Posted by: Rob | May 19, 2009


One thing I’ve always hated about modern life is the artificially imposed adherence to a clock.  I mean, I appreciate the passage of time and all, and I’ll grudgingly admit that the use of clocks enables the coordination of many an activity.  But I still resent having to “punch the clock” for all manner of things, not least of which is the job.

So, it’s not without a small measure of irony that tonight, while cleaning up the master bedroom in preparation for new paint and flooring, I came across my not insubstantial store of watches.

And, yes, I do wear a watch.  The watch I wear everyday is an old Timex Ironman Triathlon with Indiglo.  The current strap, a nifty velcro jobby, is incarnation I-have-no-idea.  The face is battered and scuffed.  The print is worn off the two stopwatch buttons on the front and the labels around the face ring for the side buttons have long since been worn away.

I bought the watch for a little under $30 (US) at the (relatively new) Wal-Mart store in Coffeyville, KS in March 1992.  I had just shown up there to start my new job at the refinery and I guess I didn’t have a watch.  I was bach’n* it for the first few months and all I had for wheels at the time was a mountain bike.  So, on one of my frequent bike trips to Wal-Mart for groceries and other necessities, I picked up this watch.

I don’t know why I’ve kept it so long.  I don’t think I’m attached to it.  Yet, it is the only one that I routinely wear.

The Timex Ironman is not my oldest watch (I don’t think).  I happened upon an old dress watch I own.  I don’t recall where it came from.  I suspect it was a birthday or Christmas gift from my (late) first wife.  The “gold” plating is worn off the band, showing the chrome metal through so much it’s hard to tell that it was once “gold”.

I have four other watches.  All of these came from my current employer.  One was a service award.  Five years.  It came with a one diamond pin.  I still use the pin as a tie tack.  Rarely.  The watch I never wear.

Another was a recognition gift to commemorate a plant start up.  It was a half year assignment in Texas back in 2002.  I’ve never worn that watch.  I think I have to get a link dropped from the band as it is too large.

The other two were given out at the plant site.  They were both in recognition of company and site EH&S goals.  One is a dressy “gold” watch and the other is a black rubber “Eurodesign”.  I wore both of those watches a little, but not in a long while.

The last time I had any of these watches out, it was to take them in to get new batteries.  It cost me about $50 or $60 to get new batteries put into four (or five, not sure) watches.  After that, they all went back into their respective cases and haven’t been worn since.

Checking them tonight, I couldn’t help but notice that all of the batteries are dead.

* There is probably no good way to represent the short form for the expression “bacheloring it”.  Hell, it’s probably not even a real word.  Imagine!


  1. Time – He flexes like a whore
    Falls wanking to the floor
    His trick is you and me, boy

    Time – In Quaaludes and red wine
    Demanding Billy Dolls
    And other friends of mine
    Take your time

    D. Bowie

  2. i have one watch. a running watch from the half-M in 2007. i use my phone and blackberry… and am screwed when i’m in a situation where i can’t have them. like you, i’m annoyed by the clock… yet ridiculously punctual. doesn’t make much sense, does it?

  3. I have either accepted or begun to believe that there is a correlation between my tardiness and my inability to keep a watch- I either lose them or they stop working in short order. I believe that I am not intended to keep time; I no longer make the effort to keep a watch, and I am neither more nor less tardy than I was before.

  4. I’ve had the watch I have now since the late 80s, before we moved to Washington. It still works. I also have a dress watch I haven’t put a battery in in decades.

    I can’t go without a watch. My left arm feels naked. It’s the nurse thing, that was the first thing you bought for nursing school. I even sleep with it on. However, punctual I am not in any way, shape or form. Go figure.

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