I once went for a year without a watch. My watch had broken and I was so fed up with it being wrong and having to keep adjusting it that I threw it away. I was living in Japan at the time and everywhere I looked there was a clock or a TV with a time flashing in the corner or an announcement of the time. So I decided to see whether I could manage without my own timepiece. I don't think I ever missed it.
I was involved with the opening of a new department store in Yokohama
and, rather embarrassingly, was given a watch as a thank you gift. It
had 'Yokohama' written round the face and has lasted until now, 25 years
As it was a rather fashionable looking watch (apart
perhaps from the engraved legend), I tended not to wear it for everyday
use, preferring one I bought in Petersfield market for £5. The cheap
one has also done me proud, surviving endless perspiration, constant
changes in temperature, the occasional submersion in a shower, one
temporary disappearance in a compost heap, and innumerable falls onto
hard surfaces. But last week it decided it had had enough and stopped.
Even with a new battery. It had anyway changed from seeming to be
carved out of pure solid gold to something that looked as though it had
recently sealed a pot of Marmite. So I threw it away and started
wearing my Yokohama watch full time.
I had to put a new battery
into it before I came to Devon. But every time I took the watch off, it
stopped. In the morning you could tell what time I went to sleep. Not
only that, but I started having to use a pair of pliers to pull out the
winder in the morning and a small hammer to knock it in again. I also
had to take it off and shake it from time to time, when it appeared to
be lagging. It was becoming too much. I took the watch off to shake
it, while in town today, and the strap broke. It was a sign. I slipped
it into a nearby litter bin. Don't tell the people in Yokohama.
I bought a new watch! Clearly a £5 watch had not lasted forever as I
had expected, so I splashed out on a £10 one. It is shiny gold, has a
crocodile type strap and has a French name written on it and
everything. 'Is it French?' I asked. 'No, it comes from Manchester.
But the movement was made in Japan.' So perhaps the Yokohama people
won't mind too much after all.