What starts as a love of vintage watches ends in long-lost relatives meeting for the first time.
As many of you know, I find the watch world to be a fascinating place. It is filled with beauty and romantic notions, yet only it is possible thanks to expert engineering, steadfast structure, and mechanical mastery. It’s a balance of contrasts that keeps me coming back for more.
However, one of my absolute favorite things about watch collecting is the sense of community and camaraderie among fellow enthusiasts. It’s a community with members willing to share intimate information about their personal lives when discussing their timepieces.
“My grandmother brought this watch with her to America when she was escaping Europe during the war.”
“My father gave this to me when I graduated university.”
“I picked this up when I was deployed overseas during service.”
You can really learn so much about a person while conversing about watches
You can really learn so much about a person while conversing about watches. The next time you see someone with an interesting watch on their wrist, ask them about it. You’ll see what I mean.
One of my first clients at Laurent Fine Watches is a gentleman named Blake. Blake and I hit it off straight away, not only because of our shared love of vintage watches, but also because of our appreciation for art, cars and other interests. We meet regularly, either at his office or mine, to show each other our newest acquisitions.
A few weeks ago, Blake came to see me to purchase an Omega Speedmaster from my collection. During his visit he mentioned he was going to Maine in a few weeks. What a coincidence, I was going to Maine too with my wife to see our friend Sherry. Naturally, we made plans to meet while there and decided to have lunch at Cafe Miranda in Rockland, followed by an afternoon at an antique show.
When we finally met at our lunch spot our party of five—Suzanna, Susan, Sherry, Blake and I—fell comfortably into animated conversation. As each of us began divulging parts of our lives, it turns out that Sherry and Blake had Gladwyne, Pennsylvania in common. It was where Blake had grown up and where Sherry’s daughter went to school. Then the rest of us sat back and watched a spectacular thing unfold.
“Was your dad a lawyer?” Sherry asked
“No. He was involved with Container Corporation of America.” Blake replied
“You know, my cousin’s husband worked with Container Corporation of America. His name was Jacky.”
“That’s my father.”
Dramatic silence fell upon the table until a visibly surprised Sherry managed to collect herself.
“Oh my god, I can not believe this. Is his wife’s name Niki?”
“Yes, she’s my mother.”
A flurry of questions, name checks, and emotions ensued. We discovered that Blake and Sherry are actually second cousins since their mothers are first cousins and their grandparents are siblings! Suddenly, a table full of strangers made Thanksgiving plans for Sherry to reunite with Niki and the rest of the family after all these years.
Amazing. A tale of a watch dealer meeting up with his new client while both on vacation in another state, only to find out that the dealer’s best friend is the client’s relative!
As you can imagine, it was an exciting day filled with surprises. I am so grateful that these long-lost relatives—who didn’t even know each other existed—were finally brought together in the most unexpected way. And to think that it was in part because of my great love of watches makes it even more magical for me.
This is what life is about: sharing simple moments filled with happiness.
Do you have a watch related story to like to share with me? I would love to hear it, so please get in touch.
Laurent Martinez ✦ Laurent Fine Watches ✦
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