Thursday, March 15, 2007

Do you remember .........

........the land before time.

My grandchildren used to love to watch the cartoon movies about Dinosaurs supposedly in the 'Land before time' where most of the dinosaurs were able to talk and always treated each other gently except the Tyrannosaurus Rex who was kinda a meany and the greatest threat came from climate change of one kind or another.

I'll bet there is a special section of hell reserved for those environmentalist wacko brainwashing terrorists who prey on kids minds. Hope so anyway.

No..... I'm referring to a time not so long ago, when things didn't seem to move so fast. Before the advent of the quartz vibration regulated digital wrist watch, that we all wear now. Even I, anarchist and rebel without a cause that I am.

I remember when the Pulsar watch was the newest rage. Then they went digital and analog dials seemed to suddenly disappear.
I'm glad they made a come back, cause even without my glasses, I can tell approximately what time it is.

My first watch was a Timex with a gold plated expandable band. I thought I was all that, with that watch on my wrist. After the Astronauts landed on the moon I just had to have a watch like the one they wore. An Omega Speedmaster II. A chronograph which I still have, although without the original stainless steel band.
It still keeps perfect time just like it was made to do, even if you do have to manually wind it each day.

But, I refer to an even earlier time children. When our grandparents and great grand parents carried watches made to be carried in the pocket. Pocket Watches, greater and not so great depending on your economic status. When my maternal Grandfather passed away, his gold plated 7 jewel Elgin came down to me. I still have it, but even when he had it, it constantly needed repair and couldn't be depended on.

Railroad and Doctors watches were considered necessary instruments of their trade. They were generally of higher quality and accuracy. Probably a 23 or 27 jewel watch of any one of dozens of brands. Many of these were encased in 14 or even 18 karat gold cases, delicately engraved with birds, flowers, vines or other decorations.

Cowboys carried theirs in the watch pocket of their Levis'. Bankers and Undertakers carried theirs in their suits vest pocket with a gold chain crossing their ample stomachs.

Folks would take them out slowly and gently. Open the case and leisurely look to see what time it was. You could tell how important a person thought he was by the amount of time and the deliberateness with which they consulted their watch. If it caused you to wait for them, that was all the better.

Over the past half century many collectors of those old fine watches acquired as many fine ones as their budget allowed. There are still many of these, mostly middle aged men, (sorry ladies) around. But the interest is waning fast as they die off.

I have acquired a couple nice pocket watches. Not so much to collect but with the anticipation of turning a small profit. They're not really all that expensive, but, I picked them up at approximately the price they commanded when new or less. All I paid less than $50.00 for . They're gold plated or filled. Hard to sell these days.. In fact in the last 6 months I bought quite a few solid gold pocket watch cases at scrap value. People just can't sell what they have and sell the gold for scrap and part out the works for horologist's to use as repair parts.

It signals the loss of a slower, gentler time, which, for some wistful reason, I missed and miss.

So I slink back into my kudzu covered grotto.......

...Where I reside, and am fine Jean.

1 comment:

Jean said...

Old, elegant watches for slow, elegant times. I guess we have to do what we can in our own lives to keep some of that slow and elegant style around us.
I think kudzu might be the perfect place for that.

Sometimes I worry. Thanks for the wave, dear.