A mechanical watch is more than just an object that tells you the time. It expresses your style and personality because let’s be honest, if it was all about telling the time, there are much better options out there today. The parallels are quickly drawn with vinyl lovers.
At a time when the music industry is largely focused on digital development, choosing vinyl makes it possible to stand out from the crowd. Let’s see if the comparison with mechanical watches ends there or if there are other similarities.
Heat or quality?
Purists claim that the sound of a vinyl record is very warm, which would make it much more pleasant to listen to. But that’s not quite right… well, not in theory. Digital music offers better dynamics, meaning that the difference between bass and treble is more marked. So, in theory, the potential of digital music looks more promising.
So this “warm sound” argument, is it really nonsense? Actually no. Even if 33 rpm records will technically never be at the level of the CD or the high-resolution digital file, their atypical sound will continue to thrill the crowds. This warm sound comes from the creaking effect of vinyl that so many people enjoy. This effect is all the more pleasant in jazz and soul pieces as they are really warmer musical genres. Although, in all fairness, the original recording does not contain these effects and is closer to the sound you find on CD.
Are we to understand that vinyl lovers love them for their imperfection? Yes, and this is where it gets interesting. Let’s not just focus on sound quality, a subject that remains to be debated, and try to understand what lies behind the passion for vinyl. The imperfection of vinyl is quickly becoming a topic to talk about and easily identify with. Vinyl records have been a real hit in recent years. Collecting vinyl records is not the only thing that the enthusiast appreciates, he likes the little rituals that this involves just as much. So it’s no coincidence that 2015 recorded the best-selling vinyl records for 28 years: people love them madly.
With vinyls, no offense to Spotify, Qobuz or Tidal, we are witnessing a real musical ritual. In addition to having the object in your hands, you can also choose the playback speed, smell the vinyl, clean it with an anti-static brush, turn it over, listen to its crackle, and pick up the slightest notes of the album. We forget the passage of track, we have to listen to the whole album to live the experience thoroughly and understand artistic creation in its entirety.
Low-end mechanics or precision?
This is where the link with mechanical watches is made. Anyone who wears a mechanical watch has a personal relationship with the history of their timepiece and its maker. This connection is much deeper than just wanting to tell the time. Putting on a watch, adjusting it, winding it and wearing it are all rituals that create a link between the wearer and the very conception of time. If you don’t wear or wind your watch, it stops.
Of course, you don’t just look at your watches to find out what time it is. How many times have you looked at your watches for the love of its design? The same can be said of vinyl lovers. These are true works of art, and not only because of their technique but also because of their appearance. For watches as for vinyls, the budget can vary from several hundred to several hundred thousand euros. But remember, money doesn’t have to stop you in your quest for that much coveted watch or vinyl.
And what does it matter if someone says this watch is better than yours? Perfection is not a given, but everyone has their own definition, and often it comes with small imperfections. It is exactly these imperfections that create the best stories. As Ken Kesey writes in Flight Over a Cuckoo’s Nest : “To hell with the facts! We want stories! “