My Wife's Journey to WISdom

My wife thinks I’m an idiot! While I plead that being an idiot savant has some benefits, and dedicating oneself as a Watch Idiot Savant is truly noble, it has her baffled. So, with the cunning of my predatory ancestors, I’ve tried to infect her with the same addiction, if only to make my own obsession seem less selfish.

Left alone, my wife would prefer collect inanimate lumps of crystalline carbon, so I regularly prompt her through the time-honoured tactic of gift-giving (that is, give a little to get a lot). Her first dalliance with the Swiss equation came via Ebel, which appealed to her fashion sensibilities. Baume et Mercier was her portal into the world of mechanical watches, although it’s ETA movement proved totally resistant to proper regulation and made the quartz piece look even better.

This Christmas I may have the secret. While I would have obtained a vintage Vacheron for her in an instant, something about “used” merchandise greatly turns most women off…a Mars vs. Venus issue which is best accepted rather than understood. That most noble brand will come to her in time. 

This time I have a lovely little F. Piguet calibre 6.10 housed in a well crafted steel tonneau case by a respected watch maker. It’s a first-grade movement and a serious watch. If all goes well, she will be captivated by the mechanical marvel seen through its crystal back and invite me to explain the function of all those little whirly-gigs, or how the Geneva stripes are applied, or the guilloche technique on the dial, or how the hands are blued. When I catch her reciting this knowledge to friends and family, I’ll know she has found WISdom. 

Happy Holidays,
Dean
Guess how many years I have tried !!
12/14/2008 - 01:11
In the end she decided anyhow, for this one! That's what she wears and I still love her since 30 years You wouldn't believe this, but a manual Carier with cabochon, in 18k with a V&C movement, is quite difficult to get   Doc
Amazing Find Doc!
12/14/2008 - 01:45
I think my wife would also enjoy that beauty   But of course Vacheron supplied many of the great jewellery houses like Cartier, Boucheron, Mauboussin and Chaumet. I even found some pics (poor quality) of V&C within a Canadian Birks lady's wristwatch:    
"love her since 30 years"
12/14/2008 - 19:25
Who? Your wife, or ... your watch? Maybe both as a gentleman! Cheers my dear friend.
Had my wife for 30 years,
12/15/2008 - 10:25
but she has had the watch only 2 years. Still I put my wife before watches Cheers and see you Doc
Be careful what you wish for......
12/14/2008 - 03:09
My wife for years (we're married for 19) has been into jewelry and has many beautiful pieces and she's had a YG gold watch that I bought her at Fortunoff's 15 years ago and she wore every day.  She loved jewelry but was satisfied with one nice gold watch--that was then. I just got into serious watch collecting two years ago and last Christmas, to as you said make myself feel better, I encouraged her to consider a good watch--and she did!  A Cartier La Dona WG with diamonds on a bracelet for well over 20K.  I didn't mean that kind of a good watch right!  But I couldn't very well give her a hard time when she doesn't ever give me one. Then, in January, I was motivated to buy my first VC (a RG Malte Chrono) (the most expensive watch I had purchased at that point) and I took her with me to get her point of view on that watch and approval I guess.  We compared the RG to the WG and decided on the RG but in the process she strolls over to the pre-owned counter and asks to see a Jeager YG on a YG bracelet Reverso day/night which she announces that she'd like to have if it would be O.K. with me.  What can I say right.  So I get it for her but now I'm thinking oh boy...what did I create here and I'm also thinking this could be the last time I ask her to go to the AD with me.  Finally I'm thinking this new hobby of hers has the potential to cut into my new hobby significantly! I used to think about how much fun it would be to get her interested in watches (and in all seriousness it is fun); I just didn't consider the consequences if I was successful.  I'm afraid to ask what she wants for Christmas this year especially when I have my eye on the RG OS Chrono and she knows it!!!  Oh Boy!  I'll keep you posted! All the Best, Tom 
Be careful what you wish for......
12/14/2008 - 03:09
My wife for years (we're married for 19) has been into jewelry and has many beautiful pieces and she's had a YG gold watch that I bought her at Fortunoff's 15 years ago and she wore every day.  She loved jewelry but was satisfied with one nice gold watch--that was then. I just got into serious watch collecting two years ago and last Christmas, to as you said make myself feel better, I encouraged her to consider a good watch--and she did!  A Cartier La Dona WG with diamonds on a bracelet for well over 20K.  I didn't mean that kind of a good watch right!  But I couldn't very well give her a hard time when she doesn't ever give me one. Then, in January, I was motivated to buy my first VC (a RG Malte Chrono) (the most expensive watch I had purchased at that point) and I took her with me to get her point of view on that watch and approval I guess.  We compared the RG to the WG and decided on the RG but in the process she strolls over to the pre-owned counter and asks to see a Jeager YG on a YG bracelet Reverso day/night which she announces that she'd like to have if it would be O.K. with me.  What can I say right.  So I get it for her but now I'm thinking oh boy...what did I create here and I'm also thinking this could be the last time I ask her to go to the AD with me.  Finally I'm thinking this new hobby of hers has the potential to cut into my new hobby significantly! I used to think about how much fun it would be to get her interested in watches (and in all seriousness it is fun); I just didn't consider the consequences if I was successful.  I'm afraid to ask what she wants for Christmas this year especially when I have my eye on the RG OS Chrono and she knows it!!!  Oh Boy!  I'll keep you posted! All the Best, Tom 
Re: Be careful what you wish for......
12/14/2008 - 06:42
I guess getting one's wife interested in watches to assist in justifying our own watch purchases is a common behavior among WIS.  I've done the same thing with my own Wife.  She has learned enough to spot a Reverso, a Royal Oak, and various VCs, Pateks and Cartiers.  Furthermore, because most fine men's watches are either automatic or manual wind, my Wife will not consider a watch with a quartz movement (even though I myself have a Rolex Oysterquartz).   There must be something about Cartier and JLC that appeals to women.  My Wife's daily wearer is a mens size automatic Cartier Tank Francaise (she has given some thought to getting a Pasha).  She already owns a rose and SS ladies Rolex datejust which is her somewhat dressier watch since its smaller than her mens size Tank Francaise.  However, more recently she mentioned  that she is interested in getting a true dress watch...and so her current first choice is a JLC Reverso Duetto. Her prejudice against quartz has ruled out several VCs, APs, and Pateks, luckily for me .  Personally, although getting your Wife interested in nice watches can be financially dangerous, it can be just as rewarding since it makes it easier for her to understand my scoping out the local watch shops when we go on vacation and it has resulted in my receiving some very nice presents to mark special occasions.  As gifts I've received a VC Historique Carree, a 50th Anniversary Submariner, a Rolex Explorer 2 (a wedding gift), and a limited production Cartier Pasha chronograph.  So I really can't complain about my Wife developing an interest in watches.  In addition, I find it more interesting to go with her to shop for ladies watches than to go with her to look at shoes or handbags. Best regards, Dino
Re: My Wife's Journey to WISdom
12/14/2008 - 05:27
Well, gentlemen, Here is the solution A few years ago, I started getting interested in Hamilton vintage pieces. They made some very interesting designs and lots of them. I bought a few for myself including a Webster, Linwood and Burton, the last being 14k. Hamilton also made some fine movements. Now as you know, in those days mens watches were a lot smaller and of course would now also be appropriate for womens' wrists. Well guess who is wearing the Burton...a hint.. not me and she really likes it although I'm the one that winds it every morning. And as for the Linwood, my youngest daughter took a fancy to that one. So there you are, inexpensive, especially in gold-fill, very classy, vintage pieces. And you can buy more than one and still maintain your own acquisitions without worry too much about the cost. There are quite a few available too. C'est malin, n'est-ce pas? Joseph
Now there's a smart man....
12/14/2008 - 07:21

That just could be a viable alternative! But I need to find a way to keep her out of the Cartier section first!  Thanks Joseph.

Best,

Tom

Re: Now there's a smart man....
12/14/2008 - 15:53
I solve that problem by taking her to Tiffany's in both Toronto and NYC. The watches are on the ground floor in both and easy to bypass by going upstairs and looking at earings etc. Not cheap but cheaper than the watches! Joseph
Re: Re: Now there's a smart man....
12/14/2008 - 16:41
We're going to NYC on Friday to see a jazz singer we like and to check out a few watches.  I'll try the Tiffany's tip (I know we'll be there too) and see how that works.  Thanks Joseph. Best Regards, Tom
I have tried and tried but even though she has excellent WISdom and
12/14/2008 - 11:28
great knowledge of watches, movements and design she doesn't really want to wear a watch, I think she mentally calculates how many pairs of shoes and handbags the price of one watch would give her and its a lost battle from there.
Re: My Wife's Journey to WISdom
12/14/2008 - 13:09
My wife has slightly caught the WIS bug.  She requires a mechanical watch without diamonds.  It also must be from a premier watch brand.  I've been looking for 3 years now and have gone down the vintage collection as a result.  A coupe of months ago I've finally found a watch that meets her desires, it's a Jules Audemars manual wind watch in RG, I have some trusted dealers trying to find it for me right now as it was recently discontinued and Daisy doesn't like the newer version as much.  I'm hopeful that I can get it by Christmas. I also bought Daisy a SS Omega DeVille automatic chronometer to use as a daily beater earlier this year.  These 2 watches should allow me to move ahead on some of my own watch desires (oh do I hope so) Best Regards, Dan
Where is Tacha ?
12/14/2008 - 15:33
..
Here I am guys :-)
12/14/2008 - 18:51
You all made me laugh so hard. Always be careful what you get a woman interested into. Could get tricky. As I have already stated, I am more of a vintage fan. And as you said Joseph, some of those men vintage watches (and not necessarily the very expensive ones) are beautiful and can easily be worn by women. I guess that is were I will start. I am neither a diamond (or even jewellery) fan nor a Cartier fan for that matter. I have a hard time with their roman numerals, feels like they're eating out the dial. So far I have a small lady 50's Longines to which I have to change the strap and a funky Tissot. The other day I asked a co-worker to let me try on his watch to figure out what a 40mm dial watch would look like on my wrist. Well it's not that bad, might be the next step. Who knows, maybe one day I'll own one of  those lovely vintage V&C that are just so amazing. But let me tell you all one thing: your wifes are all very lucky ladies
Mrs. G after having read this thread tells me that she can't let me
12/14/2008 - 19:22
say such rubbish and that she would be very happy with an X-mas gift from Van Cleef...including a watch There goes my QDI budget
But you still have the means to go for the Explrorer, right Alex? ;-)
12/14/2008 - 22:22
BTW, Valerie hasa great taste
Hoping to get it by SIHH :-) (nt)
12/16/2008 - 13:19
e
My wife is a treasure...
12/14/2008 - 22:35
She even encourages me to go for certain pieces and is my best advisor design wise at least. She really loves watches and owns some serious pieces herself. Among them are: a rectangular Vacheron Lest Historiques with a diamond bezel, a 1972 XL, Cartier Santos 100, Cartier Pasha, Patek Aquanaut men's size, a summer Hublot Big Bang white ceramic and her latest gift from me Breguet Marine. She really enjoys big sized cases and often settles for men's sizes... none of them being to my fancy unfortunately - I could wear them from time to time but I don't...  My wife fancies my newest Royal Eagle LE and threatens to wear it every once in a while 
Like your wife mine likes this also.
12/15/2008 - 23:24
And it's hard to really think of it as a man's watch, but I worn it several times myself  A dark suit is a must.... Cheers Doc
I like your title for this post, Radek....
12/16/2008 - 18:40
Indeed, my wife is the treasure, not my watches!  She has been a good sport through many adventures and is even becoming a decent rallye navigator!
My Wife's Journey to WISdom Along With Me
12/17/2008 - 03:02
It has taken a few years but my wife of 33 years has taken an interest in watches. She now enjoys visiting AD's with me and learning about the various brands and their new additions. At this point, she is wearing both men's with automatic movements and ladies sizes in her growing watch case. However, I am trying to keep my collection to myself, lol. Here in the 1st picture you can see I am teaching her about wrist shots, the 2nd photo is a close up with my hands. Not a favorite activity of hers . Glad to know your wives are sharing in some of this WIS fun. Some very interesting posts above which I will share with her. Best regards, Matt