There has been a resurgence in the love of vinyl records which begs the question why. They bring the nostalgia of a better time, as well as a unique sound. The sterile sound of a perfect track either on CD or MP3 has its place in audiophile appreciation, but the character found in a vintage vinyl makes every experience unique.
Like a prized musical instrument though used, it grows into a character of its own. Exuding a quality and timbre of sound that is unique unto itself. That is what makes the great soloists and musicians of any era achieve their signature sound and prize their instruments above all others.
Tropical dials on any watch is exactly that, a signature and most likely unique aesthetic. Ultimately collectible due to its individuality. We are now in an age where something unique, and custom to its owner is prized above all else, who wants the same watch as the person next to you?
Tropical dials was a production mistake from some dial manufacturers in mid 20th century, first seen in the ‘Tropics’ on certain watches. It was due to the heat conditions that led to the current buzzword and demand from watch collectors and enthusiasts. As is most common with the patina, ultraviolet radiation had something to do with it. The dial materials and lacquers present in the watches, reacted in that cocktail of heat and light to create the effect that we see today.
In the beginning the dials would only change slightly and through time they would evolve into what we associate with tropical dials. The result is a beautiful, generally brown patina which is warm and pleasing on the eye and reminds us of the age of the piece, showing its own experiences like a badge of honour for all to see, but with yet more to show us in time. Some things are better kept clean and perfect, others are better after the passage of time and wear, much like your favourite and most comfortable pair of jeans. Broken-in, distressed and somehow, fit just perfectly.
Would you rather have a perfect, flawless watch that can almost come across as rather sterile or would you rather have an imperfect, perfect piece that wears its story with pride?