The Rake

LET THE OLD TIMES ROLL

Source: Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC.

While responsible for some of the greatest commercial or critical successes this century — the return of the Mini, the FIAT 500, the Olympus Pen-F, the vinyl L.P. revival — ‘retro’ is at risk of overuse. Too many ‘futurists’ deem it regressive or simply lazy, but that is to deny society’s love for nostalgia, comfort or the security of the familiar. And if any industry is wedded to retro, it’s the watch business.

Let’s clarify that: the mechanical watch business. Smart watches and quartz watches are inherently anti-retro, and the chasm between the electronic and the mechanical is huge. Few are those who wear Casio G-Shocks or Apple Watches that also have a secret lust for something devoid of batteries. The gap is similar to that between people who hate CDs and love vinyl, or vice versa.

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