Monday, 15 July 2024

On watch-looking

If you’re like me, you’re always bored. What keeps me semi-awake through the day? Looking at my watch, that’s what.

Even though I don’t have a real job, I often end up in office meetings. I have no idea why this happens. When I know I’m in for a particularly mind-numbing time, I’ll put on a watch with a truly expressive face, like a Rolex GMT from the ’60s with a beautiful gilt dial or a sombre but bracing A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin. As the meeting drags on, I’ll suddenly look sad or regretful and issue a profound sigh, lowering my head in the process. This is just an excuse to look at my watch for a good four, five, sometimes six seconds. Ah, that felt good, didn’t it?

I also like looking at my watch on the street. I try not to wear a lot of clothes so I don’t have to weasel my gorgeous timepiece out from under a cuff. I can look at my watch about 30 times during the 25-minute walk from my house to the pub – that’s 1.2 times per minute.

I wear a watch just about everywhere I go. I swim for two hours a day, so wearing a Tudor Black Bay or Nomos Minimatik is a great way to make sure I don’t get too pruney, if that’s an actual word. I prefer doing the breaststroke because it’s so much slower and gives me much more time to look at my watch. I’m in a pool, so it’s not like I’m trying to get anywhere. My shrink is a watch nut as well, so we’ll often put on our best watches when we meet for a session and use them as an entry point into discussing why I’m so fucked up. And then he’ll whip out his watch and say, “Well, that’s all the time we have for today.” Yeah, there’s really nothing watches can’t do.

From Fantastic Man n° 28 — 2018
Text by GARY SHTEYNGART