold brought in what I needed, online shopping I a-went! Like a Knight of the Round Table with a key to the gate, I charged the virtual castle and captured the Japanese-made legend.

But let me point out a few things before you think I spent ten thousand dollars on something. First, the watch I bought, the Seiko SRPE 55, cost me less than $200. It could have cost me $275+, but I shopped around and got the best deal. Also, every dime I spent on the purchase of this watch was earned from selling my paintings, prints, and an old Timex or two.

One reason I wanted this watch was because how similar it was to the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 41 and 36, watches costing around $3,000. The Tudor could be considered a true grail watch for me, but I can’t justify spending that much. Therefore, when I saw the striking similarity between the Seiko and the Tudor, my decision was made. And, I didn’t have to save for 10 years to make the purchase!

My Seiko between the Tudor Black Bay 41 and 36

Are there any other grails I want to buy one day? Honestly, not at this time (no pun intended, but it works).

Right now, my main goal is to finish my doctoral assignments, prepare sermons, visit people, and be a husband, dad, grandfather, and son. As I find old Timex pieces to add to my collection, I will take them home, clean them up, and work on my watch servicing skills. But what I am not going to do is dream about a watch that could pay for a trip to the Holy Land!

That brings me to my final though about grails: Do people ever think about the futility of what they are seeking?

From where to the term “grail” originate? Well, it comes from the word used to describe the cup from which Jesus shared the wine with His disciples at the Last Supper. That cup is often referred to as the “Holy Grail.”

You’ve probably seen other things besides watches referred to as the “holy grail” of one thing or another. It’s a term meant to describe something as the ultimate, most-elusive prize to be had. This stems all the way back to when legends described the cup Jesus used as one made of gold, encrusted with precious stones, and even capable of mystical powers.

But what was the “holy grail”? Would it not have been a simple cup made of wood, stone, or clay? Most certainly it was simple, lacked ornamentation, and had no other significance other than that it was handled by the Word made flesh, the Creator of time.

What made the grail “holy” was that was set apart unto a holy work. Other than that, it was humble. A humble grail.

So, that brings me back full circle to watches. Why do we have “grail” watches? In reality, just like the elusive Holy Grail of old, how many fortunes are lost in pursuit of something glittery, shiny, hand (of man) crafted, with no inherent power other than the ability to do what it was designed to do?

It seems very ironic to me that we want those glittery cups and not the humble one. We lust after the opulence of the Tudors and scoff at the utilitarian simplicity and dependability of the lowly Timex.

Even more ironic is that the very “grail” for which the Indian Jones’ of the world search is the very same cup (metaphorically speaking) that Jesus asked, “If it be Thy will, let this cup pass from me.” He knew what it was going to cost Him, but He wasn’t purchasing it for Himself; it was meant to be a gift for those who could NEVER afford to purchase it.

Therefore, what makes the grail precious? It’s monetary value? The gold and jewels? The intricate, fine-crafted details? Or could you be satisfied with something simple?

To be honest, the most precious watches in my collection, those for which no price could buy them away from me, are those which my wife and daughters gave me as gifts. They are irreplaceable, even if they only cost $20.

I’m wearing a $30 Timex MK1 Steel on a canvas strap now, and I really like this watch! But I’m going to swap it out for my new Seiko before I leave the house.

I wonder what Jesus would wear.

Your thoughts and comments mean a lot to me, so let me know what you think 😊

Have a blessed day and start to your week.



Filed under General Observations, watches

20 responses to “The Humble Grail

  1. Ha well … I haven’t worn a watch in about 40 years or so. Can’t appreciate the attraction but then we could talk about the Braves. That would get my attention. 🙂

    Have a super afternoon.

  2. I don’t wear a watch. I use my phone to tell the time.. And my built in feeling of what time it is. Without a alarm I can wake up within 5 minutes of my normal wake time. And I always know when its Lunch time. LoL.

    And most times I know its time to give it a rest. LoL.
    But seriously, everyone enjoys looking good, but its all vanity which is not important. Impressing others or feeling sharp holds less of a value as you get older.

    But the Quartz watch has a Biblical significance. It uses the vibration of quartz which is reliable to provide exact time. That same thing is what your computer uses to have 2.4 gigahertz. The vibration of a stone is the basis of all our computing and good time pieces. That and what they call a flip flop to divide the oscillation in half, and then half again and half again so they can bring it down to 60 times a second or 60 times a minute.

    Quartz is also a jasper or Onyx. So they are part of the Priests garments and the stones of the foundation of God. many if not all in some way are super conductors. Ruby having a special design on a quantum scale featuring the star of David which shows up in star ruby stones. The watch and its highly complex system is the dumbest part of the watch. Gods work of metals, stone, quantum effects and bulk effects cause the moon to cycle around the earth in a quantum locked nature.

    God placed the stars in heaven and the many moons, and if he had a mother he would say. Look mom. No hands. Watches while impressive to us are not actually that impressive. a life from two cells, thats pretty impressive a watch is like a dull shovel.

    • That was very interesting about the quartz!

      • That is why they call it silicon valley. (one of the reasons.) If my memory serves me correct, Japan has these huge vats where they use high heat, steam and ground rock to create massive crystals the size of pain cans or bigger and then they slice off small fingernail size bits shaving them to an exact size to make these quartz computer components that literally vibrate inside a tiny metal case the size of a dime. they sit inside like a watch battery but are vibrating at a tuned frequency. Everything you see around has them.

      • Its pretty cool stuff. But, its only the tip of a very very large iceberg. I have some inventions brewing that may end up changing every ones lives. If I can make it work, It will prove that Jesus did walk on water, A hint is found in Exodus 24:10. Obviously I cant say more.

      • What proof do you need when the Bible says it? 🙂

      • Well, that point is worthy of an op.. But in short, there are a lot of people without belief. They doubt that some guy walking the streets of Israel was God. Doubting Thomas was likely one of the most clear headed of the bunch. If for example I told you that I was God, Or that a person I knew was God. You would think I was a crack pot.
        So giving people the benefit of being smart, I figure I will give them as much help as possible. (its pretty easy for me to have contempt for the Atheist Trolls.)
        Still as a full believe with a loyal Trust in God, I don’t seek a proof of all proofs for my sake, but for the glory of God. But I will say, I did do soul searching to see if there was some hidden doubt that made me giddy to find more. I do believe I do love God etc. But I will admit from my childhood there is a bit of a I told you so in my heart, but I have found its not doubt, I have a nice relationship with God the camping in the wilderness retreat friendship closeness. So, the Proof is more for their benefit trying to help them AND, I love inventing and creating so it also makes me giddy.
        Strangely enough while doing the first few experiments I was so excited I was hyped up past an emotional level I never felt before. What I am working on is the Jetsons sort of stuff. I get some euphoria when building or fixing things for people but not like that.
        So far no joy.. But I do recognize the joy. I some times go to my friends place I have known since grade 6 and we have build homes together and we some times work together. At times after work we would go around to friends places and we had real fellowship. And while working on the invention with God I felt that same closeness.

        A few times when God sets up a witnessing moment, a divine appointment and I realize it, I have felt some of that same feeling. I bet the disciples felt that while they spent time with Jesus and I bet they felt it after he went up into heaven. There is a kinship in the work.

      • the name is Quartz Crystal Oscillator. Unfortunately they never taught this stuff in school. I would have loved a course on it and would have loved experimenting. Thats why I do my own experimenting now. I feel deprived of the science we all should have been made aware of.

  3. Nice watches! Thanks for sharing, i never knew they were called Grails?! I love a nice watch or any piece of art finely crafted etc. Even though i can’t see them to tell the time…I like the feel of a nice heavy watch! 😀

  4. Have you ever heard of John B. McLemore?

  5. Pingback: The Humble Grail — The Recovering Legalist | Ups Downs Family History

  6. blake70605

    I believe Jesus would have worn a 38mm pure white dial Weekender on a canvas strap. It’s humble simplicity would work whether he was teaching in the temple, or standing on the beach watching Peter, James, and John fill their boats with fish, or at a wedding where wine was in short supply. The reliability of the quartz movement would be very useful so Jesus didn’t have to stop to wind it as he cast Legion into the pigs. Only the father knows the time when he comes back, but the Weekender would always help the Son of Man make his appointments along the Damascus highway right on time.

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