TAMAS L’ORANT TL: 001
Mechanism: Longines ~1921~
My story gets ticking again. The Longines that saw many family enterprises and became the soul of mine.
I inherited a pocket watch from my father. This was the first timepiece I have ever transformed into a wristwatch. It was an object that had lost its original function a long time ago; as my father had never used it as a watch; however, he treated it with great respect, because he knew the story behind it. He inherited it from his father. I was lucky enough to know my grandfather personally, and to learn the stories of my family firsthand. He inherited the Longines from his wife’s father.
My great-grandfather, Mr. János Viszlay was born in a village in Felvidék; a territory that used to be part of Hungary, but now it belongs to Slovakia. In his youth he had left for Croatia, where he took a boat from Fiume to Canada, in the hope of building a better life. He worked hard and was smart enough to ask for half of his salary in gold. When he returned to his birth village, he bought a land, and purchased the golden Longines watch from that gold.
He and his family became wealthy owing to the growing agriculture they had built up, but the unfortunate events of the First World War put an end to their success. Their land was taken away from them, and their homeland was torn away from Hungary. However, the Longines became the symbol of my great-grandfather’s success and decency.
My grandfather married János Viszlay’s daughter, who inherited the Longines. Together they rebuilt the family legacy several times during their marriage: first, they revived a mine, which was taken away from them during the Second World War for military purposes. Afterwards they refurbished a restaurant, at which point they were forced to leave their home because of the arrival of the communist regime. They had never stopped starting their lives anew. Later on, they founded a grocery store, as refugees in Hungary, but the profit was once again taken away from them by the Communists. Their final enterprise was a restaurant which my father inherited after their retirement; it was then that he inherited the Longines as well.
After years of simply preserving this watch, one day, the absurdity of treating it as a piece of decoration struck me. Being a jeweler, I came up with the idea to bring it back to life, to transform it into a wristwatch, so that I could use it. I have been proudly wearing it since that day. But I had no idea that my great-grandfather’s Longines, which saw all the enterprises my family has ever started, would give a start to my own business and by far my most successful enterprise.
The story gets ticking again.