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Saw a watch on the bay while looking for a "birthyear" watch for a buddy http://cgi.ebay.com/1986-Omega-Mens...ViewItemQQptZWristwatches?hash=item414dc81412 that got me to thinking....

We've all seen them and /or owned a one or two - those ubiqutous "Service Award Watches", watches given to some poor bastard after sweating most of his life out for one company.
Now I've seen some nice '50's Hamiltons, Omegas, and Longines out there, most seem to have been "well loved" (as they should!) but I have also noticed a number of "unworn" or "mint" examples of the very nadir of these venerable brands. Bland, quartz, and maybe plated (if you were "lucky") they go for a pittance on the 'bay or elsewhere.
Makes me wonder - did the recipient lock his treasure up, afraid to damage what he had so much invested in?
Or was he so disappointed by the watch given him that he refused to even wear it?

I can't help wonderng about the fellow that got one of these.........
 

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My 25-year "Service Award" was a no-name two-tone quartz watch. I didn't wear it becuase it was a piece of crap. In fact, when the company store was liquidating their inventory to transition to a web-based store, they sold the same watches for 15 bucks. I'm not bitter about it, but it is a bit of an insult after 25 years.

Anyway, another guy at work loved his company watch. He removed it at airport security and lost it, so I gave him mine. I don't like having watches that I don't wear and was glad to be rid of it. I guess the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
 

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Never made it to 25 years with any of the companies I worked for, I believe my final company would have given me the option of picking a Swiss Army model had I got there.
Got a nice Swiss Army knife though.
Back in the old days the Toronto based Eaton department store chain used to give a Rolex built watch for their 25 year award.
 

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I recieved a watch for my 15 year anniversary. It is a Tourneau "WatchGear" watch. It features a tachometer bezel but no chronograph. It is quartz and I never wear it.



This is the watch I bought myself for spending 15 years working hard 24/7.

 

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I think that some of us are damn lucky to have endured at any one company for 25-years. Seems to be even more of a rarity these days.

I just got a 25-year award on Monday...sure, I could have selected a quartz watch but instead, went for a set of *****in' Viking-brand knives for our home. Even the boss was saying, "Don't mess with K7 today." :-d

Every longevity award since the 15-year point has been used for something for our home that will last for many, many years.
 

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A friend of mine was gifted a watch for 20 years with his company, and they were nice enough to give him a budget and choose a watch himself from a chosen shop, rather than choosing for him - in the end he got to split the budget and buy both him and his wife a nice piece as he felt guilty spending the whole amount on himself.

He got a Rolex Explorer, which he did wear for a fair while, but ultimately went back to his older Seiko quartz model - a similar style, just with a date display, and quartz movement. He didn't really know too much bout automatic watches and found it annoying that it would run out of power over the weekend, and for what he needs his (technically inferior) Seiko model works better.

It does make me somewhat sad to see a nice watch mainly unused, but it was worn for a while before the technicalities of automatics proved more of an annoyance. Of course to many of us this is perfectly acceptable and part of the fun...
 

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My company gives out service awards, but they're not watches. 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc, you get your choice of a pendant or lapel pin shaped like a stock market "uptick" (I work at a brokerage firm). The 2 years is gold plated. The 5 years is solid gold with a single diamond chip, the 10 years solid gold with 2 diamond chips, etc. I string mine together on a single gold chain. While they're not particularly valuable, they do serve as tangible symbol of seniority. I mostly wear them to company events, but have occasionally worn them otherwise and they always garner compliments as they are so unusual.

Stuff like that is kind of nice, but I work for a paycheck and benefits, and also for job satisfaction, which comes from knowing I help make a difference in my clients' lives. Service awards come way down on my list of priorities.

Jeannie
 

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Just dug out my Swiss knife kit. The knife has an attached 15 year "Lipton" shield with three emeralds on it. What's scary is that I got it nearly 10 years ago now.
I never made it to my 20th anniversary as I retired 4 months before it would have happened.
 

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Now I've seen some nice '50's Hamiltons, Omegas, and Longines out there, most seem to have been "well loved" (as they should!) but I have also noticed a number of "unworn" or "mint" examples of the very nadir of these venerable brands. Bland, quartz, and maybe plated (if you were "lucky") they go for a pittance on the 'bay or elsewhere.
Makes me wonder - did the recipient lock his treasure up, afraid to damage what he had so much invested in?
Or was he so disappointed by the watch given him that he refused to even wear it?
I think that years ago when someone received a watch for many years of service it tended to be something that was of good quality. Perhaps not the absolute best available, but certainly something that you could proudly show off. Most wouldn't have nearly as many watches as some of us do now, so they probably were worn and cherished.

But now, many of these sorts of awards tend to be of pretty low quality. My father received one for so many years with a union, and it was the cheapest looking watch you could imagine. Sure, it had the union's logo smudged on the dial, but it's the sort of thing that you could have made for a few dollars. It ended up being tossed in a drawer and then thrown out a few years later.
 

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Many people aren't watch geeks like the rest of us. Some that were given nice watches probably didn't realize what they had or don't wear them. Maybe they just put it aside and forgot about it. It's a sad waste, I know, but I guess it could happen.

A relative of mine received a gold Rolex Day-Date for 25 years of service. The company he worked for still gives them out today. From what I heard you get the option of a gold Day-Date or his and hers Datejusts.

Not too shabby...especially these days.
 
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