Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Watch out.

I have also viewed ‘watches’ from a cold, functional stand-point. So long as the one that I am using, tells me the time with reasonable accuracy, I carry on with it. In the many decades of my existence, I must have owned no more than five or six watches. The last change happened when a fond nephew, disgusted with the antiquated piece that circled my wrist, insisted on replacing it with a more contemporary piece.

In my circle of friends, I have seen the entire spectrum. At one end are guys like me, and at the other are the aficionados. One of my friends has this compulsive need to change his watch once in a few months. He says that certain cyclical physiological and hormonal changes inside his body trigger this impulse. Another keeps half a dozen watches in his wardrobe and chooses one every day to suit his mood, attire or whim.

Yet another one likes his watches loaded with as many features as possible. Once, at the airport in Frankfurt, he was about to shell out 1000 Euros for a fancy watch. I asked him what was special about the watch and he told me that it was certified as water-proof (not just water-resistant, he explained the difference) even at a depth of 200 metres under the sea. It would release some inert gas to balance out the pressure, he pointed out.

I told him not to be an idiot, and hurriedly led him away to the flight which was about to depart. For one thing, he did not even know how to swim and the chances of him reaching 200 metres below sea level was remote, unless he was inside a submarine. For another, I certainly did not want to be an accessory to the crime of shelling out good money on a branded gizmo that reminded me of the series, “The man from U.N.C.L.E” where the agent sported a watch that had a built-in thermo-indicator, compass, laser gun, altimeter, radio, camera, etc. The tag line was, “the man who had a watch that had 99 different uses. 100, if you needed to tell the time”.

At the extreme end of the spectrum of watch lovers, is Pradipta. He is not only passionate about them, he also has an encyclopaedic knowledge on the history behind every brand of watch. The Hindu BusinessLine invited him to write a column on watches, and he has been doing so. The column is published in SmartBuy, a fortnightly supplement to the paper.

On my prompting, he started a blog called the “Keen Watcher” where he has cross-posted the articles. Do drop in there and give him your feedback.


Sat said...

A ladies watch is a different ball game altogether, it's not just an instrument, it doubles as an accessory too! :D (guess that applies to some brands for men too, fossil comes to my mind instantly)
but on a day to day basis, i just can't do without a titan digital watch (which is until my husband misplaced it)...the time zone aspect helps when you need to call an overseas client!...and it's digital so it cant trick you with those ambiguous angles the hand might be positioned at as with it's analog counterpart :D

dipali said...

Ah, used to live happily with one wristwatch at a time- serial watchogamy. Now I have several, which means remembering to wear the one most suited to the outfit. But some watches are now truly works of art.

Raj said...

sat, a true watch connoisseur will not be seen dead with a digital watch.

dipali, that's the problem with having too many options