The futility of checking time at the wrist
In 2020, wearing a watch looks almost useless.
Currently, we have many different ways to check the time around us. Our phones show the time, and far more accurately than any mechanical watch could. Our PCs show the time. Our cars show the time. If we walk around our cities, we can check the time everywhere.
We are literally surrounded by ways of checking the time. Our entire Western world runs because we have developed the concept of time – that is, a day divided in fixed hours of equal length.
Time, and its checking, are pervasive, and all-important for our way of living. We have scedules and deadlines.
Actually, we need to check time. And we need to check it precisely. If our time calculations are not precise enough, people die. Trains crash. People make or lose fortunes in the financial markets because of good or bad timing. Apollo 13 was saved by a very precise maneuver, carefully checked on an Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”.
So, what do you do when you become aware that your time is precious? You transform it into a statement. Into a memento. Rather than contemplating a macabre dance, the representations of time and death in art forms, created first in the Medieval Age to show that we are all – from the highest Emperor to the lowest peasant – subject to the great equalizers, Father Time and Death, today you can check your watch.
And the watch becomes a statement of the time passing, and a beautiful object to contemplate – or better, to watch, let’s say – the passing of time.
I am pretty aware that few make this transfer with the lucid knowledge of what they are doing. But I bet that the more philosophically-inclined are just doing that. They accumulate watches like they build a repository of cherished memories, while they contemplate the slow unfolding of the mainspring of their lives, and meditate about the meaning when the watches stop, the hands motionless and frozen to indicate a precise moment.
Show must go on
While watches are about the only case of man’s jewelry there is, they are much more than simple ornaments, because at their core, they are objects with a function, even if this function has become today rather obsolete and inaccurate.
So, in my humble opinion, a man has to wear a watch to stay vigilant and aware of the limits determined by his human nature. And while he does, doing it in style.
And as we are talking about style, if you thinking about buying a vintage watch, take a look at our pre-loved watches, by clicking here
Oh, and do not forget that even if used by gentlemen, wristwatches were invented for Ladies. This is the first manufactured wristwatch still in existence, made by Patek Philippe for the Countess Koskowicz of Hungary.
You can find much more about horology and its fascinating history in The Watch Manual, a thorough e-book that explains all the basics about watchmaking and its protagonists.