26 October 2005

Oyster Perpetual

Rolex watches are fine timepieces.

I hated mine.

I went to Viet Nam with a Timex self-wind on my wrist.
Younger folk know the name Timex,
but I may need to explain "self-wind".

The watch had a pendular weight in it that would move as you moved.
The weight was attached to the mainspring, so that just by moving your wrist, you wound the watch.
You never had to do it manually......it "self-wound".

But there was no prestige in owning a Timex.
One of my pinochle playing buddies came home from his R&R with a new Rolex GMT.
It was fabulous looking, and as he strutted around with it, I began to wonder if it would be nice to have something more "elite" than my little Timex.

When I went on my R&R, I bought myself a Rolex Submariner.
I think I paid $150 for it.

I hated that watch from the outset.
The "Oyster Perpetual" thing is Rolex's trademarked name for the case
in which the watch is built. It makes their watches extremely strong.

But it also makes them very tall from backplate to crystal.
Mine continually caught on jackets and long sleeve shirts.
It had a stainless steel band that was difficult to adjust to my wrist.
It had to be manually wound!
And believe it or not, it didn't keep time as well as my Timex.

Eventually, I took the thing off and threw it in my jewelry box.

10 years later I took a SCUBA diving class.
At the end of the class, we had to do an "open water" dive
to receive our diver's certifications.
I thought of my Rolex......"waterproof to 330 meters." Perfect!

I retrieved it from my jewelry box and wore it on the dive.
It leaked and quit working.
I was so frustrated with it, I almost threw it away.
But......back in my jewelry box it went.

One late night in 1990 I was listening
to an AM radio station out of Houston, Texas.
A jeweler there was offering to buy old Rolex's in any shape, and broadcast an 800 telephone number you could call to get a quote on what they would pay.

I called.
They offered $250.
I sent the watch, and they sent the check.
I was glad to get rid of the thing!

I just checked to see what a Rolex Submariner is selling for today.
I couldn't believe it!
The lowest price I could find: $1750.00.

What's on my wrist now?
A Timex, of course. (Keeps great time too!)

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