Three Hands, One Face

I never realized that I had wrists the size of a fourth grade girl or that I’m uniquely qualified to be Robin Williams’ stand-in for any tight-frame forearm shots.

Buying my first watch makes me think about a lot of things that don’t have to do with the time.

Helps make my lower arm look tough.

Sir Ken Robertson pointed out in one of the most famous TED talks that people over the age of 25 would be more likely to wear a wrist watch than people under the age of 25.

I am less than 25 years of age.

I own a Blackberry, an iPad, a computer and I have a stereo in my car. All of which put telling the time at a high priority.

Until last week, I didn’t own a watch, so I set out to purchase one.

The primary job of a wrist watch is to keep time. Of course, some have compasses, calendars, speedometers, tachometers, altimeters or lunar phases. I was concerned with neither bells nor whistles. The primary function of my watch would be to establish the illusion I am greater than 25 years of age.

I bought a watch for vanity purposes. I’ve set it to the correct time, but I’m not in the habit of checking it. I see clocks all over the place, circles on the wall whose only purpose is to be too big to fit on my wrist, keep me well aware of the passage of seconds and hours.

Taking in an eBook
This watch seems to enjoy the wind on its face during the evening commute.

I needed style. Modern, but traditional, non-digital, understated. I needed simplicity with big numbers, not roman numerals. No compass, no speedometer, tachometer, altimeter or lunar phases.

Oh, and because of my fear of commitment, it needed to be cost effective.

The result? A Skagen Denmark titanium with a steel mesh band. Vague enough to go unnoticed, bold enough to make a point. Cost effective enough that if I end up being one of those free spirits that follows my own time table, I won’t be financially remiss.

I’ve been wearing this watch for a week now and I’m astonished how quickly it’s become an integrated part of my life. I take it off to type more comfortably and if I forget to put it on before heading to a meeting or out for lunch, the proverbial feeling of “nakedness” is quickly apparent.

Prepping the components for a batch of chili

But if you ask me what time it is, I’ll reach for my phone or lean toward the computer monitor before any inclination of looking at my left wrist sets in. Contrarily, I’ll take swift glances at that same wrist to appear incredibly busy.

Most of the time I stare completely through the clearly pointing hands and force myself to remember to check one of the previously stated time keepers soon.

Years of faithful readership of Esquire magazine has taught me that a watch means something: My time is valuable. Now, I have a watch to remind the rest of the world of that.