A Bracelet, A Bracelet! My Kingdom For A Bracelet!
It’s finally going to happen! After years of yearning, my Damasko DC66 is finally getting the bracelet that was promised for so long and in doing so will become the watch I’ve wanted for so long!
For the last 10 years four watches have sat at the top of my list: Rolex Sea Dweller 16600, Marathon CSAR, Tudor Pelagos, Damasko DC66.
The Rolex 16600 SD is a truly iconic, legend of a watch. Works with a suit, works with jeans, it’s elegant and tough. It was my only watch for about a decade, before I became a geek and horologically hooked. It’s taller and heavier than the Submariner and as such is a tad top-heavy, so it’s not the most comfortable watch out there but it’s pluses far out-weigh it’s minuses. So what put me off it? To a great extent the people I met who wore them! On forums like TZ-UK, probably 75% of the members owned one! That probably says something good about the watch but being part of the herd was never really my thing, especially not that particular herd. It’s also become a very recognised watch, even if most non-watch-nuts think it’s a Sub. With that recognition comes pre-conceptions and everyone seems to have one about people who wear a Rolex. Do I care? Not really but it was just another factor that put me off a bit. Another dampener is the way Rolex views it’s relationship to it’s customers. I won’t go into a rant but if you’ve ever dealt directly with Rolex you’ll know that their belief is that when you pay them £7k for a watch, you still don’t actually own the watch; they do. You pay money to wear the watch, not to own it so don’t ask them to do anything to the watch that they don’t want done because they’ll simply refuse. Want a blue bezel insert for your steel Sub? Don’t bother asking Rolex as they’ll tell you where to get off. There are many more reasons, too but needless to say I fell out of love with Rolex and the SD.
Then we come to the Marathon CSAR Pilot Chronograph. As a pilot myself, I was immediately drawn to this watch and aesthetically it’s my favourite watch of all time. In fact, I love everything about it except two things: size and weight. The diameter is 46.6mm, the height is 1.7cm and with the bracelet it’s over a quarter of a kilo. It’s not big, it’s not slightly oversized, it absolutely absurd! I once forgot to take it off at bedtime and almost knocked out my wife during an enthusiastic dream! If you have the wrists and body of a particularly large grizzly bear then fair enough. If you’re of human proportions this watch will simply look insane on your wrist. It’s the ultimate “tool watch” but frankly, with normal size wrists, you’ll need to be a tool to wear it. Now, I’ve had three of them so I guess that says something about me! If the CSAR was 42mm and 14mm tall I could want for nothing better. Unfortunately, it’s not, so my search continued.
My final choice was the Damasko DC66. It’s my third (plus a DC67) over the years. I loved each one of them but kept selling them for one reason only: no bracelet was available and I need a watch with a bracelet, ultimately. I was ticking along with the Tudor Pelages and had decided that this watch was to be my final watch, when Damasko finally released a bracelet for the DC66! I immediately sold the Tudor and bought another brand new DC66. Then I found out that in order to buy a bracelet from Damasko I needed to send the ruddy watch to them to have the bracelet professionally fitted. While I admire their attention to detail, this is a huge PITA and I simply haven’t got round to it in now over 12 months. The price is also a factor for many. 630 Euros is Rolex territory for a bracelet and whilst I’m sure it will be an astonishingly good bracelet, as with everything Damasko, to then ask me to pay a further 70 Euros to have it fitted is a tad cheeky, IMO. Well, I’ve finally swallowed the pill and my beloved DC66 will arrive with Damasko on Jan 7th, 2015 and will arrive back to me with a factory bracelet fitted. Finally, after 10 years of waiting, the watch I’ve always wanted will become reality and will remain with me until I expire. Well, unless Marathon produce a baby CSAR! Keep checking back for my review of the DC66 bracelet, which I’ll publish late January 2015.