Vintage pocket watches: It’s about time!

Is the use of wrist watches diminishing? Do we even need them anymore? After all, we have clocks on computers and cell phones, televisions and DVD players. No longer is a clock one of the luxury options on a car – it is practically essential. But if you do happen to wear a timepiece, what kind do you prefer?

I’m not sure if the type of timepiece a person uses tells us any secrets about his or her personality characteristics, but you can bet a person who carries and uses an old pocket watch views the world differently from a person who wears a Rolex or other expensive watch.

History suggests that the person with a pocket watch is almost certain to be a male. In fact, the pocket watch itself alludes to the masculine gender. In the early 1900s, males refused to wear wristwatches; it was considered unmanly for a male to strap a bracelet-like watch around his arm. World War I changed the thinking on that, probably when a few good men were shot while reaching into their fob pocket to find out the time.

You would think that people who carry pocket watches may be more laid-back and not as time-pressured as those who wear wristwatches. It would stand to reason that people who use pocket watches have to be less concerned with time: Just think about all the steps it takes to stand up or lean over, reach into a small pocket, pull out a pocket-watch, and flip it open. With a wristwatch all we have to do is move our arm slightly to meet the sightline of our eyes. And, that makes it a lot easier to covertly keep up with the time.

I’ve always liked pocket watches, but to my great disappointment, I can’t remember a single male character in my life reaching into his fob pocket, flipping open the lid, and announcing the time. That would have been such a prized memory.

I don’t know if there’s any relationship between not carrying a timepiece and feeling time-pressured. Although I could never be one, I admire people who refuse to wear or carry a watch. On the surface at least, these folk would appear to have less interest in keeping up with the time of day.

Wrist watches and pocket watches are often associated with memories of people who have been a part of our earlier lives. My own memory involves a tiny gold watch that my grandmother wore. I admired the watch and, when she took it off to wash dishes, I would often slip it over my tiny wrist. I still remember the way the stretch-band would slide up and down my arm as I walked around with her wristwatch, constantly “checking the time.”

It’s hard to forget my first watch. It was a Hopalong Cassidy wristwatch with Hoppy’s arms and hands functioning as the hour and minute hands. I have no idea what happened to such a great collectible item, but somewhere along the line, it rode off into the sunset, probably no longer in one piece.

The number of clocks and watches we own and use has also increased dramatically as the price of these items has decreased. Years ago many people had only one or two clocks. I remember my aunt had one clock, a horribly noisy electric clock that would growl and groan as the second hand worked its way around. Boy, I really loved that clock!

Nowadays many people have clocks for each room, several for some rooms. It’s the same with wristwatches. We can have one watch for our morning exercise, another for wearing to work, and still another for going out for the evening. Inexpensive battery-operated watches and clocks keep excellent time, much better than the older mechanical watches with multiple jewels.

Clocks and watches, and a few other items, have gotten cheaper and yet more dependable. But can a good, lasting memory be instilled with a cheap but dependable Timex?

It’s about TIME for family fun.

Timex invites you to take a series of fascinating journeys through time. Trace the history of the Timex company from the 1850s to the very latest in today’s technology.

Learning is fun in the resource center, which provides interactive computers and books. Visit the Timex Museum Store before you leave! It carries a wide assortment of Timex® watches. Plus, you will find a nice selection of Guess®, Nautica® and Timberland® watches for all of your gift or personal needs. And, you’ll find a unique collection of souvenirs, such as miniature clocks and collectibles … even a book on the history of Timex from the 1850s to the present!

If you go
175 Union Street
Brass Mill Commons Mall
Waterbury, CT 06706
Visible from the highway: I84 exit 22

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