Taking time

I used to stop watches. I thought I did, anyway. When I was a child the succession of small Timexes all did the same thing. They stopped.

A month, at most. For reasons too tedious to go into again, they never got sent back to the shop, now I suspect because that would haev meant explaining where the shop was, and more relevantly, in which drawer in whose house and why the receipt was. This is the kind of stuff you deal with when your father runs two parallel households without having the balls to explain to either one of them that’s what he’s doing.

Why is this relevant? Because I don’t like secrets. But I also don’t like waste, so when I was able to get some space in my head to get a watch that actually worked for more than about a month or so, I switched to mechanical watches. About ten years back I bought a Trias. They use Swiss movements and assemble them into complete watches in Germany. I wanted a watch that would last me my lifetime. That didn’t depend on a battery to go into landfill every year. Something worth having. Something sustainable that said something about the way I wanted to live.

I found it for £35 on Ebay. I didn’t believe it either. I was in Newcastle the first time a few months later and wanterd to replace the chunky studded strap and took it into a jewellers, a proper one that didn’t have to ‘send it off to the repariers, sir,” who were as interested in watches as I was. They flipped the back off it with easy practice and told me yes, it’s an ETA 2487 movement. £35? Well done! Which was nice.

But that was ten years ago and somehow I’ve forgotten to ever get it serviced so now it’s stopped. It can be fixed. That’s the whole point. A straightforward service, taking it apart, cleaning each tiny cog, oiling it with something a bit thinner than Three-In-One and it’ll be good for another ten years.

Except the service is going to cost £125 and I can get a new watch on Ebay for £85. Not with an ETA 2487 movement, admittedly. By a company associated with Brietling. Oh because I spend too much time ferreting these things out, obviously. Why do you ask?

But that’s the choice. Stick to your principles and pay more? Or do the semi-responsible thing and get another watch that’ll last ten years. Because the alternative of wearing the damnably indestructible bright yellow 16 year-old G-Shock on my wrist now isn’t really an all-occasions option. Baby.

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