Let's Swap Watch Stories
What is 'Casual Time'?
I am lucky to be able to write about what I want where I work. Not everyone can say that.
Some people had to take what they really think to other publications, or create their own blog. Alas, that’s often a constraint of the biz, but a lot of people are cowards, too. Others sought escape from the doldrums of covering this political hellscape by writing novels or starting hobby blogs.
I had a hobby blog for years until I got to the point where I didn’t need it anymore, because for the most part I could write what I want. But that hobby blog was mostly about politics and policy, where I was a practitioner. Now, writing about it isn’t a hobby, it’s been my job for the past 11 years.
Having recently turned 40, I do find myself thinking a lot of about the limited concept of time. How fickle a mistress is, how we spend it, how I spend it.
Bill Bryson once wrote that "It really doesn't pay to go back and look again at the things that once delighted you, because it's unlikely they will delight you now." And while that is often true of places, it is not true of things. At least for me, anyway.
There was a point in my younger life where I really liked watches. I was the gear lead at Eddie Bauer as a teenager, and I’d replace batteries and size bracelets on our Fossil-made Eddie Bauer watches. Mine are probably hiding in a drawer somewhere in Ohio.
But then, smartphones came around and I stopped wearing them for a while, until I asked for a very loud Timex Weekender field watch for Christmas one year. (I am an aficionado for the cheap ones.)
And a few years ago, I was given a gift of a nice dive watch, which I treasure, and that got me back into watches.
My readers at The Bulwark will indulge my links in the daily afternoon Overtime newsletter, but I don’t want to bore them at length because not everybody cares about watches and personal story time.
So, why the name? I explain here, but the idea behind it comes from our weekly Casual essay we published when I worked at The Weekly Standard.
This is going to be a low-production value operation. If you have a story about a watch and it’s a good story, let’s tell it.
Watches of Espionage is one of my favorite horological blogs, but how many CIA employees do you know? Know any folks who got a Breitling from the King of Jordan? Me neither. But I do know a guy who was was working at a golf course and whose grail was a Breitling. A watch-loving mentor of his helped him finally get it. Stories like those.