12/08/2023
 4 minutes

The Love We Share: A Trip Around the World

By Elisabeth Schroeder
TLWS-Elisabeth-Schröder-2-1

It’s October 2022, and I’m sitting in my apartment in Karlsruhe, Germany, making a bank transfer for €423.33. My heart is beating fast. This might make you laugh, but I’ve never spent this much on a watch before. I enter the numbers into the form and click “Confirm” for the last time. The transaction will go through by the end of the next business day.

As a young person (and, sandwiched between Gen Y and Gen Z, I still consider myself one), there are so many chances to travel and so many places to travel to. Even as a teenager, I knew that I wanted to go to New York one day. Years later, Tokyo also made it on to my bucket list of cities that I want to see one day. The fact that my watch – and the only one I own, at that – managed to travel to these two cities before me makes me smile to myself sometimes. So let’s start at the beginning of the journey of my Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRPF54.

Elisabeth's Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRPF54 legte erst eine kleine Reise hinter sich.
Elisabeth’s Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRPF54 has been on a small journey.

A Wave of the Wrist

It was summer in Germany, and that finally meant the end of long pants, sweaters, and jackets. I was walking through the halls of the Chrono24 office in Karlsruhe when it happened – I moved my hand carelessly and my wrist caught on the door frame.

I’ll admit, this isn’t the first time that I got lost in thought and stuck on a door. But this time there was another victim as well, my watch. I stared in disbelief at the shards of my relatively cheap quartz watch. I quickly stored it away in a drawer, only gathering the courage to do the autopsy a few days later. Maybe not a lost cause, I thought. But instead of spending money on repairing the glass, I could keep my eye out for a proper watch… The seed was sown, and the search began. It turns out that wave of my wrist was more of a brainwave!

The Planning Stage

My work life revolves around luxury watches, so I quickly got the kind of information I needed to buy my first proper watch, and soon knew which manufacturer I would turn to. Seiko is famous for its affordable yet high-quality watches, and price played a role for me. I wasn’t ready to spend a four-figure sum on a watch just yet. If you ask me today, things look a bit different… But that wasn’t the case a year ago. I had just graduated a few months before, was finally working full time, and wanted to go easy on my bank account after decorating my new apartment.

When I was browsing through Seiko models online, it jumped out at me: the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRPF54. I saw a watch with a stainless steel case, rose gold elements, and a two-tone steel bracelet. What caught my attention was the way the colors of the two metals interacted with the dial, which the manufacturer describes as pink, though I see more as apricot. The pattern pressed into the dial also caught my eye, reminding me of random distortions in tree bark or a gentle swell on the sea. At 33.8 mm in diameter, it wouldn’t protrude from my slim wrist and, and unlike most women’s watches, it’s automatic. I didn’t say it out loud yet, but at that moment my decision was made.

Die Bicolor-Uhr mit apricotfarbenem Zifferblatt und gepressten Muster tat es ihr direkt an.
The two-tone watch with an apricot dial and a pressed pattern was right from the start.

And then it got serious, because the time for the purchase was approaching. As I mentioned before, this watch was the most expensive watch I had bought at that point. The number was swirling around in my head, along with everything I could do with almost €500.

There was also the thrill of knowing that my watch would reach me in a roundabout way. Since this Seiko Presage was a US model unavailable in the EU, my new watch and I needed an assist importing it to Germany, which we managed with the help of two travel companions.

Pack Your Bags

In November 2022, a get-together in Tokyo was planned. Sadly, I wasn’t the one packing my bags, but rather two colleagues – one from New York and one from Karlsruhe.

My Seiko’s journey started at the dealer in the US, before making its first stop in New York City. After arriving, it made its way into Colleague A’s suitcase, who was off to Tokyo a few weeks later. 6,741.06 miles as the crow flies, and 14-hour time difference later, the watch arrived at stop 2: Tokyo. That’s where Colleague A handed over the watch to Colleague B, and Colleague B handed over a LAMY pen as a thank you to Colleague A. After a week in Japan, it was time for the final flight. After 14 hours and 35 minutes, my Seiko landed with Colleague B’s luggage in Frankfurt, then made its way to Karlsruhe on the train.

When I came into the office a few days later, the white box was sitting on my desk. I was a bit nervous. What if I made the wrong choice? What if I don’t like it after all? Then all the fuss would have been for nothing.

I opened the box and breathed a sigh of relief.

Als einzige Uhr etablierte sie sich schnell zu Daily Wearer, doch nicht nur deshalb...
As the only watch in her collection, it quickly became her daily wearer, but not just for that reason.

The Love I Share

Do I love my Seiko? In my eyes, love is a pretty powerful word. A bit too powerful for me to use for the fondness I feel for a material object. Instead, I would say that I love a number of things about my Seiko.

The natural way I put it on almost every morning, for example, because my wrist feels naked without it. The fact that, when I take it off at night, it sometimes happens so automatically that I can’t remember doing it. But I love looking at my Seiko for one reason more than any other: Sometimes I can have doubts and worries, but being able to fly halfway around the world, see faraway places, and learn about other cultures – that’s freedom. And I like carrying this feeling with me.


About the Author

Elisabeth Schroeder

Geneva Watch Days 2023 was the first watch event I attended, and it was there that I decided I wanted to learn more about luxury timepieces. I think the best way to do that is to just dive into the work of writing about them.

Read more

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