I like watches
Anyway…I like watches. Sounds uber-interesante, I know. Still, It’s something I like. I love browsing new watches in the case at Sears, Macy’s, jewelry stores, wherever. I like browsing old wristwatches on eBay. I just like watches. I don’t know if it’s timepieces in general, because I kind of like clocks, too. I don’t know if it’s the intricacies of a wind-up movement that I find so interesting…I mean, there are nice-looking quartz watches, too.
My grandparents got me the first watch that I can remember when I was in like fifth grade — wait, I take that back…my mom let me wear a watch around when I was really little. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember that I had it. But the watch from my grandparents is the one I really remember, and I feel kind of bad about it. When everyone else was getting cool Casio digital watches, my grandparents sent me a Tissot wind-up diver’s watch. My twelve-year-old brain said “Tiss-it, what’s that? I gotta wind it up?” I proceeded to beat it to death over a couple of months. I know now that Tissot (Tee-soh) is an expensive French brand, and it was probably a really nice watch. Oops.
In sixth grade, I got a Casio digital for Christmas. I wore it for the next five years, didn’t even need a new battery. My next digital took a hard spill into the bathtub, cracked, and wasn’t right after that. I got a Casio analog (meaning it has hands) watch in high school and wore that until deep into college. It was black, and the numbers were 13 thru 24, so I could read Army time. I replaced it with a Timex Indiglo analog watch that lasted for a few years, until WalMart replaced the battery, screwed up a gasket, and it died the next time I went swimming. It was gold, with a white face and a brown leather band, and the entire face lit up greenish from the INdiglo — dooby-dooby-doo…remember the old ads?
Yeah, I remember them all, but it wasn’t really The Sickness until recently, say within the last five years or so. I know what started it. My dad started it. For Christmas a few years ago, he gave me my great-grandfather’s gold Waltham pocket watch. It’s absolutely beautiful — the case is engraved with leaves and flowers both front and back. It has my grandfather’s initials engraved on it. When you open the back of the case, there’s a photo of my grandmother from when she was twenty or so. My great grandfather bought it sometime around 1910. My dad had it cleaned, and it still runs and keeps good time. It’s amazing to me that something that old and that intricate can still work — and believe me, you haven’t seen intricate until you’ve looked inside a turn-of-the-century pocket watch. Not only are the watchworks all delicate, and miniscule, and suspended on bearings made from tiny jewels…but the watchmakers of the day spent time engraving all of the works to make them gorgeous. Yes, the pieces of the movement, that most people aren’t going to ever see, that are closed up inside the case…they’re intricately and delicately engraved. It’s amazing. I treasure that watch.
In fact, I treasured it so much that I spent weeks on eBay and found myself a Sheffield 17-jewel wristwatch from the 1950’s or so, and I bought it. It was gold colored and tasteful, and I wore it proudly. Until the doorhandle of my jeep unhooked the wristband and I felt it slip off my wrist and go *SMACK* on the cement floor of a parking garage. It rattles when you shake it. It may work again someday, maybe. I was heartbroken.
But then, my dad got me another watch for my birthday a couple of years ago. It’s a Casio…yes, but it has more gadgets to it than some cars I’ve owned. It has, in no particular order: two alarms, stopwatch, world time, a light, date, digital readout, analog hands, it charges its own battery through solar power, and it synchs to the atomic clock in Fort Collins, Colorado every night. It’s a technological wonder, it’s a half-inch thick, and I wear it every day. It’s always right. It’s always right, to the second. That’s kind of cool. It’s big, and stainless-steel, and kind of blingy. That’s kind of cool. I’ve beat the heck out of it because it stands so far off my wrist, and it still works. That’s kind of cool.
Then my dad got me another watch. This one is an Elgin wristwatch that came with the note: “This is the watch I wore at Camp Dix, WWI, 1914.” It’s the size of a kid’s watch, and it has strange loops for a watchband they don’t make anymore. It took me a year to figure out I could get a cat collar and finally wear it. It winds up and keeps absolutely perfect time. I don’t know if it actually went to war with its owner, or if it went through training camp, or if it did nothing of the kind, but it’s fun to contemplate. It would be amazing if it survived years of trench warfare just to wind up in my hands.
And this Christmas my dad did it again. Another Elgin…this time a pocket watch that weighs about a pound. It was made in 1895 and looks perfect. It’s in a case made from “coin silver” that’s older than the watch itself; the case was made in 1882. Again, the watch runs great. It loses about 10 minutes in a 24-hour period, but there’s a little lever inside it to nudge and speed it up a bit. It’s over 110 years old, and it looks almost new. Mind boggling. It’s got a dent in it near the 8, and I have to wonder what hit it hard enough to do that, because the case is made from some serious thick metal…does that story start with “he pulled a derringer…” and end up with “…that watch saved my life?”
I have other modern watches, too. I got a Pulsar (by Seiko) watch from one of the “deal of the day” sites for a cheap price, and it’s my “slim watch.” It’s dressy and understated, and fits under most cuffs. My kids got me a $10 K-Mart watch for Father’s Day this year, and I treasure that, too. Thing about cheap quartz watches is they keep just as good of time as an expensive quartz watch, or as an old wind-up movement watch. The watch from my kids has faux chronograph hands that (those are the little sub-hands on a watch) they thought do something, but don’t…but I don’t care. They picked it out for me. I even have a Timex. I got it for $5 at Wal-Mart, and it looks like a classic 1950’s wristwatch…neat thing, the hands are hollow triangles…you’d have to see it to understand. I need to put a battery in it, but I like it, too.
Ah, I hear the blissful sounds of my children fighting with my wife. Must go.
7:06 PM – 0 Comments – 0 Kudos – Add Comment – Edit – Remove
Current mood: sick
12:38 AM – 0 Comments – 0 Kudos – Add Comment – Edit – Remove
New Year’s Blah
Current mood: content
And today we un-decorated the house. Bye-bye, Christmas, see you next year. I still have to shove the boxes into the crawlspace…and I’m dawdling on the internets, instead. It’s kind of a shame to take down the tree and all, but really good to have our house back again. Tell you what, the tree might have been good-looking, but it was a real rat-bastard with the needles. It drew blood on me through a pair of gloves. It’s clogged up the vacuum cleaner at least a half-dozen times in the past couple of weeks. Suck-O.
We got another six inches of snow or so today. I blew it off the driveway this evening before dinner. No, with a snowblower. Yeah, thanks for asking.
Okay, and that’s all I’ve got to write about tonight. Buh-bye.
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Well Here I Am
Current mood: awake
So it’s the new year…2008 for almost three hours now. Thought I’d start up another one and try to journal the basic daily crap that seem to be all over blogs these days. What the hell, eh? Waste some bandwidth to spew uselessness. Nice. mlah.
And on it goes…