Monday, August 30, 2010

A Good Watch

Wristwatches are now avoided by many who are physically attached to smartphones, but I doubt if I'll go that route.

I like watches. A few years ago, when my wristwatch was in the shop, I retrieved an old pocket watch that one of my ancestors probably used to time buggy races. There was a certain raw appeal to the old ticker - even having to wind it had an antique charm - and I reluctantly put it back in the drawer when the newer one returned.

Digital watches have never appealed to me. I usually don't need the exact time. I want to be able to glance at the watch and get a rough sense of the neighborhood. Watches that are clear and simple are best and I'd prefer one that costs less than my car.

A few weeks ago - in a quest for a timepiece that could be worn while alligator-wrestling - I bought one that is rugged and large and capable of driving nails. Unfortunately, I soon found the dial to be both busy and mysterious. The designers, too clever by half, put in one gizmo too many. Since realizing that, every glance has become an irritation.

I'm glad I kept that pocket watch.


Jeff said...

My watches always had nothing more that an hour hand, a minute hand, and a second hand. The only gizmo I enjoy is the calendar date. I want something that tells me what time it is - that's it.

I have two watches - one is a simple stainless steel that I use every day and in the office. The other is a more expensive watch that I wear when I go out to client meetings and presentations.

One is for utility. One is for impression. I would no more see a client without a tie than with a beat up watch.

Digital? Rubber wrist bands? Only if you're going out for a jog...

And no gold bands. I leave that for the owners...

- Jeff

Dan Richwine said...

who ever heard of giving someone a gold ipod when they retire?

DarkoV said...

"I want to be able to glance at the watch and get a rough sense of the neighborhood."


That's the way to deal with time such that time doesn't deal with you.

Michael Wade said...

Ah, the power of a small machine that we strap to our wrist.

Someone out there must have written a paper on the psychology related to watches.



Reka-Zsuzsanna said...

I recently listened to a BBC podcast on watchmaking. Here is a quote, from one of the people interviewed for the audio program:

"Each is full of mathematics, physics, and judgement, calculations which all adds to the challenge and ultimately the enjoyment".


Michael Wade said...


All of that is true. We carry amazing objects on our wrists.