The Stories Watches Can Tell

This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

Watches have always brought me peace. Not because of the attention they draw or the feeling of luxury they instill. Rather, for the simple reason that they, through everything the wearer goes through, remain the silent observer. Their even-tempered tick continues on through life’s uncertainties, and scratches accumulate through nitty gritty, tough times. A wristwatch should have battle scars, character, maybe a little class, and, most importantly, the ability to genuinely put a smile on your face. This brings the watch alive and allows it to blossom into an inanimate story teller. It should remind you of someone or something, an experience, a memory or a feeling which may not always be happy but certainly one that goes well with good company and a glass of scotch.

Looking at your wrist should be like glancing back in time; it should give you the perspective to recall all the memories you have endured together. Whatever it may be or wherever you see yourself, a watch serves as a literal symbol of time constantly sweeping forward, beckoning you to search for that next adventure. I’ve worn watches since the first grade, and to me this was the ultimate accessory. Having progressed from a mint-green digital watch from the dollar store to my first Swiss mechanical watch, all these pieces hold tremendous individual value for me. They remind me of personal changes, trips, memorable nights, disappointing moments, happy moments, and everything in between. Beneath all the scratches and blemishes, watches remind us not to lose sight of the past but to look forward to what’s to come.

Humans are natural storytellers; it’s how we connect and communicate effectively with one another and what makes us interesting and diverse. Stories are and continue to be a mystic entity that we have complete control over and the one tool we use that doesn’t involve any practice or finesse – just good company and open ears. They communicate a message, and to me a watch is an accessory that reminds me of my stories and how they’ve molded me into the person I am today. Whenever I look down at my wrist, I take comfort in seeing a rich repertoire of my own narratives and what they symbolize to me. I am not advocating that a watch makes the person, but rather the person makes the watch. We are defined by the stories that make and break us. We should embrace whatever we find and wear whatever new experiences proudly, all the while taking comfort in the fact that, one day, we will be given the chance to look back and share such stories.

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