Why You Shouldn’t Get Your Better Half Interested In Watches

“What, another watch?” she almost screamed in disbelief no sooner than I had opened the front door to our little love nest.

Rewind to last week. I had been looking for a Roger Smith Series 1 for some time now, and Jones, my watch dealer, happened to finally locate one for me.

Roger Smith Series 1

Roger Smith Series 1

I thought that I had played it pretty safe: I had it delivered to my work address and I didn’t use the home computer to go to the FedEx website every 15 minutes to scout where over the Atlantic Ocean my parcel was (well, I did sneak into the bathroom a few times each hour to check it on my iPhone with the excuse of digestive issues caused by too much spicy Thai food).

So I really don’t know how she could have noticed.

“This is not another watch, my little sugar pie, I just had the strap changed,” I answered in my most innocent voice.

The latter was true: I had had the strap changed from black to brown, so I wasn’t really lying, was I?

“You didn’t have a Roger Smith Series 1 in your collection before,” she replied.

The Urwerk UR-110 Eastwood with ebony bezel and tweed strap

The Urwerk UR-110 Eastwood with ebony bezel and tweed strap

Wait a minute, where did that come from? Since when did Mrs. What Makes Me Tick go from trying to figure out the difference between Rolex and Urwerk to recognizing a Roger Smith?!

I knew there and then that I was doomed.

You see, dear readers, I was like you, trying to share my passion with my better half, explaining the intricacies of a mechanical timepiece, the painstaking work of hand polishing an interior angle, or the utility of having a world time watch (featuring names of cities I have never even heard of). I’d also thought that I had done a good job of convincing her that the funds set aside for our trip to the Seychelles was better spent invested in a watch.

Little by little she started getting interested, we visited manufactures together, walked hand in hand into watch shops admiring the same timepieces and giggling over the marketing spiel from the sales associates.

We chose straps together, and I even let her wear some of my vintage watches.

We were happy. I loved watches, she loved me, and I could see teary-eyed admiration when she looked at me while I spoke with pompous knowledge about the difference between a chronometer and a chronograph.

Oh happy times . . .

Our relationship went downhill from there.

A selection of Jimmy Choo shoes

A selection of Jimmy Choo shoes

At first I didn’t see the signs. Buying her a pair of Jimmy Choos after each watch purchase was not quenching her thirst; she was selfishly looking more and more at ladies’ watches instead of concentrating on my desires.

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

On a side note, dear watch brands, you should stop thinking that half of humanity is composed only of Hello Kitty fans. No, you don’t need to put pink dials, mother-of-pearl, flowers, diamonds the size of sand (but adding the price of the Koh-i-Noor to the watch), and a whole bunch of kitsch into a quartz-powered timepiece to appeal to women.

But enough free counseling to watch brands and back to the martyr I was preparing to be.

With hindsight it was so obvious, how could I have been so blind?

The fact that she liked joining me at the SIHH and Baselworld, the gentle way she wound her Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, the appreciation of skeletonized watches, and the cute way she used to call a minute repeater a “time repeater” made me regard her more like a proud father. But she wanted more . . . always more.

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater

Even her tiny wrists were no longer an obstacle in desiring an A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater.

I had created a monster . . . she was now a WIS (Watch Idiot Savant).

So, gentlemen, if I can give you a word of advice, don’t make the same mistake I did. Keep your better half as far away from watches as possible.

Don’t play “let’s guess which watch they’re wearing” when watching a movie.
Let her continue laughing with her friends over what a nerd you are.
Let her continue thinking that collecting watches is about as sexy as collecting empty cereal boxes.
Let her wonder about your mental health when you take photos of your watch under a microscope and then send them to all your friends.
Let her shake her head in disbelief when you tell her the exact geography of the Vallée de Joux and Le Locle, even though you have no idea what the name of the street around the corner is.
And let her scratch her head when you write the Roman numeral for four as IIII instead of IV.

On the fatal night of the Roger Smith Series 1’s arrival, while we were cuddled on the sofa sipping a Gevrey Chambertin and nibbling on the most amazing Parmigiano-Reggiano while listening to Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival des Animaux, my loved one put her head on my shoulder, held my hand with her left hand (to which my Series 1 was now strapped) and said, “Isn’t the Van Cleef & Arpels Le Pont des Amoureux the most delicate watch?”

Greubel Forsey Double Balancier

Greubel Forsey Double Balancier

I got up, went to the bathroom, and silently wept. Then I took a deep breath and had a large single-malt whisky before sitting down to send an e-mail canceling my order of the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier that I had been hunting for the past nine months.

For more of What Makes Me Tick’s fabulous insights and photos, please follow him on Instagram at @whatmakesmetick and Facebook at www.facebook.com/whatmakesmetick.

13 replies
  1. Shane
    Shane says:

    What a dumb article. So cringy, author tried to be funny. Who in their right mind would even recognize a “Roger Smith?” I am a WIS and have never heard of it, let alone would my SO.

    • Ian Skellern
      Ian Skellern says:

      Hi Shane,

      Believe it or not, quite a few people would recognize a Roger Smith because he makes the finest watches in England.

      And now, you can too. Thanks to this article you have learnt something. You’re welcome.

      Regards, Ian

      • Dave Kaiten
        Dave Kaiten says:

        Perfect response.

        Though admittedly I may not be as rich in liquid assets as Mr WMMT, I have certainly driven my wife close to this.

        She now demands a Poetic Wish from Van Cleef, not a simple old Rolex…


        PS: sometimes keeping quiet is the best thing to do.


    • ZorgBorg
      ZorgBorg says:

      Indeed who in their right mind would recognise Roger Smith? One of the few watchmakers in the world capable of creating an entire watch from hands, case, dial, plates, wheels, decoration, hairspring etc all using the most traditional materials and methods, apprentice to the greatest watchmaker since Breguet, who makes 10 watches per year painstakingly by himself with very little assistance and with a waiting list years long?

      It’s not like he’s one of the most significant names in independent watchmaking or anything…

  2. Vin
    Vin says:

    it was quite surprising (and fun) when I read the lines where she could recognize a R.S. Honestly this is a problem that most guys are likely run into with their girlfriends/wives. Wonder how it worked out for you 🙂

  3. Christiaan
    Christiaan says:

    Brilliant article and a feeling I’m sure many of us true WIS have gone through with our better half. As for Roger Smith, I’d prob dive across tables in a crowded restaurant to have a look and feel of one.

  4. Andrew Hughes
    Andrew Hughes says:

    ha ha. Funny article. Great side note to the industry about women’s watches… it seems true enough.

    Your dilemma could be worse… you might have married a gold digger who wants every cent of your money leaving you none for all those product names you dropped. I’m going to file this anecdote into my “rich people problems” folder for reference in case I ever win the lotto. I would gladly trade my mundane daily issues for yours… just let me know if you want to wear Swiss Army watches and drive a Subaru.

  5. Andrei K.
    Andrei K. says:

    Ohh, my dear…
    That is a wonderful story. My wife was, at the beginning, not that interested in this field, but now she wants to know, she wants complications, she wants also her Jimmys, Pradas, whatever. (At least, last time, she bought me also a pair of Jimmys).

    But the most important thing – now she is supporting, I can rely on her, she understand my needs and encourages. That is why I think she must be involved – to understand and participate. Now she even makes me gifts, now she knows what to buy (for her or for me), what can be a value…


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  1. […] Pad provided some great examples of female watch enthusiasts (read My Wife, The Watch Collector and Why You Shouldn’t Get Your Better Half Interested In Watches), it is likely safe to say that from the perspective of the major brands, horological collecting is […]

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