Thursday, February 17, 2005


I have five watches. I only have two arms. Why am I so obsessed with time?

It is almost a law in Hong Kong that every citizen must have a gaudy watch. So, I have an Adidas sports watch that has lots of gold and brushed stainless steel. It isn't Rolex gaudy but it'll do. I also have a cheap digital watch that I bought to jog and hike with. It only cost me HKD $20.00 which is less than USD $3.00. I also have a really strange watch that is a tourist thing that clips onto a belt. I keep it on soft pack that functions like a brief case. There is also the cheap pocket watch that came in a delux edition video game. Lastly, I have beautiful old Swiss pocket watch that I inherited from my grandfather. It used to be gold plated but the gold has been rubed off. He bought it in 1932 and used it everyday for many years. It has a weak spring and needs to be wound every 15 minutes so it stays in a drawer until I find a jeweler who can fix it. I bring this up because all but one of my watches, the Swiss one uses a battery. Now I cannot by most measures be called an environmentialist. However, batteries in watches bother me. It seems to be a law of the universe that the one day every three-years that I actually need a watch the battery will be dead. Three of my four battery powered watches are, at this moment, dead.

This mean that I am seriously considering purchasing a self-winding watch.

Yes, it would be expensive. But, I have the money.

Yes, they are gaudy. But, have you seen any of the nicer battery powered watches lately. They aren't exactly understated.

I know that a battery powered watch is less accurate. But, three minutes a month is not that big a deal to me. Besides If I'm running that close to being late I should have left earlier.

I guess what I'm really complaining about here is the propensity to change or "upgrade" technology simply because it is new. Does a battery powered watch actually offer any improvement over a mechanical clock? Well not really, at least none that I can think of and battery powered watches have one huge drawback. The battery will eventually die. If you wear a self winding watch everyday it will never stop provided you wear it everyday and walk around a little.

I have a friend that has an expensive digital watch that allows him to store phone numbers and that has a calculator pad. I don't see that as a convinience. It is troublesome and it doesn't save him any work. By giving him a way to organize random contacts it helps to ensure that he has to contact them. He can't simply forget them. I believe that most people are already too busy.

This get even worse with a cellular phone. I think I am the only person in Hong Kong to not have a cell phone. I simply refuse to carry one. My time is my time and don't want people calling to ask what I'm doing with it. But, cell phones are another rant for another day

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