SQUARE ROOTS
World of Watches|Spring 2020
SQUARE ROOTS
WOW Thailand’s Ruckdee Chotjinda is campaigning for the underappreciated genre of square watches
RUCKDEE CHOTJINDA WITH ASHOK SOMAN

Raise your hand if you remember the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra from 2006. The Chronograph GMT and the Hometime? Both writers of this tale obviously do, and it meant something personal to them. The story that follows is mostly an account of WOW Thailand Editor Ruckdee Chotjinda’s hankering for a square watch, and WOW Singapore Editor Ashok Soman’s consistent evangelising for form watches. In this edition, we opted to present this account as a back-and-forth but it is Ruckdee’s story through-and-through. While Ruckdee finally found his square roots, Ashok has yet to embrace his; his contribution here is ruefully theoretical. Each writer’s portions are denoted by their initials.

RUCKDEE CHOTJINDA

I was very close to owning the Jaeger-LeCoultre Squadra Hometime but then a few hiccups got in the way. First, the stock piece at the authorised dealer had cosmetic damage; then, the replacement ordered had a wobbly crown stem and had to be returned. I became discouraged and went for another watch instead. Before I acted again on the Reverso Squadra, Jaeger-LeCoultre dropped the collection five years into its age. It was gone … just like that, depriving me of the joy of ownership.

The urge to buy a square watch has since remained in the back of my mind. The Tetra watches from Nomos Glashütte seemed nice and accessible, but all versions are too small for my preference. I came very close to buying my first square watch again in 2016 when Cartier came out with the (then) new version of the Santos 100 Carbon. I remember how the watch lingered on my mind during my days at SIHH that year, and how I was eager to share a wristshot on my personal Facebook account by using the phone to take a snap from the camera’s playback screen.

ASHOK SOMAN

I salute Ruckdee on his good taste in going for the Squadra Hometime; it is a watch I remember well because it too was on my list. Sadly, it never made it to my wrist. I thought I would eventually get to it but, as mentioned, it disappeared quietly into Jaeger-LeCoultre’s archive. I confess that the watch did not quite inspire a taste for square watches at that time, but I do recall being similarly struck by the JeanRichard TV screen model. Of course, that too is a tale of disappointment because the brand is now quite defunct. It seemed my story too was destined to follow a path to disappointment.

RC

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Spring 2020