I learned to tell the time when I was about 5 or 6 I think and have worn a watch on my left arm ever since then, apart from a period about 8 years ago when I used my pedometer instead. Many people nowadays use their phones or computers I suppose but I think most people still wear wristwatches. I wonder why that is? Habit? Fashion? There is still a huge collectors’ market out there for watches.
I use watches for work. When I am teaching there is often no clock in the room so I need a way of knowing how to pace the lesson and when to start winding down the meeting without being seen looking at my arm (which often makes students feel they are boring me). So I take my watch off and stand it on the table so I can just glance and see the time. I need a watch with minute markings and a second hand for work, because I sometimes time speeches. People are less stressed about being timed when I use a watch rather than my phone. I always start and end lessons on time, because I feel that starting and ending late shows a lack of respect for my clients, who have many other things to do.
I don’t tend to be a buyer of expensive watches. I have had a mixed bag during my life. At school I had an Oris and Timex, which needed to be carefully wound once a day. After I left school, quartz watches with digital displays were all the rage. And since then that I have had a series of cheap men’s watches which I rotated. Some looked classic but most were novelty with unusual colours, faces and straps. I also have one gold long-service watch that I bought at a pawn shop, but the face is hard to read when I am teaching. And for special occasions I use a lovely dress watch my father-in-law gave me for my birthday last year.
Until the covid pandemic hit, I used a heavy (cheap) men’s watch – below – which was easy to see in the classroom, but I started suffering from tennis elbow and carpal tunnel in my left wrist (I am left-handed) so I stopped wearing a watch altogether while it healed. I didn’t need to have a watch while working from home, because my computer meetings app kept track of the time for me.
Once things started to get back to normal, I alternated between a pink Triwa and a white Jet Set plastic watch, each of which cost $3 at different charity shops. They were big enough to read but very light. Then I saw a 60% off Seiko watch sale, pounced on this glorious women’s watch, and I am so glad I did.
I sold all my old cheaper heavy men’s watches to pay for it, because I know I will never wear them again. My wrist is more important!
This is the first nice watch I have ever bought for myself. It is solid but not heavy, and is in mixed metals so it suits both gold and silver jewellery. It looks sleek and smart, and is very comfortable. It was $350 and I paid $150. I realised how fancy it was because it came in a box-inside-a-box with a tool to adjust the strap, and a stamped guarantee. I will never receive a long-service watch so this was my gift to myself.