The Personification of Watches

We all love our wristwatches.  Many are given to us by loved ones to celebrate birthdays, commemorate special anniversaries or traditionally perhaps inherited, or given as retirement or wedding gifts.  The likelihood is that your watch (rivaled in hierarchy only perhaps by key pieces of jewellery) will be a faithful friend, staying with you for decades at a time.

As I write this, I wear a well worn timepiece, a well loved, treasured gift.  Although this it is now not my only watch, it is worn more than most.

My treasured Michel Herbelin watch – seven years old and counting!

So at the risk of appearing over sentimental, do we think of a watch as an old friend?  Verification could be found in the choice of anatomical vocabulary commonly used to label individual watch elements.  It could be argued that this personification of the object reveals our affection for it.

These are some examples:

The workings of a watch or the movement are referred to as the watch ‘heart’.

Watch ‘hands’, pointing to the hour, minute or second.

The dial of a watch (that sits under the glass) is colloquially referred to as its ‘face’.

The case containing the movement can be referred to as the ‘head’.

The ‘shoulders’ of the case hold the lug of the bracelet or strap in place.

A watch has moving parts like an engine or a human heart.  It will wear out as our cars or our own bodies will in time.  The difference between a car and a watch (although both have engines of sorts) is that the watch is worn on our body, therefore our personification of it is, I suppose, inevitable.  So look after your watch as it is likely, that your children when the time comes, will love it as much as you do.