My Seiko T-Shirt (and the Wallet Stigma)

It’s truly a joy to discover unique stuff for sale on the Internet. On the great cloud you will find items that are otherwise unobtainable in shopping malls. Case in point is my most recent online purchase:

This Seiko t-shirt was being sold by a guy at the Watchuseek forums. He had this shirt produced in limited quantities and for $36 paid thru Paypal, he will ship one from his home in Canada to your doorstep. The shirt isn’t event an authorized merchandise from Seiko, so imagine the rarity of this one. I wouldn’t worry about bumping into someone who wears the same shirt and that sure beats wearing something from Giordano.

Printed on the shirt is Seiko Prospex. Prospex is a word play on pro specs–professional specifications. It is a Japanese market only brand of mid-priced to high end (but still relatively affordable) watches, mostly certified for use in diving (hence a diving logo on the left sleeve).

But one might ask, what’s the big deal about Seiko? Well, it’s true that the interest in this watch brand is something very niche. Even a typical watch lover (i.e. those primarily interested in Swiss luxury brands) is unlikely to appreciate. It’s for a rare breed of WIS that worships a Japanese company that manufactures great quality and robust products, not to mention a HUGE contributor to the history of horology.

With a tear in my eye, I just have to add that Seiko is a tarnished brand in the Philippines. The world recognizes it as a maker of dependable people’s watches, but the filipinus ignoramus species has associated it with cheap, tacky wallets made by a local manufacturer who stole the venerable brand and stamped it on their products. And so the uninformed Pinoy “knows” that the watch company is one and the same as the wallet company, when in fact they have no connection whatsoever. What a stigma. In the local setting, forget about the Seiko watch cachet.

But then again, Seiko isn’t about cachet, rather it’s about honest value:  what-you-see-is-what-you-get and what-you-get-is-what-you-pay-for. That’s my kind of watch.

On that note, I bid everyone Happy Holidays and a great oh-twelve ahead!


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