Friday, August 11, 2017

Nobody NEEDS a Watch

It seems that large segments of the watch-enthusiast population are in denial. Take, for example, this recent article in the fine Australian watch-enthusiast publication Time & Tide entitled EDITOR’S PICK: Is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 the only watch you’ll ever need?

It begins:

"There’s a concept in the world of watch enthusiasts that’s referred to as ‘only one watch’. For the majority of the population, this concept is better known as ‘normality’."

"Normality"? Is that a word? In any case, the assertion is incorrect, because the majority of the population no longer wear watches. The title of the article is misleading, because we don't need watches. Those of us who still have watches, have them because we think they're neat. There's no good reason that I can see not to face this fact.

You know what? It suddenly struck me, just now, after I finished the previous sentence, that this is sort of like religion and atheism: for me, personally, belief in God simply makes no sense, and that's that. But for many theists, perhaps most of them, their belief is a great comfort. And after having spent several extremely unpleasant years in the close company of New Atheists, who believe that most or all of the world's problems will be solved once people stop believing in God or gods, I'm much more inclined not to bother people about their religious belief. Because the New Atheists themselves are a perfect refutation of their own thesis: they don't believe in God, and they're still horrible, ignorant people and a plague upon everyone they meet.

I may be correct when I say that nobody needs a watch, objectively, now that there are so many phones, computers, microwave ovens, automobiles, televisions, etc, etc, which tell time.

But that simple objective observation completely ignores people's subjective needs. Who can draw the precise line which separates people's needs from their wants? I'll tell you who: not me.

Does anybody need me coming around and telling them that they don't need such-and-such, that they only want it?

I'm not sure anybody does need that, even if, as in the case of watches, I add that I want the same things and find nothing wrong with wanting them. Whether they need it or not, there's no doubt at all that most people don't want that sort of thing. The same way that Time & Tide and its readers may not need or want me to add that, with a suggested retail price of 7200 Australian dollars, anyone who's going to buy a Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 is probably going to have lots of other watches, either instead of or in addition to it.

What do I know about people who can afford to drop several grand on a watch? The vast majority of people I've known in my life haven't been in that income bracket.

It's like I approached this article determined to misunderstand it as completely as possible. What it says is that the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 is a very versatile watch stylistically, going well with both relatively casual and relatively formal attire, that it is rugged and dependable, able to take many bumps and thumps and still keep great time, that, in the opinion of the author, it will still be stylish in 50 years (I could opine that nobody knows what fashions will be like in 2067, but have I found the audience which wants to hear me say these things?), and that, all in all, he thinks it's just really neat.

It's the sort of article watch enthusiasts want.

What group of people want to read pieces such as this blog post? Maybe, since I try my best to be just like I am, as opposed to trying to please most people most of the time, I ought to spend much, much more time trying to answer that question.

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