The Mowing Rolex

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Mowing the yard is a chore I actually enjoy. I could probably knock it out in about forty-five minutes, but I like to take my time and stretch it to twice that. Plus, there’s the added time for a beer or two while admiring the cleaned up grounds.

My usual attire for lawn maintenance includes my oldest pair of Patagonia baggies and a striped OCBD with a tattered collar and cuffs. I pop on a sweat stained Detroit cap from back when the Motor City Kitties were good and pull on some white calf-length socks. Before heading to the garage, I slip on a pair of grass stained Mexico 66 Onitsuka Tigers and look down at my watch.

The Datejust ticking away happily on my wrist is just too fancy for mowing the yard. It’s a ref: 16220. This beauty flies somewhat under the radar with its engined turned stainless-steel bezel, though the jubilee bracelet catches an eye from time to time. Regardless, it has no place cutting grass.

Years ago, I’d put on a beat up Seiko skx009 while doing anything grungy or dirty. The issue is, after getting used to the precision of a Rolex, it’s hard to go backwards. Sadly, the fan favorite Seiko loses noticeable time even when mowing the backyard alone.

So then I tried my old Apple Watch, but after a few passes with the mower, DING!, “are you working out?” If I sit down for a cold one, DING!, “you should stand up.” A few clouds in the sky, DING!, “it will rain soon.” So pessimistic. What’s nice about the Datejust is its namesake— it only tells me the time and the date.

When I got the Datejust, I told my wife that was it, my last one—I was done with watches. Raise your hand if you’ve told that white lie before? Cross my heart, I truly meant it, but it turns out I am a liar, just like all of you. I didn’t think of all the weekend chores, and that a Datejust is far too dressy for housework.

Lucky for me, Rolex designed the perfect watch for chores, the Explorer. It was good enough to tackle Mt. Everest all those years ago, and that means it can handle any size honey-do-list my wife can put together and then some.

I have now had an Explorer ref: 114270 for a few months, and in that stretch it has explored the yard as well as dinner and drinks plenty of times. Granted, I have no idea what day it is while I am “out in the field,” but I certainly know what time it is. Now I think I can finally say my watch journey is complete, except for the last thing on this list—fix the dishwasher. I should probably swing by my local AD and get in line for a Submariner before I get started on that one.

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