A few years back, I was thumbing through a fly fishing magazine looking for inspiration to seek a new fishing adventure. The magazine (which I can’t remember the name of) seemed to be more focused on zealous photography than informative writing and left me quite dissatisfied with my $15 purchase. However, on the inside back cover there was an advertisement that grabbed me. It was completely my demographic. Specifically mine.
The ad was just a simple print reflecting the pilot’s seat perspective of a DeHaviland Beaver flying through what was in my mind, Lake Clark Pass at about 3000 feet. The pilot was holding the yoke with his left hand. On his left wrist was what looked like a nice simple classically styled wristwatch. The ad didn’t have much for words but, the image worked. I immediately went to the Seaholm Automatic website and began shopping. Thus proving my $15 magazine purchase to be a worthwhile endeavor.
Now, there are a handful of nice things in life that I enjoy treating myself to. Some tangible and some not. Nice wristwatches are one of the tangible things I love. Trouble is, like so many other nice things, I can absolutely destroy one quicker than a brown bear in a food tent eating pancakes. I am tough on gear. Incriminatingly tough. Once I was fortunate enough to receive a Rolex Submariner from a client. I was awestruck. It was the nicest watch I could ever conceive. Something that a mostly destitute fly fishing guide would almost certainly never be able to afford. Imagine my dismay when the watch stopped working. I took to a repair technician who proceeded to tell me how the watch had “blown up” due to being overwound. He could repair it for $3000 or buy it from me for parts for $1500. I took neither deal and put the watch away, never to be worn again.
Not long after I had seen the ad in the magazine, I had a chance to meet with Todd Adams and Mike McComas. Todd is the CEO of Seaholm and Mike is the southeastern sales representative. It was the first time I had actually seen the watches in person and it did not disappoint. They were clearly tough built. Way tougher than I had originally thought. Seaholm watches are anti-magnetic. The movement of the watch does not interfere with instruments in an airplane, hence the advertisement in the Beaver. They told me about freezing the watch in a block of water for 72 hours and then thawing said block in an oven, then letting the watch sit in the thawed water in the pan while still in the oven and then bringing the watch out into normal temps again without any signs of moisture internally. That’s impressive. When I told them about my beloved submariner that overwound itself because of my more than active lifestyle, they assured me this watch would not and explained how. Even though I didn’t fully understand it, I took Todd at his word.
To prove his point, Todd said he would simply put a watch on my wrist for me to “do my worst.” Many times over the years I have been offered such generosity only for it to never come to fruition. This time was different, Mike called me to get my address and two days later, I had a watch. It was glorious. The Seaholm Flats Chronograph was mine to destroy and promote. I had to try to destroy it first, if it survived I would promote it. It did more than survive. It performed flawlessly. Never lost time, never overwound, and never quit working. I wore it every day never taking it off. It survived well over two years of my daily life including but not limited to being smashed by an airplane float and not even getting a scratch. I am certain the watch saved my wrist from an imminent injury that time.
After a couple of years, Todd wanted that watch back. Fair enough. That flats chronograph was one of the first production run watches Seaholm had released. It needed to be cleaned, oiled and it also needed to go on the wrist of someone else for the purposes of perpetuating sales of the brand. As much as I didn’t want to let it go, I needed to so that someone else may become a believer in the quality of Seaholm Automatic watches. I couldn’t see myself going back to some black piece of plastic on my wrist for a timepiece. I am not a robot nor do I want to look like one. So, I purchased one. I took my own hard-earned money and bought one because it’s worth it. This time I selected the Rover Field Watch. It’s simpler than the Flats Chrono and the numbers are bigger which seems to help my old eyes see time better. So far it has survived a full season guiding sheep hunts in the Davis Mountains of far west Texas and every other aspect of my daily life as a fishing and hunting guide. No scratches and no failures. I am once again certain the watch will more than survive multiple Alaska summers at Rapids Camp. Plus, I can see the numbers…….
Thanks for reading,
Chad Bryson-Head Guide Rapids Camp Lodge
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