Saturday, November 4, 2017

Jack Nicklaus Rolex Day-Date: Becoming a One-Watch Guy

Jack Nicklaus

Rolex Day-Date

Becoming a One-Watch Man

By Daniel Crivello

Jake has already written about the wonderful video interview of golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Now that I've joined, I wanted to share how the interview of one of the greatest golfers of all time by Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer has impacted me... and inspired me last month to do the unthinkable as a watch collector.

Ben Clymer, left, interviews Jack Nicklaus. Credit: Hodinkee

In his Talking Watches series  my favorite series produced by Hodinkee  Ben Clymer usually introduces us to a guest's collection. What is different with this video is that Jack Nicklaus has only one watch, and that is the only watch he's ever worn in his life! He's been wearing his gold 1967 Rolex President Day-Date for half a century!

Screenshot from Hodinkee's video Talking Watches. Credit: Hodinkee

After watching the video I quickly understood how much more valuable Jack Nicklaus' Day-Date is simply because it is his only watch. More importantly, I understood the incredible personal relationship he must have developed with his Rolex.

Screenshot from Hodinkee's video Talking Watches. Credit: Hodinkee

My collection is not huge, and I really love all my pieces. Could I have the willpower to part with my watches to experience such a personal relationship with just one? I wouldn't know which one to sell first, as any watch added over time to my collection needed to pass this one test: If my house were to burn to the ground and only one watch remained, would I be perfectly OK with that watch for the rest of my life? 

Image of my 2005 Rolex Submariner reference 16613LN.

I have six watches in my collection, and I'd be OK with any of them as my only watch. You'd think it makes becoming a one-watch guy easier, but it's actually more difficult. As a watch lover, I also wonder if I'm capable of looking at the same dial every day for the next 50 years, like Jack did.

Image of my 1992 Rolex Explorer II reference 16570.

Before making the unthinkable move of liquidating my collection, I watch Jack Nicklaus' interview again to get pumped up, like it's Mel Gibson's Freedom speech from BraveheartI list my first watch on eBay. But when I quickly receive some inquiries, I panic and pull the listing. This is happening, I thought. I'm getting rid of my collection, except for one. 

I re-list the watch and it sells immediately. I list another one and it sells too. I price for quick sales mostly because I'm afraid I will change my mind. As my collection gets smaller, it becomes harder to pick the next one to sell. Pro tip: Once the decision is made to sell a watch, pack it up and don't play with it anymore or you'll talk yourself into keeping it!

Image of my 1972 Rolex GMT-Master reference 1675.

All my watches sell within 24 hours of their listing. My FedEx Office lady says: "Is that a watch again?" as she enters the information in the computer. 

I’m now on the phone with eBay for the fourth time in less than three weeks. I’m requesting my fourth seller’s limit increase. (For security, eBay imposes a limit on the monthly dollar-amount you can list.) I have one more watch to sell. Though I’m initially met with reluctance, the eBay rep agrees, and my limit is now up to $17,246. Within 24 hours I sell my last watch and reach my seller's limit to the dollar. I couldn't sell a candy.

So who is the lone survivor of the Great Purge? It's my 2005 two-tone Submariner reference 16613. I explain why this watch matters to me here. Still, with the money earned from the sales, it's almost tempting to buy another piece. A brand new Rolex maybe, even a Daytona? 

No, the Submariner will be my one and only piece. Unexpectedly, I haven't missed any watch yet. But I do feel a great sense of relief. Thanks, Jack Nicklaus. I always knew I wanted to be like you. I just didn't know it would be that way!

Snapchat: @dannycrivello