For some reason I can’t stand wearing a watch on my wrist. I hate the feeling of control or being controlled by something other than my own whims and meanderings. The constant visible ticking by of time reminds me of what I’d rather be doing or how a timetable other than my own is ruling my life.
When I was young I remember how exciting, sophisticated and ‘adult’ wearing a watch seemed to be. The first watch I owned was a ‘free gift’ which came with a purchase from a gift store in the city. It was digital, had a white plastic band and had a picture of two local theme park characters on its face. Oh how I loved that watch…I wore it everywhere, at home, at school and in bed.
Then came the sad day when I looked at my watch and saw that the digital display was no longer visible, the battery had died. Being as it was a very cheap watch, once the battery it came with ran flat, there was no way of reviving it. It was a case of once the watch stopped, it was time to throw it out. I wish I knew before I fell so heavily in love that my lover was so disposable and could leave me so suddenly.
For a while I wore a cheap red plastic sports watch which held little appeal but was still functional. I wore the watch when I needed to for school, but that was about it.
After saving my money for several months I headed off for a day at the local travelling exhibition where showbags were available related to different themes. There were showbags related to My Little Pony bags, Cadbury Chocolate bags, Care Bear bags and Alf bags. Remember Alf? I do. I loved that crazy furry alien. I loved him so much that I bought an Alf watch that year from the exhibition. It was a plush watch that sat on the wrist and the time could be seen by opening his mouth and looking at the digital display held within. I was smitten.
I remember wearing that watch to school and enjoying it for a while, but its size and conspicuousness made be self-conscious. It was also a bit of a target for some of the less nice kids to focus on. I took Alf home that day and put him away in the drawer. He was never worn again.
The next few years saw a parade of nondescript unmemorable watches that I neither recall the appearance of nor retain any significant emotional connection to.
Then for a birthday gift I was given the opportunity to choose a new watch for myself (within a modest price range of course). It was a basic analogue watch with white face, black hands, a black leather band and gold fittings. As I browsed the jewellery store that day I think the watch chose me, so beginning a unique emotional connection. I was once again in love. I wore that watch everywhere, and I mean everywhere.
This obsessive love would ultimately lead to the sad demise of this watch. Against my better judgement I left my watch on the bathroom bench while I was in the shower and so moisture gradually worked its way into the watch face and into its inner workings. Eventually this rendered the watch unreadable and unusable. Another heartbreak in my line of watch lovers.
Once again I found myself on a self destructive path of unmemorable and quickly forgotten watches. This continued for some time until I felt it was time to invest in a decent serious ‘adult’ watch for myself.
I knew just the type I was after. The style was considered all very fashionable that year. All metal band with gold and silver elements, analogue watch with after glow and date functionality. While I had the money to buy it outright, I decided instead to pay if off over a few weeks. After a slow start together we hit it off and while we spent much time in eachother’s company, our relationship never reached the dizzy heights that I’d shared with previous watches.
Eventually though my watch fell out of favour. It just didn’t have the same classic appeal it once had. It weighed heavy on my wrist and the gold and silver metal seemed too showy, too obvious. I only wore it when absolutely necessary for work. As soon as I got home each day, the watch was the first thing to come off. On Friday afternoons it was unlikely to return to my wrist again until the following Monday morning.
I soon discovered that it was all watches and not just this one in particular that I came to barely be able to stand. After so many years spent in a love-hate relationship with my wristwatches I thought it time to try something new. Thus has begun my quest for pocket watch lockets – pocket watches that have been modified to be worn around the neck by women. The picture at the start of this piece is the first pocket watch locket that I have purchased. One side has a beautiful pattern and on the other is an etching of three horses.
I’m hoping that a watch locket will simply be another piece of jewellery and not something which ticks away on my wrist. As always, and ironically, the passage of time will tell whether wearing a watch on my neck is less irritating than wearing one on my wrist. While I may never take to wearing a watch ‘after hours’, I do feel that I may be at the beginning of a new and wonderful relationship. Please don’t break my heart pocket watch…