“The Great,” my favorite watch, is the reason I saved it for last in our three-part series “What's in a Name.” And no…the inspiration for this watch name did not come from my experience as a Navy SEAL, or is it rooted in a hard lesson. Though I suppose the story itself could serve as a particularly good lesson for my sons and others who read it.
As you might be aware from my previous blog post, “I Have an Addition,” I have a watch addiction. My addiction runs deep and has been a part of my life for the majority of it. It makes the top three list of things people know about me. Number one: my initials spell BAD, Number two: I love being a father, and number three: I am addicted to watches.
It started when I was in grade school around kindergarten or 1st grade; I can’t quite remember specifically. Nonetheless, it was around that time I got my first watch as a birthday present from a friend. The watch was a neon-colored digital Freestyle Shark. Every component on the watch was a different color. The strap was neon blue with the logo sewn on the sides. The case was neon pink with varying buttons of color. The bezel was neon green and had four screws securing to the case. The bezel is what I remember most about the watch. A black plastic clip secured the strap itself. It didn’t matter that my wrist was too small for it; it fit perfectly as far as I was concerned. It was an excellent watch, and I was so proud of it.
At the time, it was just a watch; that I never would take off my wrist. The band started to become frayed and fuzzy the way nylon does when it starts to get worn out. Little did I know that this watch given to me as a gift would begin a lifelong addiction. As I got older, I became obsessed with watches and acquired more of them. In high school, I even took a summer job at Dillard’s department store selling watches. I loved that job. Every holiday or birthday became a joke in my family that if you didn’t know what to get me for a present other than a watch, you better get me that watch.
The neon green Freestyle Shark started it all, and it was given to me by a dear friend of mine who I still keep in touch with. His name is Blake Alexander. “The Great” is a play on words with Blake’s last name and the conqueror Alexander The Great.
Until recently, I haven’t given it much thought to my friendship with Blake or others. There are a couple of friendships that have lasted the test of time, and I am grateful for them. If it hadn’t been for Blake and his birthday gift to me some 34 years ago, who knows if I would have ever started a watch company. “The Great” is meant to remind us about the authenticity of life and friendships along the way. It honors the past, present, and future. It’s a nod to our experiences, an appreciation for today, and an eye towards tomorrow. With a timeless design and a unique crown, this watch pays homage to classic timepieces balanced with contemporary details.
I hope you enjoyed our three-part series “What’s in a Name” and learned a little more about Declan James Watch Co. Thank you for taking this journey with us. As always, we are here to support you and your addiction to watches, or mine.