I've just received this morning a payment rather larger than most of my other freelance writing assignments. And it wasn't even for a regular paying assignment.
It was for winning the Octane Magazine letter of the month.
To be honest, I am a huge Octane fan. It is super high quality and really broad ranging in coverage. And if you baulk at the $10.00 price, you are being cheap. For the same price as a movie ticket I get at least 6-10 hours of enjoyment out of each issue. And I can't recall the last movie I wish was longer than 2 hours.
Any who, the Christopher Ward company has created a line of watches that celebrate some of the earliest Grand Prix events. The Watch I won commemorates the 1925 Belgian Grand Prix in which the elder Ascari dominated to an extent that allowed him to have snack and drink during his pitstops.
And as the 2010 Spa Grand Prix was just this past Sunday, the timing for this edition to arrive at my door was clever. Sidebar, I must say that the very fast Spa track and the weather made for an exciting F1 race. Man would I love to blast around Les Combes. If anyone watched, that extra lap Hamilton did on his slicks as the ran came was edge of the seat stuff. And when he went off into the gravel trap, just missing the wall and returning to the track, wow. He saw his lead go from like 12 seconds which would have been unbeatable to about 2 seconds. What a race.
Now that the watch is in hand, I must say it is a very nice piece. Although I am no expert and only have a couple of other watches to compare it to. My own Porsche chronograph and my wife's automatic Hamilton.
I would say the Ward is better than both. The finish gleams. The band is with a doubt of better quality than either of the above mentioned watches. Soft leather that smells like leather, creme colored stitching and subtle red backing that appears through the perforations.
The action of the buttons and winding arm are very solid. Much more so than my Porsche watch and on par with the Hamilton.
Packing was, as you can see, beautiful and thorough.
What I like best about the watch is the clever positioning of the date in a very small circle below the 3 marker. On lots of watches, the date window is just a big square. This is well done and a testament to the design of the piece.
All in all I am thrilled. Like many luxury items, I would feel a bit guilty buying this for myself, but having won it, I love it to pieces.