The Watch I Will Take On My Summer Holiday — Brandon’s One And Only Pick From Rolex
“Taking a Rolex on holiday? Way to get yourself robbed!” Apparently, in Europe, that’s the reality of life. Lucky for me — in this case, I guess — I’m thousands of kilometers away in western Japan. No, I haven’t left this country for five years, and yes, I’m aching to visit my family and colleagues abroad. Alas, an international trip isn’t in the cards this year, but at least I’ll have a lovely watch on my wrist at the beach! You see, in Japan, and especially where I’m headed, I’m not concerned about getting mugged. I never worry about wearing my watches for safety reasons here, especially if I never take them off. This year, I’ll be taking only one watch on my summer holiday — my Rolex Submariner 114060.
My “holiday” will be short — only two days, in fact. For the rest of the summer, I’ll be working behind the scenes to make sure our team’s articles are easy to read. But I am looking forward to taking a couple of days to visit the Kansai seaside with the fam. My wife, seven-year-old daughter, three-year-old son, and I will be renting a bungalow for a night. For two days before my daughter goes back to school, we’ll be snorkeling, body surfing, and building sand castles galore. My kids will swim in the sea for the very first time, rather than Lake Biwa, our usual summer spot. We also plan to visit a zoo and stuff our bellies full of the best local delicacies around. All in all, it should be a great time, full of fun summer experiences we’ll cherish for years. Especially on family getaways like this, I want to wear an heirloom piece and imbue it with memories. My Rolex Submariner is the perfect watch for the job.
The Submariner can handle it
If you had asked me six years ago if I’d wear this watch swimming, my answer would have been an emphatic “no”. Yes, the Submariner is the dive watch to own, but it’s also the most expensive piece in my collection. When I bought this watch back in 2016, I would have never trusted myself to use it “as intended”. But after my best attempts at babying it were followed by a drop from a shelf, I had it serviced under the dealer’s extended warranty last summer.
While it was gone for servicing for eight weeks, I missed my Submariner something awful. I realized that it truly was the perfect watch for me and that I should use it to the fullest rather than put it on a pedestal (or a shelf…). When it came back, along with a full cleaning and regulation, my Sub had an all-new set of watertight gaskets. Days later, I took it swimming for the first time, and it was a liberating experience for the ages.
For years, I had been afraid to put the watch to the test, despite its more-than-capable 300m depth rating. With my luck, I thought, water would somehow seep in, flooding the movement and leading to a costly repair. But after that first service, as silly as it sounds, I felt closer to my Submariner than ever before. I realized that this watch and I would be together for the long haul and that servicing it was not a burden, just a “date” at the spa.
Never out of place
On its heavenly silky stainless steel Oyster bracelet, my Submariner takes sweating and swimming like a champ. The Glidelock clasp is also incredibly handy, and I use it often in the summer as my wrist swells and shrinks. The Oyster case truly feels like a watertight fortress, thanks in no small part to the Triplock crown. It screws down in a tactile, reassuring way as the gasket compresses and it locks into place. I’ve already taken my Submariner swimming twice this year and, most recently, cliff jumping at the river. Do I feel a little cavalier doing that with such an expensive watch? Yes, but then again, it handles it just fine.
Now, it’s one thing for a luxury watch to be capable, but it’s another thing for its wearer to be physically safe. Thankfully, as I mentioned in the introduction, wearing a Rolex in Japan is still nothing to fear. For all of the country’s faults (and yes, there are many), Japan still has an incredible reputation for public safety. Balazs and Mike discussed it on the podcast this week, and having lived here for a decade, I believe it too. In 2020, the (reported) robbery rate in Japan was just 1.1 cases per 100,000 people. The fear of getting mugged is just not a thing here. In cities like Tokyo and my beloved Osaka, you can spot Rolex watches on people’s wrists wherever you look. We never hear about watch-related robberies here, so I never doubt that my Submariner will make it home with me. I am incredibly grateful to live in a country like this. I just hope I can adapt easily when I travel to Europe!
Rolex Submariner 114060 — The Baines family heirloom
I intend to pass my Submariner on to one of my children when they come of age a few decades from now. Whether it will go to my daughter or my son, I’m not sure; I suppose it will depend on which kid I love more… I’m kidding! I love them both to pieces, and I hope the feeling is mutual. I also hope that they’ll inherit my love for watches. So far, they’re both off to a good start. My daughter proudly rocks her Casio “diver”, and my son hates leaving home without his Paw Patrol watch. We regularly talk about watches and my work for Fratello, read R Is For Rolex, and “watch spot” together. My kids know that my passion for watches runs deep, and I hope they’ll form vivid memories of me wearing my Sub.
When my children grow up, I want them to remember my Submariner being there with me for all of our fondest experiences. Right now, I want them to continue having fun with the bezel and yelling, “LUME!” every time we come back in from outside. And when I wear my Sub swimming on our summer excursions, I want them to keep saying, “It’s water resistant!” with childlike fascination. It’s just so darn cute… Can any parents out there relate?
I have no doubt that my Submariner 114060 can physically handle the fun and frolic of summer. And thanks to the safety of my second homeland, I’m also glad I can enjoy it without watching my back. Going forward, I plan to put my Sub through its paces and infuse it with nostalgia before passing it on. The next stop on the journey is Awaji Island. May this summer be unforgettable, both for me and for you!
Would you take a Rolex on your summer holiday? Let me know in the comments below!