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Morgan Howen

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A Case for Letting Go: Lessons Learned from “Want to Buy” Listings, the Passage of Time, and Mark Cho

Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw a post in the WTB section for a watch that I actually owned. Here was a Reddit user, with a handle that tricked me into thinking they might be local, looking for a Grand Seiko SBGH271. “Hey,” I said to myself, aloud, and alone in my living room, kind of embarrassingly, “I have one of those!” I dashed off a quick message, not sure of what might come of it, explaining I have the watch, it’s a full set, and to message me back if there’s an interest in making a purchase. 

At this point, I found myself in a weird limbo period, wondering if I’d just soft-committed to something I’d regret. “I can always back out (like a chump),” I said to myself, this time silently. In my experience, a lot of these Reddit users just vanish. I probably won’t even hear back from this person. 

I bought the SBGH271 in the fall of 2019 (see its first appearance on Instagram below), and wore it a lot right from the beginning. A bunch of watches came and went during my time with it (in fact, it survived a pandemic/boredom driven collection purge in the summer of 2020) but I had never seriously considered letting this particular Grand Seiko go. I reviewed it here, positively, and at a certain point it just felt like a cornerstone of my collection, even as I reached for it less and less. As I’ve explained here many times, I’m not a sentimental person when it comes to watches, but buying this so close to the time I went full time at Worn & Wound almost kind of felt like it meant something. I didn’t buy the watch to celebrate a new job, but it was certainly a reminder of where my life was at when I acquired it. All watches do that, I think. 

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