25 March 2021 |
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Rewound to the future

I have been living for a few days with a Perpetual Calendar from which I have already received a life lesson.  And yet, isn’t it a lot to receive a life lesson from a watch?  Maybe, but I call it a lesson because my story is part of the stories we tend to forget as we have the impression that anything can be done again. It has to.

The thing about the watch I wear now is that the movement, which beats tireless inside, knows how to indicate precisely the hour, minutes, seconds, day, month, date, year and moon phases for the next 577.5 years without any intervention. Exactly. And it doesn’t get bored in doing that. And it doesn’t need to be plugged in every night. It must be wound or “shaken” – because it also wounds automatically – and a spring inside is able to store power for 7 days. What happens if you leave it in a drawer? After a maximum of 7 days it will stop. Well, what about the 577 years? It is enough to be restarted, that is, rewound, and it will continue its journey through the months of 30 or 31 days and leap years.  Of course, you will need to adjust the right date, which you do simply by turning the crown. So forward, of course, until you catch up with time.

But what happens if you accidentally miss the day you had to set? If you exceed a day, two, a week or a month? The movement is programmed to show exactly how the moon will look in the sky every day and month for several centuries, but you can fool it into showing your future. For this reason, the complication is called, in the world of watches, Perpetual Calendar. Because it can continue, anyway, beyond the moment when we will surely have left the the watch to our descendants. So, if we have made the mistake of going through our relationship with the watch too quickly, we cannot reverse the mechanism. Because we can’t reverse time either, can we? I know we are strong when we close a window on the monitor, when we edit lists and opinions, but a watch can remind us that, in fact, we are just fooling ourselves. As an idea, the solution to resynchronize a perpetual calendar with the right day is to wait. Pull out the crown from the case to the position where the ticking stops and restart the mechanism on the day when the story on the dial is again the story of the right day.

Someone was asking me if I didn’t have too high expectations of the watch world when I chose to call my magazine MISTERWATCH. I answered what I still believe today, with all my heart: the story of watches is actually a story about life. Most of the time, a small case hides “lessons” that the phone screen will never teach you.