You have seen the world change, seen it go from analog to digital in no time. You have seen radios turn into podcasts, the TV turned into smart screens and telephones turn into smartphones. Cities became bigger and better, the commute became better and smoother and travel has never been so common. Not just that, people have changed too. People have evolved from being local citizens to global citizens. However, what has remained the same, among other things, is the classic chronographs, the quartz watches.
Sure there are smart watches too. Some of them even show your pulse rate but really who needs that? Have they been able to vanquish these watches like radio was vanquished or the old black and white TVs or telephones? Of course not. People still wear these watches. People still show them off when posing for a candid click. People still like it to compliment the three-piece suit they are wearing. Heck, even the celebrity models wear them still for those gorgeous photo-shoots.
So, what makes it so enduring? Is it the simplicity or the style or its distinctive tick? Is it one of those things or all of them? What made these watches survive the seemingly inevitable change that world keeps facing? Maybe the answers to these questions aren’t in the devices themselves but what they stand for. Maybe, they have become a symbol that shows solidarity towards an idea that wearers support. And maybe, some of them don’t even realize that they are part of a revolution.
Ask a teenager today what device he prefers to see the time, and he would probably shrug and show his smartphone with a what-kind-of-a-question-is-that look on his face. He would smirk at your naivety and pass you without giving a second thought. But the same isn’t true for someone who was born in a time which was a little simpler. Someone who has seen these changes unfold hasn’t quite been able to adjust to screen for the simple chore of finding the time.
It may seem a little stubborn if seen from that perspective, but the fact that these watches still sell are proof to the fact that they are dearly being held by baby boomers and in some cases, the early millennial. Perhaps, they like the feel of the strap around their wrists, the weight of time pulling them a little down, reminding them how time changes and how it brings weight with it, baggage that never leaves you.
Is there a meaning to all this?
Maybe there isn’t; Maybe nothing in life means anything no matter what the Gurus tell you. Some things are just there; they don’t mean anything. But what if they do? If these men wearing the watches meant something, I would say that it means they are connected to their pasts in an intimate connection that even they themselves don’t understand.
Most of these people who wear watches have been given those as gifts by someone who loves them or who used to. Perhaps, these people aren’t in their lives and so, they wear watches to remind them that people drift away. Perhaps, the person who gave them the watch isn’t in this world anymore and they wear the watch to remind themselves that time does end ticking sometimes.
Maybe, they are still together, and they wear the watch to remind them how the ticking is slower when they are far from the person they absolutely love to their hearts’ content. Maybe, there are stories behind all these watches on the wrists which we may never hear. Maybe, these watches wouldn’t have been here, if it weren’t for these very stories and the basic emotions attached to them, memories and nostalgia, always reminding them of happier times. Maybe, watches would go on to live until men do because if time is so entwined with the lives of people, how could watches be left far behind?
Even if we end up running away, time does tend to catch up with us, and when it does, maybe we would have a watch on our wrist to tell us that it’s here.