My husband has an Omega watch that belonged to his grandfather. He keeps the watch in its original red box, which is tucked into a larger box, which is kept inside an antique sideboard. He wears it to weddings and special dinners out — basically whenever he wears a suit. It’s not that the watch is particularly delicate, or even that it’s worth a lot of money, but more that his grandfather took such great care of it that to treat it casually would be disrespectful.
It’s as if he didn’t just inherit the watch, he inherited reverence and pride for it as well.
Remember home decor guru Jonathan Adler’s advice about only buying items that you’ll want to hand down to your grandchildren? It’s an idea that previous generations didn’t necessarily need reminders about, but somehow we’ve lost sight of it a little. Yet at the brand new Omega shop inside the Fairmont Olympic (it fills the space left vacant by Jeri Rice), you almost can’t help but think who might wear this austere Seamaster or that diamond-studded Constellation after you’re gone.
After the shop’s recent grand opening party, a private dinner was given at Tulio nearby, and I had the chance to speak with Omega president Stephen Urquhart who acknowledged that ‘function is hardly a concern anymore.’ We don’t buy watches because we’re concerned about knowing what time it is. We buy them – we give them, Urquhart says — and particularly Omegas, the timepiece of James Bond, the first watch on the moon, the official chronograph of the Olympics — ‘for the dream;’ to ‘own a legacy.’
And, I would add, the opportunity to pass the legacy on and essentially live forever.