Musings

Tick, tock. Who owns whom?

Something about one of my other passions for a change – watches.

I’ve been doing that thinking thing again.  As ever, brought about by sitting with a glass of something red and looking out of the window, mind in neutral.  A very pleasant way to spend some time when the week is usually so frantic, looking after the guys at the agency and our clients.  Time to think, not do, for once.

And it’s scarcely a hardship, this gazing out the window thing.  I’m incredibly lucky to live in a village where the view looks like this:

Anyway, I was pleasantly drifting a couple of hours ago and thought to give my watch a quick glance.  This, again, is no hardship.  Today I picked up an IWC Mk XII from a chap from the Bay of Thieves.  Except he was no thief.  He was an extremely pleasant BA pilot over in Bedfordshire who couldn’t have made two strangers more welcome when they dropped in to pick up a watch.  He’s also got a stunner of a Datsun Z.  Wow.

I’m digressing.  Blame the shiraz.

So I glanced at my watch and wondered why people get so fussed about scratches and dings.  I know people have talked a lot about ‘wabi’, and the concept makes a lot of sense to me.  But I was thinking more about possessions and possession.

I’m lucky enough to have some smashing watches.  Some are worth a bit.  Others not so much.  Some have a sentimental value too – like my first Rolex that I bought as a graduation present, just twenty years after I’d graduated.  But they all have a story of some sort.  And the ones I really love are the ones with character – and that means some imperfection.  That’s because I don’t feel the need to baby them – I just wear and enjoy them.  Because – in my experience – some possessions can have a nasty habit of possessing you.

These tend to be the costly, lovely shiny ones that scream ‘I’m EXPENSIVE – look after me, polish me, don’t scratch me, don’t dent me, don’t do that!”.  And the looking after can get in the way.  As soon as I start thinking “can’t do that, it’ll damage my *insert possession of choice*!” I know that thing owns me – not the other way around.

It’s not to say I don’t look after what I have – I do.  But I want it to be a choice, not a burden of keeping it shiny so it doesn’t spoil.

My ‘new’ IWC has been worn and looks like it.  The hands have – I suspect – been re-lumed.  The tritium on the dial is aged and, at 6, is a bit chipped too.  I love it all the more because it’s NOT perfect.  For me, that means I don’t have a burden of responsibility to modify what I do to featherbed it in case it gets scratched/dinged/whatever.  It’s a possession that I enjoy already, but that most certainly doesn’t possess me.

Perhaps trying to keep things ‘perfect’, apart from being an impossibility, is too much responsibility for me.  I’ll take the easy way and enjoy what I have by holding it lightly, thanks.  And if that means a scratch or two, hey ho.  Could be worse, eh?

And, just in case you were wondering, this is the new beastie:

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