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[personal profile] kefen
I can't remember exactly when I got my first wristwatch. I think it may have been sometime around 3rd grade, when I was nine or ten. Back then, watches were silly things you wore to show off that A. you were kind of a big boy now and B. you were smart enough to decipher the analog display.

If you weren't smart enough to make sense out of an analog watch, you had a digital watch to show off that, B. you were kind of a nerd. Which was actually much cooler if said watch made light, noise, both or more at recess. I think that was the first watch I ever had. It didn't really do anything cool but it had clearly legible seven-segment digits and that was enough for the lazy kid I was.

Back then, though, it was really little more than a gadget. Kids' watches were usually cheap Casio or Swatch, meant to be lost, broken or traded, I suppose.

When I got into high school, however, I was given my first real, serious, big boy watch. It was a black Casio with a digital display and world map. It could display the time and date in several timezones, it had a built-in thermometer and it was actually waterproof. I loved it, I must have worn that watch for nearly a decade.

And when I say worn it, I mean it in every sense of the word. I almost never took it off, not for sleeping, not for showering. It was indestructible. The only thing that failed was the plastic bracelet or the batteries. I had the former changed a couple times and could easily replace the latter myself with a tiny screwdriver. Granted, toward the end, I doubt that watch would have survived being immersed in water for very long, but, I kid you not, it survived showers, dishes, swimming pools, ponds and even seawater.

Having it on literally at all times made me kind of dependent on it to the point of still being obsessed by time nowadays. Though not in a very good way, I'm afraid. Being rather laid back and, to make things worse, French, I tend to be late more often than not. Yet I have to be able to tell time at a glance. You'd never see me without a watch back then, except in very rare occasions, at the deepest of the laziest vacation.

I've grown used to always be able to tell time at a glance. Be it from my watch, an old-fashioned clock in the room or any kind of clock that comes with most of today's appliances. Our current apartment has a clock in nearly every room. Regular clock, alarm clock, microwave clock, you name it. I'm not even talking about the computers and/or smartphones.

At some point I grew older, became a student, and my mum offered me a more proper, more serious watch for my birthday, replacing the old Casio, the bracelet of which was dead again, the plastic solidified following the shape of my wrist. I still kept the remains and carried them around in my pencil case for a few more years.

My new watch was a Certus. Heavier than the Casio and mostly analog. I say "mostly" because it did have a small digital display that could also show time, date, alarm time and so on. I used it for date, since I'm the kind of guy who tends to forget what day of the week it is without some machine to remind me.

That watch also seldom left my wrist for most of my adult life, although it didn't go through half as much abuse as the previous one, and I took somewhat better care of it. It still went through water a lot, and bears a lot of scratches. I probably would still be wearing it today, had the mechanism not been randomly stopping for reasons still unknown — as far as I can tell, the battery is fine, the digital part of the watch is still happily working but the sweep hand keeps getting stuck, somehow.

Even before it broke down, that watch proved a bit too heavy, I would take it off for most of the day and just let it sit on my desk. When it stopped working altogether, I reluctantly gave it up entirely, and had to make do with "only" my phone or, while at work, my computer. In this day and age, a nerd like me occasionally gets teased for wearing something as archaic as a wristwatch, but I do hate the clumsy, cumbersome process of checking time on my phone. Not wearing a watch always felt a little weird to me, like something as mundane but important as glasses, or, better, pants, was missing.

It is, of course, a little silly, and I could rather easily live without it, all things considered. That was a bit more than a year ago.

Now, if you read everything up to this point, you will then understand how I got all misty-eyed when, in the middle of my birthday dinner, my beloved Ferret gave me sober-looking white box.

I had vaguely mentioned that, yes, a new watch would be a nice gift, and that I would seek his advice. It turns out he was way ahead of me. He knew I wanted something light, something sober. Something I was going to wear all day every day, but not abuse the way I had the previous ones. And I truly love what he picked for me.

I kept checking the time all evening after that, and I still do, occasionally. Silly as it sounds, it's comforting to me on a very deep, very childish level. I feel like an old friend is back, in the shape of sleek, pretty, useful jewelry. I wear it all day, every day, it's the only piece of jewelry I don't take off when I get back home after work.

So, yeah, I could hardly just mention in a birthday post: "Hey, I got a new watch, neat!" It went a tiny bit beyond that. Thanks to my dear boyfriend, I'm carrying my own time again. And that does make me feel better. Go figure!

(Most images borrowed from Google Images, since the Internet takes much better pictures than I do.)
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