In the beginning – Adventure boy!
It all started at a very young age. Surrounded by what seemed to be an endless opportunity for adventure and exploration of a rocky ridge and forest and little river nearby. Growing up in the area of Newlands East in Durban didn’t mean that we were camping, but it did give me a chance as a little kid to explore anywhere my 6-year-old legs could take me. Roll onto 10 years old and a trip on a Pathfinder camp, took us to a river and campsite, learning knots, swimming and singing to the guitar.
At each stage of our lives as kids, my brother and I had chances to go to camps with our Pathfinder club. The club is similar to scouts but includes boys and girls. At every single camp, I learned valuable life lessons about being assertive. How to ensure you respect the environment around you and also key leadership skills that I find invaluable now as a leader in later life. Looking after people and the environment, are still two key things that my life is built on.
So, what does have to do with my blog today? Well, I want to talk about my passion for watches. As described above, riding bikes around the neighbourhood and local forest were fine in Richards Bay, as our little township sprouted with new employment opportunities for our blue-collar dads in the early later 90s. My friends and I could ride around on our bikes, packing juice and bread, for however long that ride would be. Grown men are still doing the same today, so I guess at 13 we were onto something. At this very early age, I developed a deep love for watches, knives, and torches.
The passion for knives and torches is still there today, and in Pathfinders we were taught to be prepared and plan, as much as we could before any adventure. I think in life know I see that very exercise play out whenever starting something new. Beginning with the end in mind.
A watch for me is a more than a tool for telling the time. Of course, there are many ways now for people to get the time. In the old days bother with a watch, because they have a phone. If they do have a watch, teens may already have an Apple Watch, and in that case, they have the time and way to send and receive critical messages on what Becky wore to the gym (omg Becky!).
Be that as it may, there is a trend now for people of all ages, including the young men and women that are after millennials to look to their wrists for the time. Not only to see the time but to share their “status” offline.
This brings me to my new favourite reasonably priced watch. Please know, that when I say affordable, I mean not for everyone, but certainly not out of the reach of most of you reading this blog, if you really plan and save ahead for it. I am told we have 27 000 Dollar based millionaires (excluding property) so that means we really need a South African based idea on the watch market, and not dissimilar to what you get in blogging on cars, it helps to have a local voice navigate the very busy world of the American and European Innerweb’s and YouTube channels.
Enter the Montblanc Nicolas Riussec – 1738
You may not think of Montblanc when I mention the words luxury and watch, in the same sentence. To justify this, you should know a) this company is owned by a South African billionaire b) the company not only make pens but a whole bundle of amazing luxury goods, that match the lifestyle you should know more about.
I am now personally on my 2nd Montblanc fountain pen. Inspired by a former manager who had a passion for pens, the pen from Montblanc can be seen as the gateway drug you need to level up to a nice business bag or attaché` and later their range of watches. The thing is, in the watch world, you will find many people talking about Rolex, Audemars, and few others, but very few talking about Montblanc. People that are millennials reading this will know, we always search for a video detailing our love interests on YouTube. in this instance, they don’t have much in terms of quality production online. I blame this on some manager who can’t decide on social media and video. So tough. We will be producing our own short clips online, that can bring shed more light on the watch market in SA. Same as the vehicle market, especially second hand. Maybe even include a blog on a few writing instruments we love from the USA, Japan, and Germany.
Why this watch?
Montblanc has been making watches for 150 years. They do this in their own manufacture (pronounced as manafac-tuir.) based in Le Locle, Switzerland. The mothership HQ of the group is based in Germany for their pen manufacturing, but the skills and artisanal programmes being run in Switzerland is a testament to their continued foray into the sustained competition posed by the Swiss watch industry.
If you don’t know, if not for a few key players in watchmaking, the quartz movements from Japan made in the 80`s, nearly completely wiped out Swiss watch firms. Their focus and energy fought off cheap competition, by continuously producing quality timepieces, that focussed on automatic and manual movements. Including the firms that make all the movements, and most excellently shown in some “in-house” movements, where the entire inside of the watch is produced by the firm whose brand is stamped on the front of the watch. Think of this as M or AMG cars, which have engines produced internally and not sourced externally to any 3rd party supplier from development to production. Handmade quality is tangible, and it is something you really feel in a Montblanc watch.
Enter the Nicolas Riussec 43 mm Automatic Chronograph
This watch was introduced a few years ago as a homage to a renowned Swiss watchmaker, whose namesake is the product derivative of this series. Nicolas wanted to make a watch that would “ink” the time combining writing or marking ink, into the mechanism of a watch which was a chronometer. This specific piece has two dials at 3 and 9, that hark back to that original clock, and with that, they speak to the high end of mechanical watches of the swiss past. Doing that, in a very classical way, with a beautiful execution of the dial, case and sapphire glass back. The execution of how they put this watch together, is really amazing value for the price of the watch.
The watch wears very easily on the wrist. The more watches you try in this price range, that you will start to see depending on the size of your wrist. I normally wear a formal shirt for daily work and even on weekends, and the watch still manages to fit within the cuff of my shirt. Some watches are too big, especially for sport or automotive-themed use, and in this case, we have a watch that will be great for weekend and daily use to work.
Some folk tell me they would only wear such a watch for special events and keep it in their safe. I don’t think this is right! I believe that life is way too short! Depending on what you are doing (for example, don’t wear this to the gym!), the watch will fit in at any work or casual event. It has a classic look, almost vintage, the numerals are Arabic (normal numbers not Roman numerals) and as such, it is very easy to tell the time. The amazing function of this watch is its chronograph function with a single pusher, based on the same design that Nicolas Riussec with 2 dials at 7 pm and 4pm respectively.
We will do more blogs on watches and how to chose one. From 2015 to now, we haven’t been truly able to properly convey the level of detail you truly need when getting into the wristwatch world. But what we can say, is that after all this time, having dabbled in watches as a team and made a few good and bad purchases, we are now ready to share with our love and better insight on what we think of the watch business and timepieces currently available.
For this specific watch head to www.topwatch.co.za – hopefully before it is sold!!!
Our thanks to the Centurion team of Topwatch, who allowed us to blog on this watch, and view a few other amazing pieces that truly stand out and we will write those up soon. Topwatch sells pre-owned luxury watches online. They validate the ownership and have a rigorous quality and onboarding process that gives me the pleasure of endorsing them as a friend of Sabuyersguide.com. We will always aim to share the good guys with you all. Who provide quality, but more importantly, great service. You can buy accessories, get information, and get your luxury watch evaluated or even serviced via them.
Head to Topwatch and ask for Henco or Michelle, if heading to their Centurion office.
Special thanks to CEO, Johan Dreyer for allowing us in, and for permission to shoot for our blog. It has been a great experience!
Email us on email@example.com for any feedback. Thank you for reading, and please share this blog if you find it useful and know of someone who loves watches as much as we do!