HAPPY BIRTHDAY

My Watch Story.

So, it was my birthday this year, back in January, I’d been taken out for the day to London, a little bit of retail therapy, the usual sightseeing taken place, but the main event wasn’t until the early evening whereby I’d been bought tickets to ‘The Jersey Boys’.
I’m a big fan of 50’s 60’s and 70’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and Frankie Valli was way up there with my favourites!

16463270_10154779062133564_7068618673888579471_oAnyway, earlier that afternoon, hopping from doorway to doorway to avoid the drenching rain from the sky’s, I thought it would only be fair to pay a visit to Watches Of Switzerland on Oxford St, just up from Piccadilly Circus.
For about a month I’d had the Omega Speedmaster Racing on my mind and I wanted to stick one on my wrist… yanno, just to make sure. So off I went to the Omega room, and soon arrived the Omega specialist, one thing led to another and before I mentioned I’d like to view the watch I’d been sat down with a Coffee while my umbrella dried out.
I’d given the Omega specialist my story, he’d explained a few details of the watch and let me try it on… this should have been the point that I should’ve said thank you and walked away.
But, not forgetting it was my birthday I proceeded to try on another, and another, and then I looked back into the cabinets only to discover what could only be described as a monster of a box… maybe even a crane had lowered it in behind the glass, either way I needed to try this watch on “with the box”.
I’m not sure what I loved more, the watch… or the box, but this contender was non other than the ‘Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch’!
The salesman elaborated on the already known story behind the ‘Moonwatch’ and placed it on my wrist, he lugged the box over too with all of it’s accessories within… it could’ve been a box of gadgets from a James Bond film, and so very fitting it was Omega too!
It was within 10 minutes that the watch had glued itself to my wrist and of course I annoyingly had to make the hard decision to purchase it… I know, what an awful position to be in on my birthday! So, with the decision decided I confirmed I’d like to take the watch that day, but while doing so, I took a glance back at my old watch only to discover I’d actually been in the store a lot longer than I’d realised… leaving only an hour until The Jersey Boys was about to start just a mile down the road of Oxford street…. panic, panic, I quickly asked if we still had enough time to do all the paperwork and sale within the time… whether or not the salesman was lying, he confirmed to me, “of course, maybe only 30 minutes” … perfect I thought, just enough time to sign the docs and remove the baggy links while it rattled on my wrists!

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20 minutes flew by and before we knew it 20 more…then there was a problem with matching the watch with the box and authenticity card, delaying the process a Further 10 minutes. We were now at 50 minutes and too deep to call it a day!
Sweat had arrived in my palms and complimenting my forehead, I reiterated the point that my show started in 10 minutes… the salesman running around Watches Of Switzerland like he was training for the Olympics… we finally admitted defeat and took the payment yet left the 4 too many links in the watch that I’d said I’d be more than capable of removing when I got home!
He went away one last time to finally return with my watch within its ‘suitcase’ of a box which was also within a box and now within a bag that genuinely was the size of cabin luggage!
I merely had time to shake his hand and thank him before sprinting out of the doors into the rain and a mile down the road weaving in and out of the London traffic of sightseeers!
10 minutes later, the show started and I was stumbling into the back of the theatre huffing and puffing and more importantly interrupting the start of the show!
I’d already missed about 2 songs and everyone was seated! A staff member was waiting for the 3rd song to finish before escorting me to my seat where I had to squeeze past 10 people and being that person that everyone hates, the one that was late, the one that makes you have to tuck your legs in, the one that makes you move from your seat so they can get back to theirs- this was now ME!! Now, if you’ve ever been to a theatre…or at least the same one that I’d visited, you’ll now sympathise for me here, the legroom is about as generous as the back seats of a fiat 500, obviously not the end of the world on your average trip to watch a show, however, now picture sitting in the back of a fiat 500 with a cabin luggage sized suitcase under your feet… I could barely see over my knee caps to view frankie Valli and the Four seasons beautifully sing “big girls don’t cry”!
To this day, each time I place the Moonwatch on my wrist, I relive the stress of my 25th birthday purchase and still to this day I get terrible leg pains!

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JFK- 100!

John F Kennedy, maybe more commonly known as JFK would have been 100 years old just yesterday had he not sorrowfully been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald back in 1963. 5007379aa2c12178d3e041d270cd29f1

The American politician was the 35th president of the United States of America from 1961 until his tragic death in 1963.

Only a few months into his powerful new position at the White House, JFK submitted a failed attempt along with the CIA to secede the Cuban government led by Fidel Castro (then current leader of Cuba) in what was known as The Bay of Pigs. The ongoing conflicts between America and Cuba led to the final decision of an embargo on Cuba in February 1962 also known as ‘The Blockade’ and still to this day stands as one of the longest embargoes to remain!

However, there was something extremely important that Kennedy needed to execute before the embargo was officially announced on February 3rd 1962. Something that required his head of office, Pierre Salinger to succeed which would take him all through the night stressing to accomplish such a task of the President.
John F Kennedy ordered that before the doors were closed on Cuba, Pierre was to source him as many cigars as possible before the hand rolled Cubans were made illegal. Specifically, JFK wanted 1000 H. Upmann Petits as these were a personal favorite of his. Salinger, who also smoked cigars, returned the next morning with Cuban smoking experience deep within his pockets and was instantly requested to Kennedy’s office.
Originally doubting himself of such a task in such a short amount of time, Pierre Salinger bombastically confirmed to JFK that he’d actually managed to get him 1,200 Petits!
I’m sure a few of these were calculated for himself as we all know, cigars are a social luxury and better enjoyed with someone else! 8d45c1bc8c12af11658d8412ff663cff

The exact H. Upmann Petit from the Vuelta Abajo region was sadly discontinued back in 2002, however you can now get what I have since learnt is a very close smoke to the original cigar for flavors and size which is the H. Upmann Petit Cornonas.

Not only was Kennedy a well known cigar smoker, he was also known for his class and impressive style. Looked upon as an influencing fashionista, John and even his wife ‘Jackie’ often appeared in the media and most commonly materializing within leading magazines!
In terms of ‘media’ JFK was a real trend setter in allowing and gaining valuable coverage on television and radio later leading to a request of a live broadcast. This act led to Kennedy being awarded the highest honor of the ‘Paul White‘ award presented by Radio- Television News Directors Association in 1961 for his open relationship with the media. God only knows how Instagram would have played a part for him nowadays!

Last but defiantly not least, I must mention Kennedy’s watch collection, all of which were gifts to him. Mostly marking a momentous milestone in his life, be it a wedding anniversary, birthday or his most popularly worn Omega watch, gifted for his election to office of President.
JFK most commonly wore his iconic square shaped 18-karat gold Omega Ultra Thin reference OT3980. This was the watch that was gifted to him by his close friend, Grant Stockdale, otherwise known as a former Florida State senator. Grant was so confident that John was to be elected that he presented the watch almost a year before JFK was officially made the President of the United States. On the case back, Stockdale had engraved the following:
‘President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant’.

The day that Kennedy was shot in his limousine ‘SS-100-X‘, he was proudly sporting his Cartier Tank watch which was again 18-karat gold, yet this time gifted by Jackie his wife. This was lovingly handed to him on their 4th year anniversary and this time had his initials, wedding date and their families arms engraved to the rear. Later returned to Jacqueline, She then gifted it to John’s former secretary to continue its history and wonderful energy. 9ece555a4986

Other important watches gifted and worn by Kennedy included his first to be spotted, a rectangular Bulova in gold, an 18-karat gold Rolex Date Just which was gifted and engraved by non other than Marilyn Monroe on Johns 45th birthday, since there was a rumored affair between the two,  a custom Hamilton 505 which had photo engraved images of his children on the dial of the watch itself, and finally a 14-karat gold Nastrix which was apparently used for JFK’s morning swims.
All of which made up to be an astounding and eye catching collection which many can now be viewed in museums all over the world.

Once again, a true style icon, a hero and Happy belated 100th Birthday, John F Kennedy.