Something Old

Daddy's Watch

Daddy's Watch

No, not wedding related, though I am getting married in 10 days (10 days!). No, this is a long overdue fix I finally attended to. When my dad died eight years ago, among the things I took with me from his apartment (a favorite sweater, a reading lamp, his old drafting table) before putting the rest in storage, was this watch. I don’t remember seeing him wear it –he had a pocket watch (repeat: a pocket watch) for much of my life– but I loved it immediately. There is a dial for the day of the week, one for the date of the month. The battery was dead, probably had been for years before I found it, and the leather strap was dry and brittle. None of that mattered. I wore it every day for years, even though it never told time. (The old adage about even broken clocks being right twice a day is applicable.) I wore it with the face on the underside of my wrist, wanting to feel it against my pulse. It never occurred to me in all those years to get the battery replaced; I wasn’t wearing it to tell time, I was wearing it because it was my dad’s.

Until this past weekend, when, upon realizing another of my watches had died, and so had Jamal’s, there seemed to be no better time to take all three in for repair. What had taken me so long? The whole affair took less than ten minutes, at one of those ubiquitous, unremarkable jewelry shops, where they buzz you in at the front door. A new battery and a new leather strap, and a new life given to an old watch.

I turned the watch over in my hands when we got outside, sort of like I was seeing it for the first time. And in the most fittingly obvious coincidence, guess where the strap was manufactured?

Go on, guess.

Paris. Of course, Paris.

12 thoughts on “Something Old

  1. that is such a lovely story. this: “I wasn’t wearing it to tell time, I was wearing it because it was my dad’s.” just shot me right through the heart. sometimes it’s why we do things, just to feel close, closer, as close as we can to someone.

  2. loved this. i’ll sometimes open an old notebook with my father’s handwriting in it just to feel his presence. an article of clothes, a piece of furniture, a PLACE. these are all things that hold precious memories and unique ones to every person. i know this wasn’t meant to be wedding related and i don’t where you stand on old traditions given your feelings on conventional marriage, but you should wear this watch on your wedding as your “something old”. ;)

  3. Such a gorgeous watch and a wonderful anecdote! High five to pocket watches. A great-grandfather of mine repaired and had quite the collection of pocket watches. He was also pictured numerous times wearing a monocle (for fashion purposes only). He was a badass—ha-ha!

  4. you are a lovely story telling. and although this isn’t every ones idea of a story, i was definitely at that jewelry shop with you and i was definitely there when you turned it over, i could feel it. it is a beautifully timeless watch (no pun intended) and is a wonderful piece to carry your dad with you. and ten days. ten days? as an event manager, i can’t help but ask, is there anything i can do to help? from florida, i know. but if there is anything i can do, or talk about, i’m here :) i’ve had a wedding before and i know they can be stressful components and i’ve worked many weddings before so i know the behind the scenes to making them a success :) i cannot (and i’m sure you cannot!) wait for the day. xo!

  5. I have two watches of my granddads and a pocket knife (Cal has the other), so I know how meaningful it can be to have something like this. So lovely to have this reminder of your dad. It’s a beautiful watch and a beautiful memory.

  6. First, 10 days!! Yikes! And your dad carried a pocket watch? That tells me so much about the kind of man he was (the awesome kind).

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