Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Back to the Future

Editor | November 17, 2021 6:20 AM

My watch doesn’t do much. It doesn’t tell me when to eat, or my heart rate or keep track of my blood sugar or my bowel movements.

It just keeps time.

I’ve been wearing it for years now. Went through a couple of straps. It’s a Citizen Eco Drive. The sun recharges it. The only time it’s ever lost time is when I’ve been sick, for say a week, and stayed in a dark room or it’s been under my sleeve too long because of winter conditions.

But now it’s stuck.

Standard time started on last week and when I rolled out of bed Sunday morning I went to roll back the watch an hour and the crown pulled completely out of the body.

I got it to go back in, but now I can’t turn the hands backward an hour.

I don’t even like standard time. I’d much rather have a dark morning than a dark evening.

We really don’t have to suffer through too many more weeks of darkness anyway.

Folks tend to forget that the days start to get longer right after the solstice. As a photographer, I take keen notice of this. By Jan. 1 I can tell already the days are getting longer and by mid February we’re getting close to 11 hours of daylight (counting twilight). I know this because that’s typically when I start winter camping, though I must admit it’s a lot more fun in early March, when you can actually squeak out a 12 hourish-long day, the snow is set and it’s closer to spring than winter.

I used to get depressed when standard time began. But at some point I figured darkness is like the weather, there’s nothing I can do about it. Put on another layer and go a for a walk, even if it is dark.

Some of my most memorable journeys have been skis in the moonlight, with either an owl, wolf or some other creature of the dark serenading me. (The other night, an owl nearly landed on my camera, which was a bit concerning, since I didn’t get the picture. Curses.)

Plus you don’t typically have to worry about running into a grizzly. Not that I worry about that anyway.

So the watch is stuck an hour ahead. It’s 9:30 p.m. right now. Getting close to bedtime.

I could, of course, buy a new one. Eco Drive watches are fairly cheap — 200 bucks or so. But just for fun I looked up a Rolex Oyster Automatic.

They’re less than I thought they would be — $5,900.

The watch really catching my eye is the Shinola Runwell Automatic. It’s made in the old USA. In Detroit, no less. It’s another watch you never have to wind. But it’s not cheap, either. They run just under $1,100.

I have plenty of time to save up for it.