Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch.” In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we are speaking with our own James Stacey, one of those rare people who actually take their dive watches diving. Read on to learn how he got his start, and what he considers to be the mountain of watch collecting.

aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?

James Stacey: My name is James Stacey, and I write about watches for the Internet (including this very site).

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ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?

James Stacey: It started when I was a kid, but I came to it indirectly. I loved (and still love) things that glow in the dark and, for my 6th birthday, I got a Timex Ironman with Indiglo, the first of its kind back in the day. While I didn’t get into mechanical watches until I was in university, I started down the path at a young age.

ABTW: What was your first grail watch?

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James Stacey: Faced with the task of replacing a cheap quartz watch on a student’s budget, I fell prey to my nature and started reading everything I could find about watches. While learning about dive watches, I remember coming across a photo of an Omega Seamaster Professional, the 2254.50. That was in 2007, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since.


ABTW: What drew you to this particular watch?

James Stacey: When I discovered the 2254, I barely knew the difference between an 8926 and a 16610. Which is to say, I had no context for the 2254, I just loved the way it looked. It’s a beautifully balanced and purposeful design aided by small flourishes like the texture of the wave dial.

ABTW: As great a way as you could come up with to start out in watches – finding a favorite and learning all you can about it. Were you ever able to get one?

James Stacey: Yes, I bought one a few years later. While the 2254 was no longer in production by the time I was ready to buy, there were plenty available in the secondary markets and they offer a huge bang for your buck.

ABTW: Is that Omega still in your watch box?

James Stacey: Yes, and as my Instagram account will attest, I wear it often.


ABTW: How has your appreciation of watches changed since coming on-board at ABTW? How about your view of what constitutes a grail watch (or determination of your next one)?

James Stacey: With time, my appreciation of watches has grown in terms of perspective, allowing me to see the appeal of a watch that I would never buy for myself. There is a watch for every wrist, but how boring would it be if they were all the same watch?

I think grails are the fuel of watch enthusiasm, they keep us all pinned to eBay and WatchRecon, diving into forums, buying, flipping, and learning. With each watch you experience, grail or otherwise, you expand your understanding, develop your own style and form a more complete perspective on what a watch means to you. If you have that knowledge-hungry collector brain, you know what I mean. Grails should be mountains. Even if you don’t get to the top, you’re going to learn a lot along the way.

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