In my childhood days, wearing a watch the first time was kind of a rite of passage. In those days (not much; just 30-odd years back), a watch announced the boy has grown and he’ll soon be a man. Trousers, too; shorts were for anyone under 13.

Maybe the scene was different at your end; or maybe not that different. I won’t exaggerate like wearing a watch changed my life but it definitely pumped in something that inflated – maybe a wee bit – adolescent ego. One reason we awaited exams is we were allowed to wear watches and by 16, almost all of us friends received their first. Compared to today’s standards they appear bland; if someone had a G-Shock, he was the KING! Quite understandably, as teens, our interest primarily went towards geeky looking tech watches.

It was not until the pretty-late twenties the larger lot got serious about analogs and ana-digis; however, my first analog quartz – polished steel and a dark dial – came at 15. There were no cell phones, so parents also encouraged you wearing the watch as a device to remind you the time to get home.

So I already here someone screaming: “Great! Since you didn’t have a phone, you had a watch. But with my phone, I can even set a vibrating alarm to remind me when to get back.”

Sure you can, but the watch is less distracting. It is not just about getting home but also about distractions. Try to recall how many times you have picked the phone to check the time and got lost in the social media labyrinth? To some, it’s compulsive; for others, it is obsession. I have seen many people flickering forth their touch-screens while a conversation is on with a typical – yes, yes; I’m listening – now try doing that with a watch.It’s bad manners and you need to be real mad for that. It’s not possible even with the most high tech watches like the Astron or the Sky Cockpit.

Going back to where we began, a watch doesn’t allow you spend time unnecessarily. It’s all about useful functions. Checking altitude or barometric pressure or some other time zone can’t grow into a habit and not everyone needs these functions. They are not meant for all.

So, no loose talk about the utility of a watch; let’s talk on the art of wearing one.

I’m not sure how many of you hold ornamental value towards your watch; I do. That; however, is nothing to brag about; my watches – at the most – have been subjects for many conversations over the last 18 years. There are other things that start this kind of conversations – for example, jewelry or designer clothes – but most users can’t go beyond brand-name dropping and that’s where it dies. With my watches, some transformed to lasting friendships in high places. For watches – how much ever you deny – send signals about our social status and success. Some misinterpret it as a watch giving you identity; in my opinion, they are diffident, little brats with nothing but money as a boost. Stepping outside the norm is a mindset that money can’t buy; even if it does, it’s for a short time.

[Part II…click here]

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