Throughout the primary few many years of my profession, I used to be informed by numerous instructors, FTOs and different old-timers that it was crucial for each cop to have some hobbies. All of us want methods to unplug from the pains of an usually thankless job. I can’t communicate for many of my cohorts, however a professional pastime eluded me for a few years. I wished little to do with something that didn’t instantly relate to placing on a uniform and catching dangerous guys. As time has handed and my grey hairs have multiplied, I’ve lastly discovered it attainable to take an curiosity in issues that don’t have anything to do with a blue uniform. One such further vocational curiosity is watch accumulating.

Let me make clear, relatively shortly, that I perceive how stuffy and pretentious something that entails the time period “accumulating” most likely comes off as. You received’t discover any names like Rolex on my nightstand. Even when I may afford one thing like that, it’s by no means been a reputation model or some try at status that’s pushed my want to personal a bit of wristwear. It’s one thing easier.

Watches, to me, hark again to a less complicated time. They’re largely going by the wayside. Everybody totes a mobile phone lately, making watches largely pointless. That’s one of many causes I like them. Carrying a watch feels a bit like a riot towards the extremely pragmatic, convenience-driven world that we reside in. I additionally like them for a similar motive so many cops spend their further responsibility element cash to top off their gun safes. Like weapons, watches are normally mechanical in nature. They characteristic a variety of expertise. Due to that, every of them tells a narrative.

Everybody totes a mobile phone lately, making watches largely pointless. That’s one of many causes I like them.

For those who aren’t bored to tears and turning to the following article by now, right here are some things that you could learn about watches.

Identical to weapons, you may spend as a lot (or as little) as you’d like on them. Towards the upper finish, you’re possible paying for a reputation. However, usually talking, you get what you pay for. There are a lot of no-name watches that may be purchased very cheaply however are more likely to break fairly shortly. There are additionally, nonetheless, numerous strong, established manufacturers that promote watches within the $100 vary. A Rotary is a fairly good instance of this. There are additionally many different well-established manufacturers (equivalent to Bulova or Hamilton) that may be purchased within the $400–$500 vary. These manufacturers have been round for a very long time and customarily make a fairly strong product. Lastly, there are the posh manufacturers (equivalent to Tudor or Omega) that may value 1000’s of {dollars}.

The cool factor, to me, is the breadth of expertise utilized within the several types of watches. Earlier than batteries have been available, watches needed to be wound up by hand each morning. You possibly can nonetheless purchase watches like this (they’re usually known as mechanical watches). The pricier fashions didn’t require the person to wind them within the morning. The springs that made the watch palms transfer have been wound internally by the movement of the watch because it was worn all day. The time period for this kind of watch is “automated,” and the expertise continues to be used immediately. Many of the higher-end watches are automated. If you wish to pay some huge cash, you should buy automated watches which can be constructed effectively sufficient to resist some abuse and nonetheless be dependable. It’s taking previous expertise and doing it rather well, very similar to shopping for a higher-end Kimber 1911.

The entire applied sciences I’ve talked about are, after all, analog. That merely means it makes use of palms to indicate you what time it’s, and the time is saved by gears contained in the watch. When digital watches got here alongside, it was a recreation changer. In the identical means that inside strikers modified gun design, digital expertise enabled watches which can be cheaper, harder and extra correct. If a higher-end automated watch is sort of a Kimber 1911, a Casio G-Shock is sort of a Glock.

I’ve at all times preferred gimmicky devices, so I’d be remiss to shut with no temporary dialogue of “instrument watches.” Whereas I’ve but to return throughout a proprietor of things like 007’s laser watch, you’ll find some cool objects to hold in your wrist. Some watches come geared up with compasses. Others provide wristbands made solely of high-strength parachute twine (in case you end up in a survival scenario on the best way again from the grocery retailer. My favourite has at all times been watches with built-in flashlights.

I’d be hard-pressed to win an argument concerning the necessity of watches. The bitter reality is that we actually don’t want them anymore. Everybody who carries a mobile phone has a plethora of clocks, timers and stopwatches out there of their pocket. We undoubtedly don’t have to spend cash on an analog watch that prices greater than a digital watch and has much less options than a mobile phone. We don’t want watches, however that’s why I like them. It’s a little bit of riot towards the tech-driven, always-connected world that we reside in. Apart from, it wouldn’t be a pastime if it have been sensible.

Cliff Sofa
Former police chief
Twitter @CliftonDCouch

Cliff Couch

Cliff Sofa

Cliff Sofa is the previous police chief of a small city in East Tennessee and a graduate of the FBI Nationwide Academy, and holds a grasp’s diploma in public administration from Florida State College. He’s attended Harvard’s Govt Schooling Program and Northwestern College’s College of Police Employees and Command. You possibly can observe him on Twitter@CliftonDCouch or on his weblog,

View articles by Cliff Sofa

As seen within the April 2022 subject of American Police Beat journal.
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