Sunday, October 16, 2011

Suddenly, I have a watch collection.

Five qualifies as a collection, right?

I enjoy wearing a wristwatch. Although I've read that wearing one is supposed to be a tell tale sign of advanced age- the kiddies use their cell phones to check the time. I carry an iPhone, but it's in my purse and thus requires stopping and hunting while I can check my watch with a flick of the wrist. Actually, it's this flick of the wrist that is one of the things that I like best about wearing a watch. I wear my watch with the face on the inside of the wrist so glancing at the time involves a little semi-circular flourish of the left hand. I freely admit this is more than a little affected- I practiced this motion with an empty wrist for a couple of months in preparation for my first bracelet style watch, (buckle style bands don't look quite right when the watch is worn face in.) What can I say? I really enjoy when there's some sort of stage business involved with apparel or accessories. I'd have been blissfully happy in one of those historical moments when every emotion could be communicated with a fan. I believe pearls should be clutched as an indication of surprise, dramatic gestures are even more grand when accompanied by the tinkle of bracelets, nothing garnishes a cocktail like a glittering cocktail ring, and there's nothing more fetching than the sight of a palm daintily held aloft as you peer at the timepiece on your wrist.

This week I become an accidental collector of watches. It's a surprise, because I've been what you might call a one watch watch woman, or at least a one watch at a time woman, wearing my current watch everyday, day in day out, without fail. Except lately, because the battery in the watch I had been wearing died in the summer and I still haven't managed to remember to take it to be replaced. (I love getting stuff but I can be terrible about maintenance.)

Here are the watches I currently own, in reverse chronological order of acquisition:

#1. Skagen Mickey Mouse watch:

A gift to commemorate our first wedding anniversary, which we spent at Disneyland with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law whose anniversary is three days (and five years) apart from ours. I think our combined celebration might have been a little confusing to some people at the park, a few of whom seemed to be wondering if we were all married to each other.

It's very subtle as Mickey Mouse watches go. I'm completely enamored with the woven metal strap. 

#2. Tiny gold Waltham pocket watch:

My parents are currently selling my stepfather's mother's house. She passed away a number of years ago but some things took a long time to settle and for a while they thought they might keep her house in Pennsylvania as a vacation home, or even retire there. It's become obvious lately that this wasn't going to be tremendously practical and they've made the decision to sell, which meant finally removing the last of my step-grandmother's possessions. Since I'm pretty much the only one in the family with any interest in vintage jewelry I scored big. My mom let me take everything I thought I night wear. (Let me tell you, you can be pretty well served by developing a reputation as someone who likes old stuff. I've been really surprised over the years by the number of people who have given me treasures that belonged to people that they cared about because they wanted their things to be appreciated. And appreciate them I do!)

I don't wear gold, really, at all. But I'm enchanted by the adorable, petite scale of this little watch. I'm planning to incorporate some sort of mixed metal treatment to make it more wearable for me. I'm thinking of suspending it from a heavy silver chain with a couple of strategically placed gold beads and wearing it as a pendant. I'm hoping the watch can be restored to working order, but even if that's not possible I'll still wear it.  The back of the watch is engraved with the initials S.C. (as near as I can tell) but those initials don't belong to any family members I know. I'm hoping my parents can provide some more information and perhaps a back story.

#3. Movado Museum watch:

This has been my everyday watch for years. It was a collective graduation present from Chris, my family, and Chris's family, (who are now my family too, but weren't at the time.) It's a strikingly decorative watch. It wears very much like a bracelet, especially when worn with the face on the inside wrist. It is also a bit difficult for me to tell time on this watch unless I already have a pretty good idea of what time it is. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes have to double check against my phone to be sure I haven't misjudged where the numbers ought to be and made myself an hour early or an hour late for an important appointment. I try to do this checking surreptitiously because it makes me feel a bit silly.

Because the bracelet is loose on my wrist the face of this watch has taken a bit of a beating. This is the watch that needs a new battery. I'll have to check when I take it in to see if anything can be done to refresh the face and

#4. Bulova tank watch:

This was my first 'nice' watch- meaning my first watch that was displayed for sale under the counter, rather than in a plastic spinner on top of the counter. This was the watch for which I practiced the wrist flip. It was a Christmas gift from my mom. It was my everyday watch until I received the Movado, and I haven't worn it since.

#5. My original Mickey Mouse watch:

This watch dates back to a Disneyland trip circa 1975. I can't remember if my parents bought this for me or my grandparents. (This was also the trip where my father traumatized me by convincing me that I really needed to steer the car on Mr's Toad's Wild Ride and not run into anything. As a child I used to have a recurring nightmare of being left alone in our Volvo, which suddenly stared itself, and having to attempt to drive myself to safety. I inevitably crashed and woke in a cold sweat with my heart hammering in my chest. I didn't ultimately get my driver's license until I was 34 years old. I'm not sure if any of these things are actually related.)

I wore this watch as a child, and again, with not so subtle irony, as a punky teenager. At some point the strap was replaced and then at some later point the watch ceased to function. The winder is broken, which is why Mickey appears to be hiding his face in these photos. I'd have moved his hands for his photo-op if I could. I've been wanting to have Mickey refurbished but I'm a little afraid to find out that it can't be done. I don't want to know that Mickey's a gonner.

So there you have it. In the past few days I've acquired two new (to me) watches, resulting in the formation of a small collection. But I'm going to have to enlist the services of a professional because I now own five watches, only one of which is currently functional.

1 comment: