As a gift, wristwatches tell much more than time

May 19, 2019

As a gift, wristwatches tell much more than time

Wristwatches tell much more than time if you want to treat someone like gold

There is a scene in "Sex and the City 2" where Carrie gives Mr. Big a first anniversary gift of a watch, a modern day gift, as both clocks and watches are the modern first anniversary gift.

It seems wholly romantic to gift a wristwatch as a first anniversary gift because if you think about it, watches are often gifted as a memento or as a signifier of an important event to mark time for all time. (Carrie does not feel treated like gold  when Mr. Big gifts a large screen tv for the bedroom, instead of a similar keepsake, and it causes a bit of a rift.)

There is nothing quite so intimate or personal that must mirror a person as much as a watch must convey in such a tiny amount of real estate. Regardless of the ability to tell time, a classic watch tells us much more than time.

When we give a gift of time, it is because we have the aesthetic of the recipient in mind not just our own agenda or feelings and we can do that because we know the person well. That is why a classic watch is such an intimate and thoughtful gift.

Watches serve as keepsakes of our heart and soul in a way few if any other gifts can. Most material goods will come and go in our lives but watches? Watches we hold onto for dear life, even the casual ones, because they mean something to us.

If it’s a watch we wear to run in or run errands in, we still feel a deeply personal connection to our wristwatches and often if one is lost, we want to purchase a replica.

But almost no other gift that we can give or receive will last as long as a watch will contribute to our lives. Aside from wedding rings, we typically change up our jewelry. Men who opt not to even wear wedding rings, will still often wear a wristwatch.

A wristwatch is an intimate gift both in that it celebrates a moment in time but also because of the use of the watch in our every day lives in a way that is on very public display. No matter the cost of the watch, the value is immeasurable because of the association we build when wearing it.

When we give the gift of time, we are solidifying our relationship in material and public way with the recipient and their sense of time. We are making time and building time in a significant way even when we can't be with someone. Not unlike a song sticks in our mind for years after we develop a relationship with someone, a watch connects us to each other in a deep way.

Gifting a wristwatch sends a message that you are important. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts and unique wristwatches are a thoughtful gift.

Interestingly, wristwatches, like clocks are something that can solidify even business relationships. It's unusual to have a single gift that can serve the dual purpose of formality and intimacy. The gift of time is the one intimate gift a business associate can give without it feeling awkward or inappropriate.

When you receive a gift of a wristwatch, it feels like receiving a statement of commitment and friendship and endurance. There is a feeling of being valued and appreciated that is difficult to express in words that allows you to both feel and express gratitude in a dignified manner. Champagne may be consumed; a gold chain may break; a diamond may fall out of its setting or a ring may be lost, but a watch securely fits on the wrist in a way that is not soon forgotten.

Every time you glance at your wrist or someone compliments your watch, you are reminded of the story of that relationship and the value of it. We are social creatures and while above all, it’s not about the material goods in life, it’s the about the stories of the people that mean something to us. A watch is both sentimental and material, again serving a dual purpose.

Wristwatches encapsulate the importance of valued and intimate relationships that may feel that way even in business. We build relationships over time. Perhaps that is why watches are so important in signifying that unique bond.

We may often feel that no one will understand a relationship we have outside of the two people in it because in friendship, love and even in business, there can be warmth, a friendship that is indescribable and unspoken but deeply felt and appreciated. It may be that you deal with the same person for business reasons on a regular basis and they always have a smile and a kind word for you. A watch may be just the right gift if an occasion calls for it, or you may not gift them a watch, but you know that even if you’ve had a terrible day, they will be there to greet you with compassion.

When you have a business relationship that connects you not by choice but by necessity, perhaps you can equate it to an arranged marriage of sorts, as over time you do build a closeness that evolves due to trust and loyalty of multiple interactions. It is important to find those traits in our every day lives at home and at work.

So it should be no surprise then that we have seen over the centuries that watches and clocks endure unparalleled as time-honored gifts of association and connection.

It’s understood both by the gift giver and the recipient that a watch reveals the close relationship and understanding between them, be it business or personal. 

In a world with ever-expanding landfills, watches are not cluttering the environment but are held dear. We literally don't throw away time.

We may change up our watches, but their significance is always felt. Sometimes it may be lighthearted retail therapy in the gift-giving and not a serious event but watches always serve as an intimate part of our wardrobe. Watches rest on the pulse of our lives and we are constantly aware of their presence.

The familiarity of a wearing a watch is almost as intimate as the giving and receiving as there are few things that make us feel as naked as when we are used to wearing a watch and are without one.

The lack of a watch can create an ache of longing that is difficult to equate to anything else we wear on a regular basis. We can change other aspects of our wardrobe without feeling such a shift, but a lack of a wristwatch leaves a void, an unending emptiness. There is nothing more intimate than that little voice in our heads reminding us of our connection to time when we go without a watch.

Indeed a watch serves as a most intimate gift that is one of life’s little treasures. We miss it and we miss out on it if we don’t create those intimate associations related to watches. It’s a simple and necessary intimate pleasure in life to wear a watch and to have received one, even if it’s one we buy for ourselves, just because it calls to us and we appreciate its artistry.

There is no rule that says we can not buy ourselves a watch and indeed we deserve it for no one knows our own heart and likes and dislikes as we do our own and if wearing a watch creates a little joy and personalization in our lives even if no one else notices, it is worth every penny no matter the cost or value of the watch if it makes us happy.

Image credit: Copyright Susan McIntire 2019





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