In the Mood for Time
Updated: May 22
I’m not a hoarder. My personal philosophy is if I’m not using it, I don’t need it. There are obvious exceptions to this rule such as a fire extinguisher, First Aid Kit, or an original VHS copy of the Star Wars trilogy. Yes, the one they sold at Target before George Lucas decided to “fix” some things. But when it comes to things like fashion accessories, you probably desire to have a few options.
Mood could most easily be defined as (a temporary state of mind or feeling). During the past 3 months, my mood has fluctuated from mild depression to exuberant joy. Assuredly, this is a natural reaction based on what’s been going on in the world and how I’m dealing with it. Since the quarantine started, time has played an incredible factor in my days. And if like me, you’re in the habit of keeping track of time, there’s a wonderful little device that’s perfect for you.
My relationship with watches is complicated to say the least. Best guess, I'd say I've owned 25 in my lifetime. Thankfully this hasn't yet turned into a costly courtship, mainly because I rationalize all big purchases against what a decent used motorcycle cost. Let's see...buy a super clean Triumph Speed Triple, or get an Omega Seamaster that I'm certainly not going to risk wearing to the gym anytime in the next 5 years? Savvy?
In my early twenties, I did manage to lose a $600 Tissot during a lakeside adventure that ended with me unintentionally borrowing another man’s girlfriend. In my defense, when a beautiful tan brunette hops on the back of your rented Sea Doo and whispers, “how fast can you go”; the first question that generally comes to mind is not, excuse me Ms. Hottie, how do I know you’re single?
My current collection of timepieces totals only 3. There should be 5, but during moving out of my apartment last year, my beloved Rip Curl Beacon was smashed to bits by a large wooden table. Around that same time, the Tag Heuer I had meticulously kept safe for 8 years, (even though I had only found 5 occasions where I actually wanted to wear it) finally found an appreciative owner who was looking for that exact style. In any case, no horologist would classify my present offerings as special, and rightfully so. If a dire situation arose where I absolutely had to sell them to survive, it’s doubtful they would fetch any real money.
Mood Enhancer 7/10
The MVMT AT is a 41mm $95 fashion watch. If you consider yourself a watch aficionado at all, you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it. The hate for MVMT watches is so strong, I considered not even posting about it in this blog. Honestly, it's the only watch in their entire collection that I do like, and the reason is simple. The green works for me. I love the clean look, the interesting strap, and even with a thousand other choices out there, finding a piece you genuinely like that works with green accents is hard to come by.
I’ve started calling this the “Creative Business watch”, because every time I wear it, I start thinking of interesting new designs on what I’m currently working on. Like an odd sense of purpose that is driving me to keep going, the bold face and long sweeping second hand activate my “go” mode.
This watch came as a Birthday gift and promises a 24 month warranty. So, despite a large number of harsh online reviews, as long it keeps time for the next two years and I don’t fall into a pool, what we have here is a genuine mood setter. I’m currently 5 months into ownership and pleasantly happy with how it’s behaving.
Mood Enhancer 6/10
Armitron is regarded as a decent brand. Their collection ranges in price from $25 dollars to around $150. Naturally the higher you go the better quality you expect. This is a bang for your buck company and they often deliver on what they promise. Who doesn’t like a dependable watch?
This piece is from their Solar series. The dark brown leather strap and deep blue face always cause me to pause before I put it on. I know I don’t have to, but I respect this watch more than the others. In fact, I'm wearing it while I write this blog. No doubt it’s slightly influencing how I craft my thoughts today. While easily not the most expensive watch I’ve ever owned, it does emanate a slight feeling of prosperity. There’s a noticeable weight to it, and I often wish our final destination for the evening was somewhere more upscale than the living room. Lately, it’s been my companion while I’m finishing up writing the final chapters of a long overdue book.
In the grand scheme of things, a $100 watch is not really that impressive. Even though it lacks a metal band, the silver color gives off a vibe that invites me to take it more seriously then I need to. I respect this watch as one should respect a hot cup of coffee. Sure, you can carry it around, but be mindful.
Sweat is Imminent
Mood Enhancer 9/10
The problem with Casio is that they are too good at making watches. Like genuinely, they should just stop and focus on more important issues like solving world hunger or racism. I had one of their older Casio F –91W's for I think about 8 years. That thing went EVERYWHERE with me, and it never stopped working. Think you have a dependable watch? Ok, wear it to the gym, go swimming, shower with it, take it in the sauna, go dirt biking, then wear it in temperatures of 40 below zero. At least 5 months went by before I took that watch off and I’m positive it never skipped a beat. Go through your house and find something you use every day that only cost $16 and has a life span of almost a decade. That'll be a short hunt.
Casio’s G Shock series has watches that go for upwards of $380. I don’t even want to know what those things are capable of. They probably cure cancer and can make you a perfect vanilla latte.
When I put this Casio W800HM on, there’s no concern with nicking it or smashing it against an immovable object. And therein lies its beauty, (because barring a horrific accident) it will work all the time under any condition with no complaints. It’s trustworthy, easy to read, and doesn’t ask to be pampered. There may never be a better way to spend $20
So why am I talking about watches today? Something's been on my mind since we were asked to shelter in place. There's an undeniable truth that mood and creativity are linked. Yet while I've watched the past 3 months slip away, hour by hour, day by day, my recurring thoughts seem to be singular. Am I doing enough with this time?
My watches tell me that time is passing. On Monday at 1:30 am I’ve been job hunting online for over 12 hours. Thursday I can see it’s only 12:30 pm, but I’ve been awake since 7:15 am and fairly certain all the emails are done. So maybe watching those final two episodes of The Last Dance is a viable option. The most important time I have though is usually every day between 7:00 am and 9:00 am. This is when I’m alone with God and seeking answers on how my day should actually go. I turn off my phone, open the book, and try my best not to say anything and just listen.
I enjoy wearing my watches. I enjoy how they make me feel depending on what I’m doing. I appreciate that each one is unique in their own special way to me. But at the end of the day, they can't really give me any new insight about myself. I don’t remember where I heard this, and whether it was a quote or just an interesting anecdote from a story. It was something along the lines of, “If you were never going to die, why would you need to wear a watch”? That thought has been rattling around in my brain for probably the last 6 years. The conclusion I’ve arrived at is both profound and simplistic.
If you’re designing something you’ve never built before, you need to understand how time works. Because creatively, even if you feel like you have it, it's the one thing we're never guaranteed more of.