I met a physician from India who I greatly admired. He owned five mechanical watches that he wound every morning. He would wear one all day and remove it at night before going to bed. He said that this ritual was a subtle reminder to spend the day fruitfully. The good doctor went on to share that every patient has only one true possession, time. Some people have years and others have only moments. When making hospital rounds, he took the pulse of the sick and dying while consulting the second hand on his watch. He admitted that the hospital had devices that were far more accurate but felt his patients appreciated the human touch.
I collect watches like some people collect coins or stamps. Unfortunately, it can be an expensive hobby. Most people who appreciate the intricacy or variety of watches have more than one, when one will do. Each has a story and each tells more than the time of day. If you wonder why some people wear a watch when they have a phone, the reasons are varied;
Convenience: A turn of the wrist and there is the time without the need for digging out a phone.
Reliability: Smart phone batteries need to be charged constantly while kinetic or solar watches can run for decades. Quartz watches run on a single button battery that can last for 2–7 years before needing a battery change. Most watches are water resistant most phones are not.
Cost: An accurate watch can be bought anywhere from Walmart to Tiffany’s for a few dollars to “ya gotta be kidding me”. Regardless of where the watch is purchased, it doesn’t require an additional plan or subscription.
Style: For men, this may be the only jewelry a gentleman wears as a form of self expression.
Status: In the high end watch market, some brands are recognized as expensive while other brands are not well known by the general public as being costly. The watch enthusiast knows they’re pricey and that says something about the owner.
Practicality: Running or exercising, it makes more sense to wear a sports watch than lugging a phone. The Timex Ironman remains a trusted running accessory. For those who enjoy water sports like scuba diving, they need a water proof diving watch like the DOXA pictured or Seiko SKA371.
Monitoring: Classrooms that do not allow cell phones will permit watches. A watch can be very useful when testing - especially for board or entrance exams.
Freedom: Often people fear they will miss something if they turn off their phone or leave it behind. It is also an indication that they are plugged into a cacophony of meaningless chats, feeds, texts, and messages, which can be mind numbing. Wearing a watch charts the time while disconnected from the cyber-world.
One can be a slave to technology or rebel against the machine.
For those who sneer at the watch wearing public, you are in danger of joining the ranks of tweeting sheeple. You risk becoming one of technologies connected drones. While grasping for the cutting edge, don’t forget that for all of us time is running out. Make good use of every second as the sands in your hour glass descend.