On Timepieces for Men
I believe a man's watch must be two things, and I pen the following as spoken in my humble opinion of course, the words and ideas here having been mutually inspired by a Grandfather Clock that has been in our family for nearly 300 years, and my own recent forays into the neverending world of horology. A man may choose to have any type of timepiece or no timepiece at all, and he may find great meaning and metaphorical substance in his chosen movement or lack thereof. But as a student of history, one who appreciates the simple pleasures in life, and a disciple of the value of putting pen to paper, I believe that not only should a man indeed have a watch, I believe it should adhere to the following two criteria, and I believe in the subsequent thoughts as strongly as it is realistically possible to hold beliefs about the role of time and timepieces in the lives of men today. For while a watch for some men is simply that, a watch, whether used as an accessory or a means to keep pace with the day, it is much more, indeed it is intrinsically more for the man who thinks and thinks deeply about time, the purpose of life itself, and his place in the cosmos, however large or small that place may be.
Thus a man's watch must encompass the two following characteristics, in no particular order of importance, for no one of the subsequent characteristics is more valuable, nor is one decree more applicable than another to the topic at hand. First, it must be mechanical. *batteries not included, nor are they needed or desired, for the man of historical sophistication appreciates the craftsmanship and engineering of the purely mechanical timepiece. In a world dominated by digital everything, the mechanical watch is a reminder of days gone by, when men spent their leisure reading, writing, and conversing deeply on a soul level with fellow men; the thought that one day these simple pleasures in life would be replaced by screens of various sizes and resolutions was absent from the collective psyche.
Two, the watch must be hand-wound only, for while an automatic watch is surely mechanical, it is with the manual winding of the watch where the true value lies for said watch in a man's life. In my humble opinion a man must have to manually wind his watch, and I believe this as strongly as I believe that a true pen takes ink from a bottle. While perhaps a different article for a different time, the thought that a man should also have to manually refill his pen is a similar belief I hold dear, and for the same reasons he should have to manually wind his watch that I admonish below.
In the mechanical, hand-wound watch we see many moving parts of precise measurement and sophistication, the proper functioning of the watch dependent upon the correct working and timing thereof. Consequently, in a man's life we see many moving parts of similar fashion and precision, and the overall success of his life is also dependent on the timing and successful operation of said individual parts. Thus the hand-wound mechanical watch requires periodic, perhaps even daily attention, for the power reserve of the mainspring must be refreshed from time to time and day to day. Likewise in a man's life he is reminded that while hard charges and a driving spirit are paramount to his victories in the short term, success over the course of a career and a lifetime requires daily periods of proper rest and recovery as well. Yes, a man must recharge from time to time and manually wind his inner watch, his inner mainspring, for even the greatest of men throughout time immemorial required, albeit in some cases small, periods of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Thus when a man manually winds his mechanical watch he is reminded of the aforementioned matters, and takes time to pause, gather himself, and recharge his inner being, his inner power source, for manually winding a mechanical watch is a meditation of sorts, forcing the subject to be mindful of time, space, and the need for such pauses in his life. The man of historical sophistication makes the connection between the mechanical, hand-wound watch and his life, for the two are certainly intertwined in myriad of ways; one need only glimpse beneath the surface of the skeleton case and delve into deep matters of the heart to see the value and symbiotic nature of this relationship henceforth.