The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 32; Seven Days of Time, Long Read

To get away from that standard of one watch life that I have found myself in of late, I began a simple project. To create a seven day photo journal of one man's humble watch collection, to showcase the use of some of the collection on a daily basis, which turned into a journey of self evaluation and questioning if my time is well spent.

“The echo of the clock rhythm in my veins, I know that i didn't look out below, And i watched, the time go right out the window, Trying to grab hold, trying not to watch, I wasted it all on the hands of the clock, But in the end no matter what i pretend, The journey is more important, than the end or the start, And what it meant to me will eventually be, A memory of the time when i tried so hard” the words of Linkin Park are where this journey ended.  But the beginning was a lot more simplistic.  I have been wearing an automatic Zeppelin watch for three months now, daily I don this vintage styled German made piece of time keeping.  I have a reasonable collection of watches in a nice wooden box in my study that I have added to over the years.  Even to the point that other watches have been passed on or broken and not worth repairing.

Daily I used to choose my watch, the act of opening the box and making the choice on what I was wearing that day, from dressed up to simple quartz, dive or skeleton automatics.  It was part of the morning routine, something I would enjoy.  But then as I followed time and tastes and fashion choices became more set, the changing of the watch became a harder choice.  I then settled on three day to day watches, but one took the forefront and most days it was easier to put this one on.  And so began the time of the forgotten watch collection and I became a one watch man.

After these last few months and lock-down being as it is, I made the decision to put in some effort and to wear a different watch each day for a week.  To make sure some movements got moving and wouldn’t cease and also to get the use of these timepieces, to give them back their born purpose.  But after three days of picking a watch on how I felt that day, the unthinkable happened and I got the news that I had lost a dear friend to me.

This as I am sure you can imagine was a shock to me and everything just stopped, a perfect freeze frame of existence.  In this time my mind bouncing around off one thing to the next, who to call, did I miss something, could I have done something, why did I wait a week to message them last, sadly never getting a reply.  But this stoppage of time was only in my mind, the numbness you feel when this news is given.  Even at this time of writing it has been a week since I got this frightful news, it is raw in my mind, sitting there like a humpty dumpty, not sure whether he will fall or not.  This fragile balancing act which is all controlled by time, something we take for granted but suddenly my eyes were open to it.

We are terrible with time, we forget the time, we do not notice the time, we play games with time, thinking we have all the time in the world, there is never a rush.  But we all have a limited time in our lives, it is different for us all, this infinite measure is finite within us, leaving us behind.  No matter what we do or say, time goes on, no matter what we are doing or what happens in our lives or others, this is the only constant.  The sun may not rise one day, the moon may never shine again, we will be gone but time will continue, not measured but there existing in the universe as we know it.  We measure time but it is the one thing we have no control over.

What do we do? Can we improve our time? The answer is yes, we can move forward with time, not leaving that call, that current Zoom with friends.  That social distance meetings with family or loved ones.  This is how we use time, this is what time should be about, so pay attention to time, feel the time, know the time and always without fail never waste time, because it doesn’t care, but you will.

Chris Hambrook 1969 - 2020

May The Force Be With You, Always