Everyone has a watch journey – here is mine.
Since I first began to appreciate watches I wanted a Rolex Submariner. It was the holy grail, the North, everything I could possibly hope to aspire to. Every watch I had until I finally got to own one, was in one way or another an attempt to get something that felt a bit like the real thing. I am not certain what started the desire for this particular watch, perhaps it was my fascination with the Bond universe. Even though the Bond I grew up with was Roger Moore, whose arm was mostly cladded in Seiko digital timepieces, I had seen him wear the hell out of a Submariner in Live and Let Die, and that was enough for me.
It had to be a Submariner and on a beautiful spring day in 1999 I finally joined the club. It was in Hamburg and, just like today, the Rolex sports watches were like gold dust. So finding one, which could be bought at list price, was something special. The jeweller and his white gloves, the glass of champagne I sipped while listing to his instructions on how to set the watch and care for it, and the incredible sense of occasion present in the Wempe shop at Jungfernstieg elevated the buying experience to a level I had not experienced before. The watch that was to be mine was the 14060M Submariner – the absolute entry level Sub with a mediocre movement which wasn’t even chronometer certified, and a completely clean and dateless dial. But it didn’t matter one bit – it was a brand new Rolex Submariner and I was now part of an elite group of extremely successful people. Or so it felt.
One thing that I will always remember about that watch was the way I felt when I put it on in the morning – the way that this ritual kick started the day never really lost its magic. Apart from that it was a dreadful watch from a more pragmatic perspective; it didn’t keep good time, the crystal always appeared to be greasy and the clasp was of an appalling quality. Furthermore owning the watch let me in on a nasty little secret – there always seems to be a more desirable model which you should have bought instead. I should have picked the date version, which also had a better movement. Or I should have waited until I could afford the ultra cool Seadweller version, and so I kept on torturing myself. When I was amongst other Rolex owners I felt a bit like I was a member of the club, but on the thinnest mandate possible. It felt like I had bought a BMW 114i – the smallest and the cheapest model of the entire range. It just looked desperate. The truth is that nobody gave a toss, the conflict was entirely inside my head and nowhere else.
The years passed and I was never able to completely let these feelings go, but I still wore my 14060M with pride every single day.
Things were going fairly well and I thought that the time had come for the upgrade I had been craving for years. At that time I really liked the gold/steel watches, and when the new GMT-Master with its ceramic bezel came out I knew I had to own it. In fact I paid the local jeweller at least five visits where I tried the watch on again and again before I finally parted with my old Submariner and quite a few quid to get the GMT-Master.
Weirdly the spell had been broken somewhat. I looked at my wrist and my new possession stared back at me, I could see the beauty and the massive presence, I could feel the weight of the gold. It just didn’t feel as special as the first time around. The joy that the first Submariner gave me was never felt with the next one.
The polished gold in the centre of the bracelet picked up visible scratches like there was no tomorrow, and after a while the watch looked beaten up and very used. I went back to the jeweller and asked him to refurbish it, speculating it would increase its value if the watch appeared in mint condition. When it came back after two months I showed it to my new girlfriend and the look of disgust and disbelief in her eyes made me trade the GMT-Master for a brand new Explorer II with a white dial and an orange 24-hour hand. A relatively big and very matter-of-factual watch, and possibly the last of the Rolex range, which hadn’t gone bling.
I really liked the watch but the magic had now gone and I found myself spending more and more time looking at Tudor rather than Rolex. It was as if Rolex had sold its soul to become more appealing to some of the new, emerging watch markets where appearance mattered more than functionality, and it was now up to Tudor to carry the torch forward and deliver the virtues that had made Rolex great in the first place.
As I grew older I got a better understanding of what I wanted and that I was no longer as attracted to loud branding on a watch. I didn’t need a brand to hide behind, I didn’t need a club to belong to. In fact I got obsessed with minimalistic or no branding, but I couldn’t find a watch that delivered exactly that. Most watches with no branding looked like train station clocks for the wrist. Where could I find a beautiful range of watches that paid tribute to some of the greatest timepieces known to man, without having to tolerate a branding that meant nothing to me.
There and then the idea for Enoksen Watches was born.
Hans-Henrik Enoksen, CEO & Founder