Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Ill Timepiece of Yore
I lusted after the Tag Heuer Formula 1 watch back in the day. Veltec-Boyer used to list them in their catalog for, in hindsight, balls cheap prices along with Concorde frames and Ultima clothing. But, like a lot of things back then, it was one more item I couldn't afford because I was living on my own with the meager means of a paycheck to paycheck existence on bike shop wages.
Veltec had multiple colors available, I don't remember them all, but black on yellow and red on black seems to come to mind. Regardless, the others didn't interest me. They weren't nearly as flat out bodacious as the orangish-red on green of the Team 7-11 model. Sean Yates had one. So did Dag-Otto Lauritzen. Bobke too.
It would be several years before one found its way onto my wrist and I've treasured it ever since. When I first got it (bought from CP for $50) it was proudly flaunted in perpetuity. Most people probably thought it was a Swatch, but a few had a keen eye and saw it for what it was: The illest cycling related time piece ever.
The photo above shows it in all its storied glory. The band isn't the original, but I recently managed to find someone that scared up the OE style for me all the way from Switzerland. The bezel was ground down by a crash in a bike race that also destroyed the crystal. I should have known better than to be so cocky.
When I strap on the rubberized band I think of Sean Yates skipping his wheel under tremendous load up St. Patrick's Hill in Cork. I think of Dag-Otto suffering on mountain passes with camera loving Norwegian panache. I think of mad style, swagger, and brazen euro pedigree.