I've become obsessed with classic watches.
I know how it started.
About three years ago, John Mayer shot with us for a few days to be on an episode of Fantasy Factory. He'd seen every episode of Rob and Big and blindly called Rob to tell him how much he enjoyed it. From there, the two formed a friendship and John eagerly agreed to come down to do an episode. Everyone who worked on the show was excited. When you work in Los Angeles, you occasionally cross paths with ultra famous people. It's always a bit of a thrill, no matter what anyone tells you. People who claim not to be fazed by any level of contact with mega-fame are lying.
John showed up, and was brilliant. He was funny, smart, and nice to everyone working on the show. He went out of his way to be present and accessible, a delicate dance when most of the people approaching him on a daily basis are probably doing their best to play it cool and pretend that whatever the conversation is won't become a story for all of their friends later. He's a very cool guy. He even let me drive his Audi R8 to Hollywood one day that we shot. Quite a highlight.
In addition to being a talented musician and human, John Mayer also happens to be a huge watch guy. He's a well known watch collector, and he wore an incredibly nice watch each day of the three days we shot. I remember an IWC and some mega thousand dollar exotic watch, but the watch I remember most was this one:
If I'm not mistaken, that's a Green Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV, AKA: The Hulk. Pretty sick. Back then, I knew nothing about it.
One day during shooting, we got to talking about watches. I asked him why he cared so much. "It doesn't make sense to me," I said. "Who wears watches? You might as well carry a typewriter around with you," I joked.
He dismissed me (in a friendly way), saying: "You don't get it then. You don't have the gene. Some people do, some people don't. You obviously don't have the watch gene." He smirked as he walked back into the warehouse to shoot another scene inside of Rob's office.
Pfft. Don't have the gene.
What does that even...
SURE, I don't have millions of dollars to buy ANYTHING I WANT!
Who even checks the time anymore?
Don't have the...
I MIGHT HAVE THE GENE, YOU DON'T KNOW, JOHN MAYER.
After that day, I told the story of the time John Mayer told me I didn't have the watch gene to friends several different times. "What a dick," they always said. "Thank you," I always said.
But, the seed was planted. I couldn't stop thinking about that beautiful green Submariner. I started noticing other Submariners and Datejusts and Day Dates, and Daytonas in the wild. I started researching the history of the watches and the brand. Did you know the Submariner was the watch Sean Connery wore in the Bond movies? That an Explorer was the watch Ian Fleming wore when he WROTE Bond? That they are some of the most imitated watches in history?
I didn't either. Until John Mayer planted that fucking seed.
The seed grew into a nagging urge. I started to maybe understand the idea of having a nice watch. An heirloom. A workhorse. A constant reminder of this specific point in my life.
Fuckin' John Mayer.
So in 2011, I got myself an entry level Submariner. I used my 40th birthday as an excuse, although it was something I had been obsessing about for more than a year before I finally pulled the trigger. Some people buy corvettes when they turn 40, some people apparently buy a watch. It's not a fancy green bezeled one like John's, but I love it. I've worn it almost every day since I bought it. It's a "No Date Stainless Steel Sub," as they call it on the watch nerd message boards.
Someday, I'll hand it down to my son. I like the idea of passing a cool watch down to my kid. It's a nice connection.
Today I spent the entire day studying the late 60's Datejust, one of the most classic watches of all time. I read about the intricacies of the components; the variety of models, how to spot fakes; which ones are the most desirable, etc. I read about baton hands and Jubilee watch bands and the half life of tritium (the radioactive isotope of hydrogen), which gave watches in the 50's and 60's their "lume," or glow in the dark ability. I think I've been bitten by a watch bug. Or watch gene. Or maybe John Mayer?
Hey, I read that he's dating Katy Perry.
What a perfect segue to a photo of Katy Perry to close out this post:
Look at that. Her dress matches John's green Submariner.