One thing is guaranteed to brighten up a standard, nose-to-desk sort of day. The arrival of a new watch. Our postman (for we still have such things in Burford as ‘our’ postie) handed over a package this morning, with his usual grin.
“Another five mill thinner and it’d have gone through the letterbox,” he said. “Shame you’re in today. I usually stamp on ‘em to make ‘em fit otherwise.”
Fortunately, I suspect my new arrival would have survived perfectly well. I’d have been a little less relaxed had a vintage Reverso been in the box. See, there are already advantages to F-91 ownership.
So, my first watch – ever – to arrive in an Amazon box. Downloadable wristwear. Whatever next?
Time to unwrap, clearly.
A new watch is always an exciting thing. I was interested to see if the usual frisson was there with my the F-91 Antiwatch. And it was. OK, so it’s not the sort of thrill that comes from a unpacking a vintage Explorer or an IWC MkXII, but it’s a thrill all the same. A sort of middle-of-the-road Muscat in comparison with Sauternes, maybe cheaper and less refined, but definitely worth a swig.
And I have to say, in spite of my usual watch snobbery that would make Margo Leadbetter (google it if you’re too young) start thinking fondly of low slung jeans and baseball caps, I’m impressed.
I like lots of things to read with my watches. I want instructions, guarantees, history, information, service bits and bobs. I like bumf. And the F-91 didn’t let me down.
The instruction leaflet was clearly designed by a particularly devious, wizened and ancient origami master at the very top of his game. Although it was tiny, it unfolded to the size of an OS map of Europe. Chaps, don’t bother with wallpaper – it’s cheaper to buy a crateful of F-91s and use the instruction leaflets. Two per wall should do you. I swear it’s even got a section in medieval Catalan.
There’s another leaflet – presumably also in Catalan – catchily entitled “Disposal of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment of Products for Household use (applicable in the European Union only)” Not quite sure I understand what that means, but I can see it catching on as bedtime reading at Mrs Flangespindler’s Home for the Criminally Insomniac. I couldn’t manage to read any more than the title though.
This too is printed on a piece of paper that makes a postage stamp look dangerously large, then folded by Origami San – clearly on a day where he really fancied a challenge.
The warranty card was probably in Linear B, but my electron microscope was out of battery by now. The lovely people at Casio clearly don’t believe in stinting watchbuyers who like a bit of bumf. And 3pt Sanskrit type too. Bit of history of Casio watches would have been good though.
But what about the watch? Well, it’s the Toyota Pious of the watchworld; a watch for people who don’t like watches but still need to tell the time. And it does it all beautifully simply. I had it set in under a minute and on my wrist. Once there, you might as well have strapped on a gnat – there’s no weight to its resin case at all. It makes my Timefactors Speedbird III feel like an Olympic discus.
There’s something rather pleasing about the digits. Clear, simple and, just like the watch, absolutely economical. In fact, the whole concept of something this cheap that’s this effective and well-designed is really rather attractive. I think we may get on…
Wonderful! A new MMC journey to follow – I’m hooked already! Incidentally, I had a Casio multi-time zone watch for years. It was fab for a pilot, as I was then, flying around the world. Very accurate too. Then my brother, a jeweller, insisted that no relative of his should wear a plastic watch and convinced me to buy a Breitling. I’m still wearing said Breitling some 20 years later – and I suspect my Casio is somewhere in my drawer too, no doubt still going on its original battery.
I can understand the fascination in watches, even the electronic types with hands, but digital – no. I find there is something pleasing about looking at hands that (do dishes?) no, that are in relationship to the top of an hour, and from that, I can judge better how much longer I have before a certain time is reached, and for some unknown reason, I can look at my watch and tell how long it will take me to get from A to B more easily. With digital – I have to do math, and I’m weak on mental math.
My daughter found a digital Timex in the park one day, and I wore it for a while until the clasp broke. It was pretty close to scrap metal when found, but it’s still going in a drawer. My favourite watch is my Father’s, it’s a gold plated Rotary he wore for the last twenty years of his life. But I don’t wear it – mainly because it’s not showerproof. Another of my favourites was a Sekonda (cheapskate!) a black case and strap with an eggshell face. It steamed up in the rain, so that was that. My current timepiece? I’m clean wristed – I have a pocket watch on a silver fob in my waistcoat. Nothing special – an Ingersoll ‘Triumph’. I bought it new when ‘on the buses’ in 1970, largely due to having a uniform pocket that was made for a pocket watch! Cost about £3 something back then.
My wife has a Casio ‘Baby G’. Loves it to bits. Can’t stand it myself. But I don’t have to wear it.
I do like the Breitlings though.