Tag Archives: Seiko

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.

Anthony

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Filed under General Observations, watches

Hobbies Funding Hobbies

It has been a great day. What you are looking at is the result of one hobby funding another hobby. That’s a great way to do things, right?

To begin, the watch on the right is a Russian-made 17-jewel manual wind Vostok I picked up in Hungary back in 1992 (paid $50, which was way too much back then). But ever since the band broke, I haven’t worn it in 25 years! You guys helped pick out the strap 🙂

On the left is a piece I’ve been planning at some point to purchase (when I lost 10 pounds). However, this Casio MDV106-1AV (Duro) was sitting in the case at Walmart with a “clearance” sticker on it. It normally goes from 50-70 dollars, but they were only asking $35 for it! For the uninitiated, this is a must-have basic dive watch (200 meter rating) that one of the the richest men in the world (Bill Gates) wears.

Long story concluded, I sold some art I did that paid for both the watch and the strap, with $6.80 left over!

After a beggar outside Walmart got the $.80 from me, I wound up making a couple of dollars and now have two more wearable watches in my amateur collection 🙂

I like having hobbies! 😁👏🏻 Now all I need to do is sell enough art to buy a Grand Seiko.

Yeah, maybe I ought to stick with little Seikos 😉

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Filed under hobbies

Terrible Endeavors Require Tangible Incentives

Allow me to begin with a quote:

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

I have some goals… some very specific, personal goals. Should I achieve those goals, I will “get” – I will receive – some tangible rewards for my accomplishments. They will instinctivize me and motivate me in ways that verbal support cannot.

However, as Zig Ziglar pointed out, what I will achieve by meeting my goals will be far more important than the tokens of my success. I get that. That’s why I’m setting the goals in the first place.

But knowing myself and my history, without some kind of tangible reward on the other side of the tape, I will, as I have so often done before, quit the race before it’s over, before I reach my goals. I need more than the satisfaction of a race well-run to motivate me through the pain and sacrifice needed to be a winner…

I need a trophy

The HUGE Announcement

I mentioned on Facebook that I had a HUGE announcement. Actually, I didn’t say that I had a HUGE announcement as much as I said that I had made some goals.

I’m establishing a HUGE goal for myself. I need your support. For the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. Details coming soon. #leanandmean

Therefore, here are the details . . .

I am tired of my appearance. I am disgusted with my weight. I regularly look in the mirror and hate what I see. Yet, since I know myself better than anyone but God, I am not one who sticks with any weight-loss plan, diet, or workout schedule for very long. Just seeing the number on the scale reduce is not as comforting as buttered cornbread or BBQ pizza.

“Terrible endeavors require tangible incentives.” – A. Baker

 TI1 (Tangible Incentive #1)

So, what’s the deal with the watch? Well, I really, really like nice watches. I will never spend the money for a top-tier luxury watch (Omega, Rolex, etc.), but I do enjoy the look and feel of beautiful and functional timepieces with a little history.

What’s the story with the above watch? Well, first, it’s a Casio MDV106-1AV 200M Duro. What makes it special? Why is it an incentive? Simple: It only costs $45 and it’s worn by the 2nd richest man in the world, Bill Gates. Honestly, who would have thought, right?

Below are four other tangible incentives (TI’s).

TI2

TI3

TI4

TI5

Now comes the time to announce what these incentives are for. 

  1. Casio Duro: losing 10 pounds
  2. Seiko 5: losing 15 pounds
  3. Orient Bambino: losing 20 pounds
  4. Seiko SNN241: losing 30 pounds
  5. Orient “Mako II”: losing 40 pounds

My Goal: Lose 40 pounds and 9 inches! 

Are there other watches I would like to add to my collection? Sure. But these are not terribly expensive. And, as you can see, they are all beautiful watches with different purposes.

And for those of you who might question the cost, at least I don’t have a smartwatch!

Nothing else has worked. But if these watches can motivate me to lose 40 pounds, I will consider them well worth the money, especially considering the savings in long-term health costs

All that will be left is buying new clothes that fit 🙂 

Will you help hold me accountable?

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Filed under fitness, Food