Seiko watch

A giant, heavy Jet Set men’s watch


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.

Another old men’s watch

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.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

7 thoughts

  1. I have been wearing watches on my life wrist since I was about 6 years old. It is the first thing I put on as soon as I wake up and the last thing I take off before switching the light off. I never check clocks at work or public places unless when I’m in an airport (four times a week) or train station (twice a month).

    I have hs a real and very expensive passion for clocks for about thirty years. It started when I inherited my grandma’s Cartier and since then I have been offered many nice ones on special occasions. I sort of collect them but I also wear them. I am also very interested in mechanism.

    I have fifteen nowadays but my favorites are the Cartier and vintage Baume et Mercier ones.

  2. I have three or four gorgeous watches, including one inherited from my grandmother and another with a beautiful Celtic design on the face. But I never wear them. I blame working in newspaper newsrooms for years where there are always loads of clocks on the wall. And I now don’t like anything strapped around my wrist, although loose bracelets are OK. I just use my mobile now or check the time on the computer. And if I’m in a class and can’t see a clock, I ask a student!

  3. I do exactly the same as you during class. Sometimes there are clocks but they are behind me, so way to look obvious when you try to read the time!… I have always had very chunky watches. I started with a Swatch and when I turned 18, because my parents knew I loved big men’s watches, my parents offered me a very expensive beautiful watch from Yonger and Bresson. I wore it constantly the past 25 years but the more time went (ha!), the shorter the battery life. So I switched to my husband’s watch, which is kinetic, so it doesn’t need a battery. The last time I went to have the battery removed from my original watch, the repairman told me that he could replace the motor of the watch and I have been very tempted. I wonder if I can switch it for a kinetic motor… If that’s the case, I may make the switch!… I teach adults and also kids in high school and none of the kids in high school owned a watch!… It took me a few minutes to recover from the shock!…

  4. I think I stopped wearing a watch when smartphones came in. Then 4 years ago, I inherited a vintage Omega Seamaster that once belonged to my mother which was a gift from her parents in the 1960s. I got the watched repaired and restored. It took me several months to pay off the repair bill. I wear it on my right wrist as I am left handed.

    1. I am also left-handed but have never managed to get used to wearing a watch on my right wrist, which would be so much easier for me. Maybe I should try to stick it out for a couple of weeks this time?

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