When I turned 18 my parents gave me a watch. My parents are usually epically good present givers (like seriously good). They have instilled in me this weird desire to give the most amazing presents, which is the bore of my boys life, he is more of the head-out-last-minute-and-but-a-scented-candle type (yes, that’s a legitimate type). But anyway, I had high expectations come that particular birthday. You see, it’s kind of a big deal, turning 18 (at least for British people, in NZ it’s your 21st that everyone goes bat shit for). So when all my excitement boiled down to a thin black strapped watch with a red minute had, that did one job (a job that my phone could do whilst also texting my friends), I was shocked. Shocked and kind of upset, I didn’t understand. Had I been naughty? Was this the birthday equivalent of Christmas coal?
I put on the face you are meant to put on, and said thank you kindly. I listened to the story about how fancy the watch was, how it was a ‘Mondaine’ and based on the Swiss railway clocks (basically it was a very sort after timepeice). And I still didn’t get it.
Six years on from then and I can’t for the life of me remember what I actually wanted for my birthday. No doubt it would have ended up in the bin or broken. But this watch remains (in almost perfect nick). To be honest I haven’t worn it loads (you see now my phone does even more things whilst telling me the time), but it has been coming out to play with my style more and more.
I wouldn’t say it’s grown on me, I would say that I’ve grown into it. How was a teenager with peroxide blonde hair and a bad love affair with and overzealous side fringe ever going to see the importance (and beauty) of something so timeless (ha)? Now I look at this piece of history with awe. I lovingly waterproof the leather strap and even once got the battery changed (that’s a lot of up keeping for a girl who’s previously mentioned dyed hair quickly turned into an “ombré” ‘do of it’s own accord). What once sat in a box barely looked at, is now a common feature on my wrist, nestled between my stacks of neon beads (hey, I’ve still got a bit of that eighteen-year-old class in me).
I think watches are making a come back. I think the world of fashion is starting to welcome these gorgeously simple and functional pieces back into its life like a long lost lover. It’s the Baby G trend of the 00s, but with less pink plastic and more rustic leather. Ladies, throw away those cellphones (ok, don’t be too dramatic here, maybe just chuck them in your bag) because a sign of the real fashion elite is no longer a stunning pair of Louboutins, but a designer (somewhat oversized) watch.
Or maybe I am just getting old enough to finally appreciate a “classic”. Shit. Pretty sure it’s all down hill from here.
NB A terribly belated thank you to my parents, who seem to have (yet again) aced it on the present giving. Even if it took my class a few years to catch up.