potatoesThis WristTale is told by our friend potatoes1719 who has one of the most legendary watch collections we have seen to date, enjoy!

“So where do I begin? I guess I’ve been a watch fanatic since getting my first watch in 1983, a white Swatch with a blue polkadot face…from then on I was hooked. By the time I was a senior in High School. I had bought and sold a dozen Swatches and had graduated to a Seiko Diver (which is what I consider my first REAL watch) which i sold to a friend in college to put towards my next purchase…a Breitling Chronomat Crosswind. My first “luxury” watch and also my first automatic watch. It was used, no box or papers but I loved it. I owned that watch for about three years until it was stolen out of my gym locker, which was devastating to me. I knew I had to get something else so I started to look around (remember this was the early 90’s, no internet) at used dealers here in NYC and found a GMT-Master II that I had to have. I had just received my first bonus and went and blew it all ($3,100) on the watch. That was my first Rolex which I still have today. From then on, I tried to buy one watch per year, weather a Rolex, Bell & Ross or something old like a Hamilton manual. Once I turned 30 I had about 10 or so watches, all used, a respectable collection I thought…then I discovered Panerai and this is where I have to say my watch sickness really got bad. Now this was the late 90’s and they had only been selling here for a few years at most so it was next to impossible to find a used one anywhere and then there was the price. Until then my most expensive purchase was $4,000 for a Sea-Dweller (used) so the mere thought of spending $5,000 for a Luminor was CRAZY to me. I had told myself that I’d never buy any watch new. I’d let someone else take the hit and pick it up a year or two later for 40 – 60% less than new. Well that didn’t happen and I busted the bank at the age of 30 on my first brand new Panerai Luminor Marina, black face/brown strap. Over the next 10years I accumulated 6 more Pannies, with only 1 being new…Daylight Chronograph. Along with the Pannies I took on an IWC Pilot, Chopard, Corum, Date-Just, Submariner Pro-Hunter PVD, Breitling Superocean, Cartier Santos 100 and a Baume et Mercier Riveria Chronograph along with maybe 5 – 7 others as I traded in and out quite frequently. Five years ago I discovered Ball Watch Co and fell in love with them. I bought four in three years and I feel that pound for pound they are the best value in the watch industry bar none.

Now on to the biggies. I was turning 40 and had a few grail watches that I wanted to have by the time that day came. Patek Aquanaut, Daytona (white face) an AP Royal Oak Offshore and 2 vintage Rolexes – red Submariner and an Explorer II cave dweller aka Steve McQueen. The good news for me was that I was able to purchase all four, the bad news is that now I’m convinced I will only own vintage high end limited edition watches going forward…my wife is less than thrilled and wishes I just stuck to cars (I have 5). I have around 30 – 35 now and am seriously thinking of selling some that I never wear. It’s like I see a watch, say I have to have it, if I get it I’m done for a while then after a week, I discover something else. Lately that would be the Perrelet Chronograph I bought in St Marteen.

I am new to social media as I’m an old man. I’m not on Facebook, Tinder, Myspace etc. I am however on Instagram to keep up with my family pics and post pics of my dog Thor. Randomly one night I typed in Panerai to see what would come up and I was amazed at the watch community on instagram, where I found your site. Thank you for taking the time to create a forum for sick watch collectors like myself to see what else is out there…”

Current collection:

Date-Just, white face roman numeral
GMT-Master II
GMT-Master II 50th Aniv ceramic bezel green hand
Explorer II white face orange hand
Explorer II cave dweller/steve mcqueen
Submariner red script
Submariner Pro-Hunter
Daytona stainless white face

Luminor Daylight Chronograph
Luminor Marina 1950 3days
Luminor Firenze GMT Ltd Edition
Luminor Marina Regatta
Luminor Submersible 1000m Ltd Edition
Luminor Marina GMT tuxedo dial

Ball Watch Co.:
2 Engineer Hydro-Carbon Master Bathyscaphe Trieste Ltd Edition (one black, one white)
Engineer Hydro-Carbon Master Magnate Chronograph
Engineer Hydro-Carbon World Timer Diver (Watch of the year Basel 2011)

Carl F Bucherer:
Patravi Travel-Tec GMT
Patravi T-Graph Power Reserve

IWC Pilot Chronograph
Cartier Santos 1000
Chopard Mille Miglia XL
Breitling Superocean Chronometer
Corum Regatta Ltd Edition
Breguet Heritage Chronograph
Baume et Mercier Riviera Chronograph PVD
Bvlgari Diagono Aria GMT Fly-Back Chronograph
Bvlgari Diagono Scuba 2000m
Patek Philippe Auqanaut Jumbo
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Tudor Heritage Chronograph Monte Carlo
Perrelet Chronograph
Seiko Diver

Story and Photo Credit potatoes1719

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