Seller’s Remorse - A Story of Love and Loss (in watches)

The Grand Seiko SBGV245

What’s that old saying, “if you love someone let them go, and if it’s meant to be they’ll come back to you”? Seems a bit ridiculous to me, but there’s a part of me that hopes there’s a little truth to this as I sit here thinking about the one that got away. Or specifically, the one I sent away while making money off it because I wasn’t even wearing it anymore. Let me explain…

(and yes, I realize this is an incredibly first-world problem, but if you’re searching the internet, looking at watch straps and reading journals like ours, I think you can relate)

It wasn’t love at first sight in the beginning. I had seen the SBGV245 plenty of times before, but never in person and only through what could arguably be described as the most unflattering of stock images with a description of a “cream-colored” dial. But then it happened. There I was scrolling through Instagram blindly, when a watch made me stop dead in my tracks. There it was, the all-gray watch of my dreams. I was smitten instantly. And of course, like every other watch enthusiast out there, I went down the rabbit hole. Hashtags were followed, Watch Reckon alerts were set…the SBGV245 was everywhere in front of me.

Grand Seiko SGBV245

Image Source Hodinkee

This was a new feeling for me. Prior to this, I had never really sought to purchase a watch before. All of my other purchases were opportunistic before this. A great deal on a watch I liked that I would have been silly to pass. But this, the hunt, this was a new feeling (an arguably addictive one). It was the day before Thanksgiving when I came across a basically new watch on Chrono24 at a price I couldn’t say no to and somewhere while baking a pie and checking on my turkey in the oven, there was a new watch on its way! Of course, there were the immediate doubts and concerns. The “what did I do” and “do I really want a watch I’ve never seen in person”. Buyer’s remorse was something I was used to before, and I didn’t want to feel that again. 

A few short days later (thank you holiday shipping delays) and he was mine! It was love. This watch went everywhere and quickly became the favorite in my collection. Everything was perfect, but maybe a little too perfect. Anyone who’s seen Grand Seiko can attest to the finishing of their cases. It’s absolutely incredible! But the problem with something that good is that I was afraid to scratch it (and believe me, I had always been a “wear your watches” type of person before this). I was a walking watch meme at this point. Maybe it was knowing how much of a hassle it was to have the watch refinished, but this watch which was one of the least expensive in my collection quickly became the one that I babied the most. But thankfully it was winter time, sweaters were everywhere, and the 245 was always well protected. 

By the time summer came the 245 was occupying less of my wrist time. Between the lack of protective sleeves on my arms to protect that beauty from scratches and the fact that it looked best on leather straps (something that does not bode well in heat and humidity), the Grand Seiko spent more and more time in my watch box while sportier, more scratch friendly pieces adorned my wrists. The love was still there. If I knew there was a day that I’d be spending safely inside and away from blunt objects I’d give him some love. But it just wasn’t the same as seeing the beauty of that well-finished case while out and about. It was possibly the longest summer ever without that handsome fella on the wrist, but then fall returned and he was back in full force. New watch straps, a million combos, and as much wrist time as possible - it was as though he hadn’t spent the last four months sitting along in a watch box, neglected.

Grand Seiko SBGV245

As is the story with us watch collectors, new pieces came in and out and unfortunately, we only have one wrist to wear watches on (I’ve tried the double-wristing thing and it’s not for me). A good friend of mine had asked to borrow and try it out for a while so I willingly let go of my 245 to someone I trusted to baby it as much as I did - even if it was out of fear of my anger. But you know how it goes, sometimes you just don’t have time to meet friends who live in the same town as you. A few weeks turned to months, and finally, almost a year later we met back up so that I could get the 245 back. Surprisingly I didn’t miss it all that much. Maybe it was because spring had quickly turned to summer and I knew he wasn’t going to get any wrist time anyway, but I just put it right back into the watch box and didn’t give it a second thought. Around this time I went through a purge phase in my collection. See, I really struggle with watch collecting as a hobby. I love my watches (in case you haven’t put that together yet from reading this love story), but I also realize it’s incredibly materialistic and dare I say “wasteful” to have a collection of watches worth money that just sit around unworn. So the decision was made: the 245 had to go. And I felt good about it.

The day I boxed him up wasn’t even so bad. I didn’t bother to grab one last wrist shot. Just a quick glance over to make sure everything was there before placing him back in his box and running down to UPS. Things were fine, I was fine. Days went by without seeing him in my watch box and I thought I was okay. Then it happened…I scrolled through Instagram while killing some time and saw someone post their SBGV245 and all of those feelings came back. Gosh, he was perfect. How could I have been so naïve and blind? Where else was I going to find an all-gray beauty like that? Nothing else compared. Would anything ever top it? Did I have the perfect watch and lose it forever? So many doubts and questions. And of course, like anyone does when seeing photos of an ex (or so I tell myself), I went down the rabbit hole of stalking photos, reminiscing on the love we had. 

Grand Seiko SBGV245

Image Source WatchTime

This all happened just two months ago. I like to think I’ve come a long way since then, but as you can tell, it’s still a sharp pain. And unfortunately, it's not the easiest of watches to track down and purchase. I go back and forth about buying it again, but then there’s the reality that it’s gone up in value from when I first purchased it and there’s something in my head that keeps me from committing to spending more money on it. And if I do, how do I know that the next one will be in as pristine condition as the first? I think a single scratch could ruin my love for the 245 which sounds unreasonable, but if you saw this watch in person you’d understand. It’s funny, I even own a Grand Seiko Snowflake that I wear and am not worried about scratching the delicate titanium. But there was something about that watch.

I’m not really sure where I’ll go from here. Maybe one day I’ll pull the trigger again. Or maybe I should treat this like any other breakup and unfollow the hashtags on Instagram that keep putting this watch in my face over and over, reviving the feelings I have. Until then, I’ll remain a love-sick watch collector who will always wonder if the 245 was the one that got away. Someone, please tell me I’m not alone in this obsession over something as silly as a watch!

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