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Zachary’s Bulova Accutron

Jul 6, 2017

Other than many a wedding band, a fine watch is a man’s signature jewelry piece. Watches inspire feelings in me the way I often see diamonds inspire feelings in women. My most cherished material possession is a vintage heirloom tuning fork-regulated Bulova Accutron that had once been my great-grandfather Ben Bridge’s daily wristwatch. However, it […]

Ben Bridge Jeweler

Other than many a wedding band, a fine watch is a man’s signature jewelry piece. Watches inspire feelings in me the way I often see diamonds inspire feelings in women. My most cherished material possession is a vintage heirloom tuning fork-regulated Bulova Accutron that had once been my great-grandfather Ben Bridge’s daily wristwatch. However, it feels unnatural to call something so priceless and meaningful a ‘material possession.’

I am in the business of timeless timekeeping instruments, and a person wouldn’t necessarily be wrong to call them commodities; however, the pieces that we sell transcend the typical definition of the word. The timelessness of a fine watch creates the potential for it to adopt an endlessly intangible measure of value, and this particular heirloom family watch is my physical, daily reminder of that truth.

Due to an unfortunate combination of human morality and Father Time, my great-grandfather, affectionately known as Tata Ben in my family, didn’t live long enough to allow our respective lifetimes to overlap. Although I didn’t have the privilege of knowing him in the physical sense, his impact is felt with so many of the privileges and values that I hold dear. But it wasn’t until my dad entrusted me with Ben’s Accutron watch, after working for the company that bears his name for four years throughout college, that I felt a direct and close connection to Ben. The gift of something so personal and tangible immediately instilled a stronger understanding of why I was in the jewelry business. When I strap this watch to my wrist, I feel more of a sense of purpose in what I do.

Zach Bridge and his Bulova watch

When I glance at Ben’s watch throughout the day, I’m often reminded of the family traditions that were formed while it accompanied Ben on his wrist: fishing adventures on the Olympic Peninsula with his tow sons, flanked by his six grandchildren; annual Seafair parties to watch the hydroplane races; and road trips to Soap Lake and Mount Rainer National Park.

I am humbled to have been entrusted with the awesome responsibility [of being the] guardian of this precious family artifact. Until the time comes to entrust it to the next generation, I will continue to wear it with pride and purpose, expanding what it means to me, and using it as a vehicle to introduce my son to who Ben was, and to inspire me to keep Ben and his wife Sal’s core principles and memories alive well into another generation of Bridges.

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