I have four watches, but only two work. The two that don’t work, though, have strong sentimental value and that’s a problem.
Despite my ever changing collections of stuff, I’ve never been big on watches and usually have only had one at a time. I still remember getting a Mickey Mouse several hundred years ago when I was little and a digital watch sometime in the late ’70s.
I also liked them as gadgets and went through a phase of Casio digital watches. I had a watch a lot like this one, with a built in touch screen calculator. (Note: this means to me the Apple Watch is kind of retro/old-fashioned.) I also remember, at one point, having a watch that combined both an analog dial and a digital readout (it looked vaguely like this).
Then, after my grandfather died in the early 1990’s I inherited his retirement watch, which was a Seiko 17 Jewel Automatic he got in 1979. His retirement date is engraved on the back.
I inherited it because I used to terrorize the company he worked for with my big wheel, er, I used to race around the factory floor on my Big Wheel. I’m sure that would violate at least 17 different federal workplace safety laws now and my parents would go to jail for allowing me to have access to “motorized” transportation. (Note: it probably violated 17 different federal workplace safety laws back then, too.)
The watch is self-winding and has the odd quirk, for an automatic watch at least, of actually gaining time each day rather than losing it. In fact, it gains about a minute a day and by the end of the week, if I don’t reset it, all I know is that it isn’t that time yet. This means I’m always early to places when I wear it.
I wore the Seiko until a couple years ago when I cracked the crystal and took it in to be repaired and overhauled. I then discovered it was so old it was on a Do Not Repair list. The repairman proved this by showing me the book with the watch’s serial number in a small square on one of the pages. I replaced it with a more modern Seiko 5 SNKE63k1 Automatic (that loses time each day so I have to be careful) and dirt cheap Timex Weekender for the season in which it rains.
Then, when my father died, I inherited the Omega Seamaster 120m Calypso he’d inherited from my grandfather when he died (which is kind of odd, since my dad actually gave my grandfather the watch so technically it was a repossession). The watch doesn’t work and the repair price would be large enough that it’s cheaper to buy a working version of the watch rather than have it repaired.
I hang on to the old watches mostly because it’s extremely hard to get rid of sentimental things, even when they are junk. I also have a couple pocket knives like that (more on those in the future).
The other problem is how to get rid of them. Someone in the family might want the retirement watch but the band on the Omega is probably the only thing useful on that watch. Still, it’s connected to two important men in my life and I can’t just throw it away.
Or at least I tell myself that. In the end I’ll probably just give them away to some tinkerer who wants to play with them and might be able to make them work. That seems a better end than the trash bin, but that might just be an excuse to keep them around a little longer.