Keeping Time and Watches: #30folds30days, Three Risers Fold, Day 27

I never really liked pictures. When I was younger, I always said that I didn’t want pictures taken, because I wanted to live in the moment, rather than worrying about remembering it. I hated posed pictures and staged shots. I preferred when I could snap candids if I was taking pictures. There’s people that say that our generation is living in a constant memory now, a permanent state of anticipated nostalgia. 

Looking back now, I see pictures and I’m awash in memory. Things that were lost flow back to me, sometimes intensely. Scenes I’m clearly a part of are blank, and I wonder, how much did I lose because of my desire to not capture the memory and be in the present?

And how present are any of us now anyways? With a cell phone in my pocket that isn’t just a phone, but instead holds entire worlds within its 4″ screen, how available can I be for the day to day? Forget about carrying around cameras anymore. And forget about watches, who needs them? Many people think the watch is a relic of the past, and that it will go the way of the dinosaur just as soon as the Apple Watch volcano actually erupts.

But, the thing is, sometimes, I need to be mindful of the time withoutgetting sucked into my phone. A watch is simply a reminder of time. It doesn’t demand anything from me, other than the occasional change of battery, wind of a dial, or shake of my wrist to stay powered. It lets me know what time it is, without making any demands. A phone will often remind me of an appointment. Or where I can see that it’s been three days since I’ve written anything. Or that I need to respond to that email that I have starred. And these are all good things. Sometimes. But sometimes, you just need to glance and see what time it is, and then return your full attention to whatever, or whomever, is engaging you.

So for me, a wrist watch is still a necessary accessory for a gentleman. Not simply for style, but for function as well.

Watches are complicated creatures. There is, and are, entire blogs that can be written about watches. Right now, we’re interested only in the basics of them, and what you should know to get started.

First, as previously mentioned, you should try to match the metal of your watch to the metal of your accessories. If your band is leather, then your should try to match that with your belt. You can get fancy with bands, watch faces, and other aspects of the watch as well.

But practically there are a few considerations things you should know to talk (semi) intelligently about watches. The first is movement. There are several distinct types of movements for watches, but you should concern yourself with three.

Quartz – A quartz watch is run by battery power. There’s a small crystal that vibrates at a particular frequency to keep time. It’s much more complicated than that, but that’s the basics of it. That vibration is powered by the battery.

Manual Mechanical- A manual Mechanical watch is one which requires manual winding of the crown of the watch in order to keep time. There is a spring which must be wound in order to power the watch. These are beautiful often hand crafted, intricate movements, which can be insanely accurate considering that they operate on nothing other than a small spring and the turning of a crown. Many classic watches are manual.

Automatic Mechanical – An automatic mechanical watch is one which works the same as a manual mechanical, except it does not need to be wound. Inside the watch there is a rotor which spins as the wearers wrist moves. Therefore, it doesn’t need to be wound in order to keep time, it just needs to be worn. These are the most popular movements in most high end watches.

I leave out digital watches because digital watches are dead. Unless you’re working out, don’t wear a digital watch.

So, which should you get? If you have a few thousand dollars around that’s burning a hole in your pocket, then you should absolutely go out and get an Omega Seamaster with a black face and a stainless steel bracelet. You’ll never need another watch. But obviously, most people don’t have $4,000 or $5,000 to drop on a watch.  That doesn’t mean you can’t get a beautiful timepiece. There are a number of vintage watches that can be hit or miss available on ebay. I once managed to get a beautiful vintage Omega Constellation for a song on ebay, but unfortunately the screw back that sealed the watch was stripped, so I had to return it. I’ve been able to find some lovely antique Wittnauer’s and Longines for fairly reasonable prices as well at some flea markets and antique stores.

A great resource is Watch Recon, which compiles the private sales on all watch forums in one place. There, you can get some great deals on gently pre-used watches. Pieces that would cost you $5000 retail, you could get for $2000 there. Still a lot of money, but much more attainable.

If you want a new time piece, and one that will lose 1/3 of its value as soon as you buy it, it depends on the amount that you want to spend. Again, buy watches from companies that make only watches. If after reading this you spend money Gucci watch, I will hunt you down and find you. Keep an eye out for watch companies will have giant MSRP’s on their watches, but in reality, will sell them for much less. Go ahead and look on Amazon at Stuhrling watches. They’re all marked down to $100 from $400. What an amazing deal! Except not really.

I suppose I’m leaving out Rolex’s. They’re great, but they’re not my ultimate. That being said, they’re the easiest to resell, if you ever had to. But, Cartier and Patek Phillipe are more baller. For chronographs and diving watches, give me a nice Omega any day of the week. Did you know they went to space?

A timepiece says a lot about you. And I’d recommend a vintage piece. Just so you can keep the time, without losing presence where ever you are.

Today’s fold is the three risers fold. I quite like it, but you need a bigger square for it.

1. Start with your square.

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2. Fold in half diagonally.

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3. Fold in the corner towards the middle.

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4. Fold the other corner towards the middle. See that middle part, you’re going to be folding along that.

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5. Fold the square in half back along the line that was created along those two folds.

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6. Fold in half diagonally.

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7. Pull up those three folds.

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8. Fold in the corners so that there is a straight top.

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9. Pull up more and straighten so that it’s a flat top.

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10. Place into your pocket and arrange.

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Questions or comments: seamus@smkstyle.com

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