A new series showcasing the relationship people have with what Bienne does best: their everyday watch. Episode One.
Nesat Demirovski is as «made in Bienne» as it gets. Born here after his parents moved over from Serbia, he is so proud of his city (and who could blame him?) that he even has its symbol, two crossed axes, tattooed on his right arm. On his left arm, he proudly has been wearing for the past 3 years what many consider the ultimate all-rounder: the Omega Aqua Terra, in its 38 mm, white dial variant.
Nesat is no stranger to the world of watchmaking. When he grew up, Rolex and Omega were all around him. «Even as a child, it was clear to me those two brands had something special, positioning them at the top». His first professional experience, too, was in watchmaking, as a micro-mechanics apprentice at… Rolex. He later worked in IT support at ETA, in Grenchen, before joining the Federal administration. As a child, Nesat always took interest in the watches his father wore: two Swatches and, in a more exotic fashion for Bienne, a Grand Seiko, received as a gift from his employer after 30 years of service.
With that background, it should come as no surprise that, when he received his first apprenticeship paycheck, Nesat treated himself to… a watch. A Tissot v8 quartz chronograph. He was 16 back then. A few others followed. Eventually, after 5 or 6 years, the passion started to vanish. The watches were left in a box.
It took another 5 or 6 years for the passion to make a comeback. Nesat had started working as an IT specialist at a large telecom operator in Bern. A colleague of his was one of those people who wears a different and very nice watch pretty much every day: a Breitling, a Rolex, an Omega… It’s when Nesat put his colleague’s Submariner on the wrist that the passion not only returned but did so with unprecedented force. It was the beginning of an exploratory ordeal that many of us who have succumbed to the hobby know too well: «Monopusher, split seconds, flyback, you name it… I was shooting in all directions.»
After a while, Nesat decided it was time to settle: «I wanted a high quality watch I could wear just about every day, no matter the occasion.» We are now in late 2018. The question was: what should Nesat choose? One criterion helped narrow down the options: «I wanted a brand that represents my city.»
Nesat had always longed for a Speedmaster, but when he tried it on, he found the 42 mm case too large for his wrist (editor’s note: the previous generation Speedy bracelet may have accentuated that impression). Also, the absence of date was an issue: «I check the date like 12 times a day at work.» Another must-have was chronometric precision: «I take the train to work and our Swiss trains are very precise. Your watch needs to be too!»
Rolex was an obvious option, but it was late 2018 and availability had already become a challenge. After visiting Jacques Tissot’s boutique Rue de Nidau, Nesat discovered an Omega product line he’d never heard of before: the Aqua Terra. Part of the Seamaster collection, the Aqua Terra aims to offer the best of both worlds: timeless everyday elegance suitable for office-wear with the ruggedness of a sports watch, including 150m water resistance, with a COSC and METAS-certified automatic movement ticking inside. While Nesat loved the concept, trying the 41 mm variant, he again found it too large.
As his quest continued and other models came to Nesat’s attention, the Aqua Terra had made a lasting impression. Nesat had not been able to try the 38 mm version but he was convinced it would be perfect for his wrist. He then took a double leap of faith. First, ordering directly from Omega the exact model he saw online without having had a chance to test it. Second, investing such a significant amount in a watch, something most in his family and social circles found unreasonable to put it mildly. The passion was so strong, Nesat decided to go ahead. He had saved up his hard earned cash and knew the purchase would retain substantial value.
«As soon as I put it on, it felt like it had been custom-made for my wrist.» After some time in his rotation, the watch has now pretty much become the only one Nesat ever wears. «It really does everything I want. It looks great with a suit as with a tracksuit. » As we sit in a café, Cecil, in the city center, Nesat adds: « I wore it when I was repairing my bike this morning, out with my family in Bern this afternoon, and in the shower before coming here».
I could have stayed for hours listening to Nesat talk about his passion. It’s so deep, so authentic. We both had to go, our families were waiting. My biggest reward for doing this blog is the people I get to meet. Nesat Demirovski is a great example.