Thursday, December 28, 2006

My New Watch

I sit here this AM admiring my new watch. It marks a return of sorts to my watch owning roots. It also indicates a spark of optimism with regards to my ability to safely own a watch again. But most of all, every time I pull it out, it reminds me of the good fight I wage against the onslaught of the neo tech gee whiz gadgetry age we all seem trapped in.

I have owned maybe 20 watches in my lifetime. None have lasted more than a couple of years under my care. I lose them. I break them. I douse them. I once dropped one in a campfire by accident. One pissed me off so much, I threw it far into the pucker out back of the house. I was sure I would never see it again. That damn watch popped up a year later when I was looking for something else. It was still ticking. A rebellious tick that said time wins out everytime.

My worst luck seems to be with wrist watches. Too much going on in too small a package. They hang out all vulnerable ready to whack themselves on any hard thing I get near to. The straps would fail. The expanding wrist bands would pinch. The crystals would quickly scuff to translucent making the hands vague reminders that time may be but a figment of my imagination.

I had my best luck with pocket watches. I have not owned as many of them as I have wrist watches. But they are the ones I remember with anything close to fondness. I loved the retro-ness, the big faces, and the satisfying tic tock almost like a small mechanical clock. They were easier to find when mislaid. Their size indicated riugged and made me feel secure they could handle my rough treatment. But like the wrist watches, they always died. Crowns broke. Crystals broke. And most of them could not handle water or fire.

I gave up having a watch a couple of years ago. The last one had all sorts of bells and whistles. Typical of today's fondness of technology for technology sake. While it did everything but drive the car for me, it was definitely not very rugged. Shit the bed about 3 months into owning it.

So I swore off carrying time with me as I careened through my day to day existence. If I did not carry a watch, I would not have to worry about breaking it. And I would feel less of an obligation to pay attention to the specific moments of every day.

This rebellious mentality always comes after a watch fails me. I swear them off forever. Never say forever. It would seem I cannot last for more than a couple of years before the itch to try it again crosses my mind. Everytime I say this will be the one. The one I don't break. The one I don't lose. Everytime. At some point the odds should start tilting in my favor. At least that is the hope everytime I decide to own another watch.

So I sit here contemplating my new watch. A spiffy Swiss Army pocket watch that set me back more than I have ever been set back before for a watch. The crystal looks like it may be inches thick and bullet proof. The back says I can drop it in the lake as long as it is only 50 meters deep. And the analog hands and numbers I can read without bifocals.

A beefy stainless steel encased chronometer that seems up to the Crum test. It does nothing but tick off the seconds of the day. No alarms. No meterological readouts. No GPS factors or paging capabilities. No lap times. No memory of time eleswhere. Just straightforward time keeping. Clean and incluttered. Kept on the mark through meticulous Swiss manufacture and help from some quartz.

And it fits sweet in that useless little watch pocket they still insist on including in jeans.

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