My 2nd Watch

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My 2nd Watch

Postby SynMike » October 19th 2017, 2:06pm

My 1st watch was a Timex. My parents bought it as a Christmas gift for me in about 1971. If I have the year right I would have been 8. I loved it and all other watches. A few years later I bought the Cardinal watch in this story. It cost me my life savings at the time.

My mother worked for Woodwards department stores (Vancouver, BC area). When I was about 11 years old, maybe 12, I saw this Cardinal watch in the jewelry display of the New Westminster location. It was about $36. I checked my bank account. My life savings at the time came just short. I took out all my money a couple weeks later and with my mother's employee discount I paid $32 for this watch. I think I had a dollar or so to go back into the bank.

I read online that Cardinal was founded by the Wenger family in 1923.

I remember as a boy of 12 to 14 wearing this every day. A boys watch takes a beating and the crystal shows it. My dad showed me how to open a watch. He was an auto mechanic and this was just a small motor to him. I remember watching him once as he sat at the kitchen table, disassembled his automatic watch and put it back together. I think maybe he did this to replace a spring. I used to open the Cardinal on a regular basis to adjust for accuracy. I wanted it to be within a few seconds a day but it was usually within 20 seconds a day. Opening your watch is a perfect reason for a boy to own a pocket knife. I am pretty sure this model uses a Russian movement. I'll probably open it again to check.

Some time in my teens it got yanked hard and a spring bar bent. I lost the end link before I got a replacement spring bar. It's hard to remember exactly but I think that would have been in 1978(?) or so. I went back to wearing my Timex. I have not worn the Cardinal since. I recently got this mesh bracelet for it ($12 ebay) and it's back up and running. I wound it fully last night and now 12 hours later it's within a minute (maybe way better but I didn't set it accurately to check closer than that). I haven't had it serviced but I'm probably not going to wear it anyway. It's pretty small at 35mm across. It looked so big on my wrist as a skinny little kid.

My 3rd watch was a souvenir my brother brought home from the 1980 olympics in Moscow. Another story...

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Last edited by SynMike on October 20th 2017, 4:05pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby conjurer » October 19th 2017, 2:11pm

A fantastic story, Mr. Mike, and a very cool watch, too!
I checked you out, and I now want you to take the journey to lick my taint. It's small, but vast.


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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby foghorn » October 19th 2017, 2:29pm

Absolutely wonderful story. It's great that you kept it all this time. It has that classic 70's style that all the reissues in the world can't accurately copy.
36 bucks was a good chunk of change back then when the norm for a watch was about 11.99 from the carousel display on the drug store counter. Your good taste started at a young age.
I still have a Zodiac Sea Wolf that I got in the mid 70's and it's been beaten to death but I hang onto it. It's too bad that this hobby had gotten to the point that we seldom hang onto a watch long enough for it to become a part of us anymore. I have the Zodiac and a couple others that go back 15-20 years, but the rest are all relative newbies in comparison.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby artman » October 19th 2017, 5:42pm

Cool story and cooler watch. This is the second Cardinal I've ever seen and I never knew Cardinal was started by the Wenger family.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby TemerityB » October 19th 2017, 6:17pm

Absolutely great story, and the pics are just as good.

Hang on to those little things, man. A singer named Mindy Smith put it best in a song called "Highs And Lows," about not being to throw out old stuff:

Highs and lows it's how life goes
When little moments shine
Hold them close they should never be sold
'Cuz they only get better with time
Since many people weren't in lockstep with his beloved cheese box shit watch brand, The Cruise King ran off blowing snot bubbles, far away from his once-beloved forum. Here, eat this mudpie, Paw Paw. It tastes like a Hershey bar. Go ahead, dig in.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby Racer-X » October 19th 2017, 6:58pm

Thanks for sharing Mike, enjoyed your story. Funny how those first few stick with you.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby AlbertaTime » October 19th 2017, 7:07pm

Love the story, Mike.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby smellody » October 19th 2017, 7:45pm

Super cool. Thanks for sharing that. My Dad has a very similar looking Hamilton.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby biglove » October 19th 2017, 7:50pm

Great story and so glad you have held onto it all these years.

Appreciate you sharing. Wish I still had any of my watches from when I was a kid. None of them were this cool though.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby SynMike » October 19th 2017, 11:04pm

Thanks for all the great comments.

I opened it up tonight to find that this has a Raketa 2628 movement.

http://17jewels.info/movements-en/movem ... 628-h.html

Here is a Raketa version of the same watch:

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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby Mark1 » October 20th 2017, 12:03am

Nice story. I wish I could but don't remember having any watches as a young kid. I do remember taking apart several Big Ben alarm clocks in my youth. Some even worked afterwards in spite of a few extra parts left over. First watch I remember having was a Pulsar chrono I bought at Fred Meyer Jewelers when just out of high school. Certainly I owned watches before that but just don't remember them.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby SynMike » October 20th 2017, 12:33am

The connection to the "Wenger family" name is odd. There does not seem to be a global Cardinal Watches web site. There is one in Australia and a Wenger Canada that shows a big line up Cardinal watches and just a few Swiss models with Wenger name on them. I'm guessing there was some family relation to the well known Wenger company but is not the same company at all. Or perhaps started by people that just happen to have the same last name. Perhaps the conflict over the name limits countries where they can do business? Strange.
http://www.cardinalwatches.com.au/
http://www.wengerwatch.ca/
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby Wasp » October 20th 2017, 5:01am

Always nice going home in the brain. You instigated a pleasant episodic rehash of my own. For that and your share, thanks.
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Re: My 2nd Watch

Postby codguy » October 20th 2017, 5:27am

Pretty cool!
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