As you’ve probably noticed over the past three weeks, most members of the Fratello team have shared their 2024 watch resolutions already. But before the month ends, I’d also like to put my watch-related goals for this year down in writing. Can I guarantee that I’ll fulfill them all? No, but since the wheels are already turning for the first one, hopefully, this article will spur my momentum.

For 2024, I have some very clear goals, the first of which is selling at least four of my watches. Just as importantly, though, I’ve sworn to travel from Japan to the Netherlands to visit my Fratello colleagues this year. I’ll also continue striving to achieve the goals for which I fell short in 2023. Speaking of those, right now seems like a good time for a recap.

How I did in 2023

Last year, I wanted to upgrade my mom’s watch, budget my time to write more articles, and buy three specific watches. Well, as mentioned in my article last January, I’d already accomplished the first goal. A week before publishing it, I had managed to buy a discontinued Rolex Oyster Perpetual 26 ref. 176200 with a “red grape” dial for my mother. I had it serviced, and when my wife, kids, and I traveled back to the US for the first time in six years, it came with me.

Mother-and-son wrist shot

On our first full day there, I presented the watch to my mom, and I’m happy to report that she loved it! She hadn’t owned a mechanical watch since her childhood, and she’s still trying to get in the habit of readjusting it every so often. But purple is one of her favorite colors, it has the “Rolex factor,” and it fits her perfectly, so it was a mission accomplished!

I was also able to purchase two of the three watches that I wanted to get for myself last year. The first was the Zelos Mako GMT Timekeepers Edition (above), which I got back in May and wore a lot, especially during my trip home. The second was the Fratello × Straum Jan Mayen Limited Edition, which I paid for but am still waiting to receive. It should arrive tomorrow, though, so that’s exciting! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate a blue-dial Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute D12023 or D12022 in acceptable condition. Even more sadly, though, I wasn’t able to achieve my goal of effectively managing my time and writing more articles. I finished 2023 with a paltry annual total of just 14 articles to my name. This year, I’ll do better, even if I have to adjust my expectations.

Brandon's watch resolutions 2024 selling watches

The first of my watch resolutions for 2024 — Selling at least four watches

I hate owning watches that I hardly ever wear. That’s why I can’t seem to bring myself to have more than 12 in my collection. But do you know what I hate even more than keeping neglected watches? Being too lazy or insecure to sell them. I am a serial procrastinator when it comes to selling watches, and that needs to change. But when it comes to two that I want to sell this year, I feel especially guilty because I put so much effort into tracking them down.

Brandon's watch resolutions 2024 selling watches

My Stowa Flieger Blue took me a good six months to find back in 2016. In retrospect, that’s not so long, but it felt like forever at the time. And as I mentioned here, my Vulcain Heritage Cricket took me over two years plus getting scammed for a few thousand Swiss francs. With memories like that, I should cherish these watches more. I even thought that I’d rekindled the flame with my Flieger Blue, but sadly, after a while, I began neglecting it again. When it comes to the Vulcain Heritage Cricket, I had longed to have such a beautiful alarm watch with a display case back. Unfortunately, I found that I rarely used the complication or wanted to wear the watch due to its high-polished hands. Alas, it’s not always worth meeting our heroes…

I need to get my rear in gear!

I now acknowledge that my time with these pieces is up. It’s time to move them on and make some space in the watch box, so I recently got both serviced to prepare them for sale. So far, I’ve listed the Stowa online, and I’m preparing to get the Vulcain up too (this article is not intended as an ad, only an honest expression of my thought process, so please don’t misunderstand). I also have two meca-quartz watches that I tried to sell over a year ago but gave up on when nobody bought them. They’ve just been sitting in their boxes since then, so I’m resolving to get those out of my house too.

Image: Zeitauktion

Selling those four should partially compensate for my big, unplanned purchase of my favorite Speedmaster last year. But there’s something else standing between me and this watch — most of Asia and Europe. That’s why the next priority on my list of watch resolutions is to get myself over to The Hague!

Nacho, RJ, Timo, Loïc from Omega, Morgan, and me (with the incredibly weird tongue smile…) in Ginza

I want to visit Fratello HQ

Yes, I had my Speedmaster shipped from Germany to the Fratello office as motivation for making the trip. More than just getting my watch, though, I’d love a chance to meet my European colleagues and work with them for a while. I’ve been lucky to be part of the Fratello team since mid-2021, and last fall, I finally got to see RJ, Timo, Nacho, Morgan, and Matthijs when they came to Tokyo for the Speedy Tuesday event. After a few years of just texts, emails, and occasional video calls, man, getting to spend some time with them in real life was nice.

I got to sit next to the big boss man at the Speedy Tuesday dinner

Working a full-time job remotely does have many benefits, but there are times when I miss “going in” to work. Not only can it be easier for me to focus than when I’m at home, but I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t miss the social aspect. I remember my father telling me when I was a kid that it was hard for working dads to have friends. Now that I’m 35, I know exactly what he meant. Nearly all of my time is spent working alone or being with my family. Don’t get me wrong; of course, I love my wife and kids to death. Still, a taste of camaraderie with my colleagues would be very welcome.

Sushi with Morgan, Nacho, Timo, and Matthijs in Tokyo

I want to experience what it’s like to work in an office with people who all share a deep personal and professional passion. Those are exactly the kind of people who I’d want to be friends with anyway. I’d also simply love to try out some of the many watches that pass through the office for review. So, in 2024, I’m going to find a way to get to Fratello headquarters, even if it’s just for a few days. Let’s hope they don’t kick me out. 😉

Following through with my watch resolutions from 2023

As I mentioned, last year, I wasn’t able to write nearly as many articles of my own as I’d hoped. Ideally, I wanted to write between 40 and 50 and be somewhat more visible within the Fratello community. Alas, due to poor time-management skills and, occasionally, a lack of inspiration, I only got about a third of the way there. This year, I still want to write more, but I’m going to set the bar lower and see if that helps. I’ll aim for between 20 and 30 articles in 2024 and do my best to ensure that they’re well written and interesting. In particular, I’d like to feature some of my late grandfather’s watches that I brought back with me from the States last summer. Perhaps his 1940 Hamilton Yorktowne would be a good starting point…

Brandon's watch resolutions Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute D12022

Image: SwissWatchExpo

Now, in terms of watch purchases, my heart is still set on a blue-dial Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute D12022 or D12023. I’ve set up alerts on Chrono24 and several other sites, but finding one with its original tritium hands has been tough. Even the hands in the photo above are Super-LumiNova replacements. The scarcity doesn’t faze me, though, as it is the only watch that I currently feel inspired to buy. I’ve wanted a Navitimer Cosmonaute for years, and my desire has only gotten progressively stronger. Plus, alongside my Zenith Striking 10th and favorite Speedy, it would make for an awesome chronograph trio. Here’s to hoping that I can finally snag one this year!

watch resolutions get-togethers

Speedy Tuesday in Tokyo

A few more possibilities for 2024

While I’ve addressed my biggest watch-related resolutions above, I’ll add two more things to my “would be nice” list. First, it would be fun to attend some local watch get-togethers. I suppose that also ties in with me getting out of my bubble and daily routine. Attending the Speedy Tuesday event in Tokyo reminded me how fantastic it is to hang out with other watch lovers in person. Unfortunately, there’s no RedBar chapter here in Osaka, but there must be similar groups of enthusiasts around. After 12 years in this country, let’s see if I can finally make some proper Japanese watch friends this year.

Brandon's watch resolutions Chronoswiss Régulateur CH 1223

Image: Monaco Watch Company

Finally, if a good deal arises when I have sufficient cash, I might also like to pick up a Chronoswiss Régulateur. For a long time, I wanted a rare copper-dial Delphis, but I gave up on that after learning about reliability issues with the retrograde module. In its place, I’ve taken to the Régulateur ref. CH 1223, also with a copper dial. To be honest, this model is even more representative of the brand since Chronoswiss was the first to make a serial-production regulator wristwatch. Still, the Navitimer Cosmonaute will take priority, and I’ll scratch the Régulateur itch when I can.

Well, that sums up my watch resolutions for this year, Fratelli! Do you think they’re worthy pursuits? Let me know in the comments. And if you haven’t already done so under my colleagues’ articles, tell us your watch-related resolutions as well!