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Watch Stories – My First Watch

Paul Altieri

It’s hardly a secret that we love watches – and you probably do too, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. However, as much as we love the actual luxury watches themselves, it is the people who own them and the amazing stories behind them that really breathe life into this hobby and make studying and collecting timepieces a worthwhile passion. Over the years, we have shared some of our favorite watch stories with you (including that one about the woman who found a Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” in between the cushions of a couch at a thrift store). However, now we want to hear YOUR watch stories.

We reached out to members of our community and asked them to tell us about their very first watch. We loved hearing everyone’s stories so much that we wanted all of our readers to be able to enjoy them too. Below, you will find the stories from @journeyofdiego, John McCann, @charlie_horne98, @combatrolex, Roy Dudley, @Tonyparrack, @late.movement, @wrexjace, and @dearartifact, so read on to get the full stories behind their first luxury watches!

Click here for a closer look at some of the best luxury watches for starting out a collection.

Luxury Watches

Rolex President – @journeyofdiego

Rolex President Yellow Gold White Roman Dial

So this story is not about my first watch, but more specifically, about my first Rolex. In 2015, the company I worked for at the time, asked me if I would be willing to temporarily relocate to Pennsylvania, from Texas, for a new role. I initially did not want to because I call Texas home, so my company decided to sweeten the deal by giving me a large lump sum “relocation” bonus. I couldn’t say no. The minute that bonus hit my bank account, I knew exactly which watch I wanted to buy from Bob’s Watches. I had been looking at vintage Rolex Day-Dates for years, and I told myself if I came into some money, and the opportunity is right, I’d buy one. So I ended up spending some of my bonus on a Rolex President, and have never looked back. It’s been with me through all my big milestones including my wedding.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex President.

Rolex President

Rolex Datejust 16013 – John McCann

Rolex Datejust 16013 Two-Tone Jubilee Bracelet

My first watch is a Datejust 16013 purchased from Bob’s and it holds a special place in my heart for a few different reasons. First and foremost, I purchased this watch to commemorate my late grandfather. He wore his trusty timex until the very end and I wanted to buy a watch which reminded me of him every time I looked down at my wrist. This, coupled with the fact that I had recently graduated from college and began my career in the financial sector and the time-tested Datejust was a no-brainer. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t hurt that the 16013 happens to be a favorite of one Patrick Bateman, either.

Rolex 16013

Jaeger-LeCoultre Shark – @charlie_horne98

Vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre JLC Shark

My great grandfather gave me his JLC shark when I was about 12 years old. He was about 90. He had several fine timepieces including a Piguet, a Bulgari and some others and when he pulled this out of his safe for me I was shocked. I had never seen it on his wrist and I was struck at how amazing the watch was almost instantly. When I was 12 I didn’t realize the significance of this great watch. I greatly looked up to my great grandfather and still miss him dearly. When I put this watch on it reminds me of being with him in Palm Beach. I have a few other watches now and this isn’t my daily driver but I look at it and appreciate it every day.

Rolex Submariner 116610LN – @combatrolex

Rolex Submariner Black 116610LN

I purchased my first watch from your Newport Beach location. It’s a Rolex Submariner 116610LN and has become priceless to me.

I’m a helicopter pilot in the military and have always brought my Sub with me on flights to ensure I have a redundant reference aside from the aircraft’s systems/avionics. It has also been on countless combat missions in the cockpit with me throughout Afghanistan. I do take it diving too and put it to work so it doesn’t dry out.

There’s something to be said for the additional layer of confidence a quality timepiece provides while flying over the Hindu Kush at 12,000’ with an SF team onboard or entering a cave at 150′ below.

Thanks again for my “Combat Rolex.”

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Submariner 116610LN.

Rolex Submariner 116610LN

Rolex Daytona – Roy Dudley

Vintage Rolex Daytona 6239 Reverse Panda Stainless Steel

“My first watch story” is really “my only watch story”…this is truly the first, one, and still only watch I’ve ever owned.

In the summer of 1965, I was a high school senior who was hooked on Ian Fleming’s 007 James Bond paperbacks and “all things Bond.” As any 007 fan knows, besides Bond’s Walther PPK pistol, there were occasional references to the fact he wore a Rolex watch which seemed to fascinate me to no end. And, with that I knew I absolutely had to have one too.

I did consider getting the semi-automatic pistol but in a more responsible moment decided on a Rolex…any Rolex instead. And so, the next stop was Jacobsen’s Jewelry store at the corner of Huron and Saginaw Streets in downtown Pontiac, Michigan. It was the summer of 1965.

To be honest, I didn’t know one Rolex from another and soon found out they weren’t particularly cheap so had to settle for one of the somewhat less expensive models the Jeweler offered. He explained this recently introduced new model wasn’t moving particularly fast and wasn’t exactly jumping off the shelves among dealers, so he offered to sell it to me for $210., plus tax…out the door.

And that was it. That was the day I took delivery of my 1965 Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Ref 6239. I have worn it every day since and now, at age 73 it remains my first, one, and only watch I’ve ever owned.

Over the years I’ve had it serviced from time to time, most recently by Giovanni Pasalacqua in San Francisco who replaced a worn detent screw and did a minor service. The watch continues to keep near-perfect time, perhaps gaining maybe one minute per month when checked against Greenwich Meantime online.

I never get tired of winding it each morning and hope to continue doing so for a few more decades to come.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Daytona

Rolex Daytona

Rolex Oyster Precision – @Tonyparrack

Vintage Rolex Oyster Precision

My story of my first watch is that my Father died when I was 9 and my Mother said I could wear his watch when my wrist was big enough not to slip off. At 15 I managed to reduce the bracelet to its smallest size and I began to wear this lovely 1963 Rolex Oyster Precision. I am now 67 and I have worn it continuously.

We have sourced Oysters for our sons for their 21 birthdays – each from about the year of their birth.

I have been told by Rolex to treat mine with more respect than I really do, but I’m afraid I do love to wear it daily.

Here’s my Father’s old watch referred to above. Rather battered but much loved. It’s shared pretty much all my experiences since I was 15. I’m now 67 and it shows a very active life – still am!

Click here for a closer look at some of our favorite vintage Rolex watches.

Vintage Rolex

Omega Speedmaster – @late.movement

Omega Speedmaster #SpeedyTuesday Edition

@late.movement’s Omega Speedmaster Story

I bought my first nice watch in 2012, an Omega Speedmaster Professional. I bought it to fulfill a career promise I made to myself at my first ad agency job. As I shopped, the Speedy just spoke to me, it had the looks, the feel, and that outer space heritage. It was my daily for 8 years. It was on my wrist as I moved through my career, I wore it while traveling, and wore it on my wedding day. But last year I sold it to chase a grail, and since then I knew I’d eventually have a Speedy again. That day came last month, when I purchased an Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday” edition. This version of the Speedy was released to commemorate the hashtag #speedytuesday which was started in 2012… the same year I bought my first Speedy. And I don’t see this one going anywhere.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Omega Speedmaster.

Omega Speedmaster

Rolex Datejust – @wrexjace

Rolex Datejust 1603

@wrexjace’s Rolex Datejust

My first watch is from you guys, it’s a Datejust 1601. I bought it as an engagement present to myself; I had also moved up in my position with the company I work with. I was given a pretty large raise and I was able to save up enough money to buy my fiancé her engagement ring and for me, it was a big deal to be able to propose to the love of my life. So I continued saving money till I could afford both the ring and the watch. It was a big step in life to get engaged and I feel like it’s a great thing to reward myself for something I always dreamed of and now every time I look down at it I’m reminded of it. It’s a lovely watch and it’s definitely the one I’ve always wanted so I feel fulfilled.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Datejust.

Rolex Datejust

Rolex Submariner – @dearartifact

Rolex Submariner 126613LB Bluesy

@dearartifact’s Father’s Rolex Submariner

My Dad’s Rolex is a 2021 Submariner Date Bluesy. The cool story behind this watch is that he tried it on in Toronto (where he works) and it wasn’t even on his radar. After seeing it in person, he couldn’t believe how struck he was by it. He asked if it was available and the sales representative said it was spoken for. He then returned home to Halifax for the weekend and we went into our local AD together and he told our sales rep about the story and he said, “what would you say if I had a Bluesy in the back.” My dad said, “I’d buy it right now.” And, the sales associate said, “I have a Bluesy in the back – I’ll be right back.” He returned and produced the Bluesy and my dad said, “well, I guess I’m buying my first Rolex today.” And, the rest is history

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Submariner.

Rolex Submariner

Oyster Perpetual 36 Green Dial 126000

Tell Us Your Watch Story

Regardless of whether your first watch was an inexpensive children’s Timex or a solid-gold vintage Rolex, we believe that every person’s first watch is special to their heart and has a great story behind it – and we want to hear yours!

Each week, we will be sharing a few of our favorite watch story submissions with the Bob’s Watches community on our blog and social media channels.

How to Submit Your Watch Story

To submit your watch story, all you need to do is either DM us on Instagram at @bobswatches or send us an email at adv@bobswatches.com.

You can submit your watch story by video, in writing, or even via audio recording, just don’t forget to send us some pictures of your watch so that we can share your watch story with our readers!

Paul Altieri