In many ways, my horological journey has been a strangely circular one. Whilst I’ve had a healthy interest in watches for far longer, the catalyst for the collecting madness that became the basis for this blog was the acquisition of a modern Submariner a few years ago. At the time, I thought I was just buying a watch… what I didn’t know was that my quest for information and knowledge regarding it’s history and heritage would lead to me to register with a number of watch forums; and that, in doing so, I would be opening the door to the candy store.
That Submariner – a classic 16610 – was the first of many watches that bore the Rolex logo, but over time my interest switched to vintage, and to be fair that’s where it remains in many ways. However, some (embarrassing number of) watches later and once again I have a modern Submariner on my wrist. This time, however, I’ve succumbed to the force of change because – finally, and after many, many months of yearning – it’s the maxi-cased 116610LV. The Hulk.
Now, as a traditionalist when it comes to watches it’s taken me quite some time to get to this point. Initially I regarded the dimensions of the case (well, the lugs) as almost comical but over time I’ve realised that the response was more one of intransigence than dislike. I’ll admit that it took me a day or so to get used to the size and heft, but it’s not unlike buying a new television that’s a little larger than the last; when you set it up the immediate response is “My god, it’s huge” but a day or so later and it feels like you could almost have gone for something even bigger. Even the vague feelings of discomfort disappeared very quickly, and after 48 hours or so of constant wear I still don’t want to take it off.
The dial is nothing short of mesmerising. As it catches the light at different angles, the starburst finish changes from a bold green to near-black, never looking the same as the last time you glanced at it. It’s one of those watches that I find myself gazing at for no reason, just because… well, it’s beautiful. As for the bracelet, there’s no doubt whatsoever that it’s a massive improvement on the older models. The Glidelock mechanism makes adjustment instant and simple, and the clasp itself is reassuringly substantial.
All in all, I’m overwhelmingly delighted. It’s nice, too, to have a new AD-supplied watch and to be the first to wear it (and bizarrely this is the second in less than a month that fits that description). There’s no lessening of my love for vintage, but what has become patently obvious is that there’s more than enough room for both. Well, not in the box, but that’s another story…