Friday, April 12, 2019

Love Letters

a story by Bill Adler



Dear Becky,

I'll never know if you get this letter. I've handwritten three copies and given them to lawyers who I think work for long-lived firms. But I can't say for sure. How could I? What does a veterinarian know about law firms?

At least being a veterinarian means I have a job, which translates to a home, food — a fairly comfortable life, all things considered.

I miss you. I miss our world, too, but I miss you more than anything.

I know you've been wondering where I've been, why I suddenly didn't come home, and I'll tell you in a moment. But first I need to explain how I got here because where I am only makes sense when you know the how part.

Grand Seiko photo by Samuel Chan
Remember the last time we made love? It was a weekday. The chills you sent through me linger delightfully in my mind and body. We stayed up late, way too late for a school night, and the next morning we were basket cases, though basket cases with broad, just-fucked smiles. When I ran out the door to the clinic, I was in such a fog that I didn't wind my watch.

While walking — more like dashing — from the station to the clinic I glanced at my watch, noticing that the time was off by a few hours. When I looked back up, I saw the strangest thing. I don't know how else to describe it other than I had a vision of old New York City complete with gas lamps, men on horseback, an elevated train engine puffing black smoke, and no skyscrapers. Policemen wearing double-breasted, gray uniforms, and helmets stood on the corner nearest to me. I thought I lost my balance on a broken cobblestone. I caulked up my hallucination to the mind-bending sex clouding my mind —  as well as sleep deprivation. I now know I also had alcohol left in me from the wine we shared at 2 a.m. That’s important. I’ll explain about that, too.

I didn't mention my sleep-deprived mirages at the time, because these images vanished during my quick-walk from the station to the clinic. Forgive me for not telling you. Perhaps if I had, you would have put two and two together. Especially because it happened again.

Nobody wants to reveal their hallucinations. Dreams, yes, can be fun to share and talk about. But when there’s possibly something askew with the basic wiring of our brain, we close a tight fist around that possibility. At least until we're sure. I didn't want to worry you. When I was leaving the clinic a few days later I saw them: The same policemen dressed in uniforms right out of a movie theater wardrobe. Women wrapped in ankle-length, black dresses, pushing strollers made of metal with babies lying inside what looked like canvas shopping baskets. A man wearing jeans, a white shirt and gray vest was selling clams from a wooden cart on the adjacent corner. I saw a streetcar on rails being pulled by two brown and two white horses. I would have sounded loony had I told you about my visions.

Friday, April 5, 2019

I Don’t Want to Know What Time It Is

a short story by Bill Adler


It’s easy to decide what restaurant to go to or what book to read because if you make a mistake and the restaurant turns out to serve foods flavored with yesterday’s dinner or the book is as exciting as your seventh grade algebra textbook, you can easily fix that mistake. Just make yourself a BLT when you get home or start a book in which Philip Marlowe or Hermione Granger pops out of the pages.

Even a poor career choice—like being a lawyer when an astronaut’s life is your true calling—can be changed.

Most bad decisions are easily corrected.

Choosing a birthday present for a nine-year-old girl is not one of those.

Pre-teen is a difficult parenting era—though perhaps every kid’s age has its own special complexities and complications—and I wanted to get Leila something special. Something that would make her happy and be more meaningful than shoes, a gift card, or a bracelet. Something that wouldn’t vanish into a drawer the next day. I decided to give Leila my father’s watch.

Vintage Helbros
As with most kids her age, Leila had a cell phone, with an always accurate clock, so she didn’t need a watch. Like a loyal puppy, her phone was never far, the time of day readily summoned with a tap, usurping a watch’s one and only true function. And yet the divide between need and want is a fuzzy one, like our Boston weather, always changing, often surprising, and sometimes actually good. When I asked Leila what she wanted for her birthday this year, she shrugged and then shrugged again, which meant there was a chance—though a small one—that serendipity and surprise would be the magical ingredients that made the watch a keeper.

When I mentioned to her mom the idea of giving Leila my father’s watch, Julia nodded. “I like that idea,” she said.

That was positive insight. It also meant that Julia didn’t have a clue, either.“You think Leila will like wearing a watch?”

“I don’t know about that.”

Not as good as the first answer. “Thanks for the ambiguity.”

“If she doesn’t like it now,” Julia said, “she’ll look back on this birthday years from now and remember how special this gift was. She’ll love it and love you even more.”

I liked that sentiment. My father’s watch would be Leila’s birthday present. I wished myself luck.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Into the Mercury

a short story by Bill Adler


Part 1 of Into the Mercury was originally published as a stand alone story under the title, Learning to Fly. Here is the complete saga of Oceans flight 211, which took its passengers to a place where hope is in short supply, but nightmares are plentiful. Can a Grand Seiko save them?

Part 1, Invitation

Vincent exhaled, this time more purposefully, even though he knew it was as futile an effort as flapping his arms to fly. That's comical. Or maybe it's irony? Whatever. I'd give an arm if I could flap my arms and fly right now.  Now that’s irony. Vincent didn’t smile at his own feeble humor. He exhaled again, wind escaping from his lips like banshees who've been trapped inside a cave for centuries. It was no good. Expelling balloons of air wasn't making him smaller. In fact, Vincent was certain the moisture from his breath was combining with the sweat oozing from the pores of the sumo wannabees on either side of him, forming a viscous glue that would keep him trapped in his seat long after the plane had landed. From his seatmates’ pores sulfurous vapors rose, sending him to the edge of nausea.

I am the eater of worlds flashed through Vincent’s head, a movie marquee with an ominous message.

Photo by Jason Chien
Vincent looked at his left and right armrests. To his left was a snake-like creature, layers of flesh piled on flesh, a boa constrictor that hadn't ever shed its oily skin, a gelatinous slime coating that skin. It’s not his fault, Vincent tried to convince himself. He’s got no place for his arm. Though what I’d give for a saw right now.

Vincent bobbed forward and craned his neck toward the aisle, hoping to see what kind of watch the guy had on his left wrist. But trying to see  the guy’s wrist was like trying to spot what’s behind Mt. Fuji when you’re standing directly in front of the mountain. A sharp snap in Vincent’s neck sent lightning bolts of pain through his neck and shoulders. I think I pulled a muscle, maybe all of them. That was a stupid thing to try.

Vincent pressed his fingertips into the back of his neck, willing their dance to undo the pain. He’d arrange for a massage at the hotel first thing. Make that the second thing. Overpriced ibuprofen from an airport store was going to be the first order of business after landing.

The arm slithered closer, the fatty flesh undulating at different speeds toward Vincent. Vincent blew out another bubble of precious oxygen, but no matter how much he tried to shrink he couldn’t stop the slithering arm from touching his body. The more the arm pressed against Vincent, the thicker the pus that leaked out of the marble-sized pores became. Vincent thought that the layers of flesh and fat were on the verge of separating, each becoming a distinct creature determined to asphyxiate him. Guy couldn’t wear a long sleeve shirt? We’re going to Chicago — who wears a short sleeve shirt to Chicago in November? What’s the matter with him?

Vincent glanced to his right. “A long sleeve shirt is only marginally better,” he muttered, as the tentacle to his right undulated against his hip. “Keep that thing away from my privates,” Vincent prayed. Long sleeve, short sleeve, it didn’t make a difference, Vincent realized. The guy’s shirt and sleeve were soaked in briney sweat, and now Vincent’s pants and shirt were looking like they’d been dipped into the Dead Sea.

Friday, March 22, 2019

You'd Better Watch Out

a short story by Bill Adler

"I’m sorry. We tried everything we could. We used all our skills, training and knowledge, but in the end we couldn't save..."

His somber voice trailed off. Daniel tried to look him in the eye, but didn't have the energy to raise his head higher than the man’s chin. It didn't matter, though, because Daniel's thick, salty tears clouded his entire world.

Photo by James Marien
"Did you..."

"Yes,” he said, as he removed the loupe from his eye, letting it dangle from his neck by the metal ribbon. "We tried an ETA transplant, but your Grand Seiko rejected it almost as soon as we inserted the movement."

"It's a Spring Drive, so—"

"That was one of the problems. We didn't have any Spring Drives available for transplant. Perhaps if we did, things would have turned out differently, though it’s impossible to say given the risky nature of a movement transplant. Even when the parts are perfect, the success rate still hovers at around 20 percent. You should know that as soon as the ETA failed, we tried a Caliber 3285, but it was also eventually rejected. Your Grand Seiko ticked for almost ninety seconds with the Caliber 3285 inside. Be happy that life was restored, if only for a minute and a half.

“There are a million reasons movement transplants fail. Sometimes the beat rate isn’t compatible, sometimes the watch reacts to the alloy used in the transplanted mainspring, sometimes the patient is rusted or brittle, or sometimes the escapement resonates wrong inside the patient. Often we just don’t know why; the souls of the transplant and the transplantee just aren’t compatible.”

The watchmaker paused, waiting for Daniel to reply.

Daniel scratched his chin and surveyed his shoes.

"Caliber 3285. Rolex's next generation GMT Master II movement. You know it?

“Yeah, of course.” Daniel shuffled his feet.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Life in Two Minutes

a short story by Bill Adler


“Hi.”

Quinn was daydreaming when the girl appeared from out of nowhere. She stood in front of the late afternoon sun, which surrounded her with an expansive, red halo.

Quinn looked to his left and right. The path through the park he took from his office to the subway station was usually empty, as it was this afternoon. Except for the girl.

Quinn squinted, then blinked a few times to dislodge the blinding beams from his eyes. Quinn’s brain’s cells shifted position in an attempt to reorganize themselves into coherence. Something in her smile looked familiar. But why would a seventeen-year-old girl smile at a random forty-seven-year-old man? Quinn looked down, in part to refresh his eyes, but also to remind himself that his forty-seven-year-old belly was decades past anything this young girl could have an interest in. Quinn noted that his waistline eclipsed his shoes.

I must have dropped my wallet and she's returning it.

The Grand Seiko 3180, where the magic began.
Still, a smile, whether genuine or not, was always a welcome sight, especially when worn by such a beautiful creature. Her flowing, chestnut hair floated over her shoulders with the grace and nonchalance of youth. Her eyes, wide with delight, beamed as she smiled even more broadly at Quinn.

“Hello, Quinn.”

Quinn stopped breathing. He wondered if his heart stopped beating, too. He peered into her eyes.

“You do remember me,” she said.

Quinn’s jaw loosened, his leg muscles on the cusp of dissolving. The color of Quinn’s face turned ashen, before burning like a crimson sun.

“I…”

The girl stepped toward Quinn, and wrapped his hand between hers, her warmth igniting a spark that touched every neuron in Quinn’s brain.

“Janet?” It wasn’t a question, even though Quinn’s inflection made it sound that way. “Janet Oachs.” Quinn’s head swiveled like a weather vane. “No, no, no. You must be Janet’s daughter or something.” Quinn’s brow grew furrows. “But you look exactly like her.” Even as he spoke them, Quinn knew his words were mistaken.

“It’s me. Janet Oachs, here in the flesh.”

“I don’t understand —” Quinn didn’t know how to complete this sentence.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Mr. Gold's Cold, a Short Story About Watches

by Bill Adler


There’s a saying among those who acquire second-hand watches: Buy the seller, not the watch. Many second-hand watches, especially luxury brands such as Rolex, Omega and Panerai, have had their insides or exteriors redone with counterfeit parts. When you know and trust a seller, you’re likely to acquire a watch that’s 100 percent genuine; when the seller’s an unknown, avoid the watch, no matter how tempting the price. In this short, horror story Mike Angelo wishes he had heeded those words. 


"Seymour, waddya up to next weekend?"

"What what? Can't you see I'm busy with a patient." Seymour hunched over the immobile body on the table.

"They're not patients, Dr. Seymour Haas, and you're not really the kind of doctor anyone wants to see."

There's a reason why the Rolex Deepsea is expensive.
Never forget that. Photo by Slices of Light.
"Yeah, well, pathologists go to med school just like every other doctor."

Mike Angelo revved his bone saw to maximum. He did his best to spray bits of tissue and blood Seymour's way like the spitballs he used to toss in class in middle school. "Say again! I can't hear you," Mike shouted over the machinery.

"What I was trying to say...," Seymour yelled back. He paused to wipe something sticky off his goggles, but ended up smudging his left lens with a mucus sheen. “...is that this one definitely died of the common cold. Lungs and air passages stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. Rare for a thirty’s guy, but given the enormous number of people on the planet, even the unexpected and rare will happen. The younger the patient, the more their immune system’s counter attack doesn’t just kill the invading virus, but mortally wounds the victim, too.”

“You're a poet,” Mike said.

“I'm not sure why they bothered to have his body exhumed. There's no foul play, no drugs, no impalement or bullet holes, no exotic diseases, nothing that required calling me in and my missing a rerun of Friends. God that Jennifer Aniston is hot. It was just a cold. Poor guy. I bet when he went to CVS for Nyquil he never expected it would be his last drink."

“Who wanted Gold’s body exhumed?”

“Dunno, like I said.” Seymour bent down and peered into Gold’s clouded eyes, the light from his halogen headlamp absorbed by the dead orbs.

“”You said you didn’t know why. I asked, ‘who?’”.

“The sheet says nothing. The requesting name was blank. Somebody’s lazy. But we have a job to do, even when our bosses don’t do theirs,” Seymour said.

The overhead fluorescent light cracked, sounding like small children walking over wrapping paper after opening their Christmas presents. The crackling reminded Seymour of when he was little and the wind rustled the venetian blinds in his bedroom, amplifying the ghosts that he already knew lived in those blinds, and propelling him deep under his blanket. The autopsy room’s pale blue and white tiles were interrupted by a single, faded poster of a cat doing a chin up with“Keep Your Chin Up” printed on it. None of the city’s seven pathologists’ liked that poster, and nobody knew who hung it. But after a time it became invisible to everyone who worked in this basement room so there it stayed. A bank of numbered, steel-clad lockers spread from floor to ceiling along the side opposite the doors. On the adjacent wall were a cluster of sinks and basins for washing hands and tools. The room held twelve tables. It used to have thirteen, but a former Chief Medical Examiner had ordered one of the tables removed. “We need more walking around space for cops and such,” he had said.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Which Grand Seiko Should You Wear for the Zombie Apocalypse?

We all know that when the zombie apocalypse comes, only a Grand Seiko will do. Forget Breguet — you don't want anything delicate on your wrist. A Speedmaster isn’t a great idea because the moon is the last place you're going to. As for a Submariner, you can pretty much bet every other zombie will be wearing one. How are you going to feel when something wearing the same Rolex as you tries to eat you?

A Grand Seiko, a must for the
zombie apocalypse. 
A moonphase? That would be useful in a werewolf inhabited world but a moonphase is only going to make your watch harder to read in a pinch.

A solar powered quartz watch sounds promising until you consider the possibility you may be trapped indoors for longer than any human should be.

I'm going to have to kiss my Grail watch, a Jaquet Droz’ Charming Bird, goodbye. But that's for the best because with zombies all around, you don't want a watch that makes any noise. (Minute repeaters are a bad idea, too.)

Surviving the zombie apocalypse without a watch is impossible. There will be plenty of times when you're going to need to meet with somebody at the water tower at precisely 2 o'clock, or you're going to utter those dire words, "If I'm not back in exactly thirty minutes, leave without me." Having a watch will also give you a clue about how much daylight is left before sundown.

When it comes to zombie apocalypse watches, Grand Seiko is the only way to go. The question then becomes, which Grand Seiko is best for the zombie apocalypse?

A Spring Drive diver might come to mind because it's waterproof (I know — water resistant, but who's going to argue with you about that in a zombie-infested world?), shock resistant, accurate, and quick to read.

If you're going the diver route, I'd suggest an automatic. You may not have zenful minutes in the morning to wind your watch, like you did in the old world.

Ordinarily, I'd say that a Grand Seiko Spring Drive diver is too large a watch for people with thin wrists, but fashion is the least of your worries after you're transformed from being your friends' and family's dinner companion to their next meal.

Friday, February 22, 2019

You Have How Many Watches? How to Keep Track of Your Watch Collection

There comes a time in many watch collectors’ lives when we can no longer remember all the details about all the watches we own. Maybe those memory leaks start at three watches for you; perhaps you’re one of the fortunate few who owns a watch for every day of the week and can remember everything about each of them.

I know two collectors who bought second watches identical to ones they already had because they forgot they owned those models.

Cataloging your watches sooner than later makes
a lot of sense. Photo by alexkerhead, licenced
under Creative Commons. 
I want to talk about a few options you can consider for organizing your watch database. The first is Chrono24. In addition to selling watches, Chrono24 offers a watch tracking database. Whenever you purchase a watch via Chrono24, it’s automatically added to that database. You enter information into the Chrono24 database using pre-set menus, which can be convenient, but only convenient if you don’t have many obscure brands or vintage watches. If you like to wear those, you need to enter information in manually.

Chrono24 has built-in fields for photos, a must for any watch database. Chrono24 has both phone and web apps, syncing the information between them. Chrono24 displays your watch collection’s current estimated worth, which is a treat to see, as well as how much your collection has gained or lost in value over time, which can either be fun or depressing.

Chrono24’s notes field, where you can enter in free-form information is limited to 255 characters, which can be restricting. I keep much information in my notes field, well beyond the 255 word range.

Watchbox offers a similar app, though Watchbox’s database is not available on the web. Watchbox shows you your individual watches’ estimated value along with the total value of your collection. Watchbox also tells you how accurate the data for your watches’ values are, using a formula they call “data strength.”

Friday, February 15, 2019

Learning to Fly

a short story by Bill Adler

Howard Kim's Grand Seiko Snowflake likes to fly. 
Vincent exhaled, this time more purposefully, even though he knew it was as futile an effort as flapping his arms to fly. That's comical. Or maybe it's irony? Whatever. I'd give an arm if I could flap my arms and fly right now.  Now that’s irony. Vincent didn’t smile at his own feeble humor. He exhaled again, wind escaping from his lips like banshees who've been trapped inside a cave for centuries. It was no good. Expelling balloons of air wasn't making him smaller. In fact, Vincent was certain the moisture from his breath was combining with the sweat oozing from the pores of the sumo wannabees on either side of him, forming a viscous glue that would keep him trapped in his seat long after the plane had landed. From his seatmates’ pores sulfurous vapors rose, sending him to the edge of nausea.

I am the eater of worlds flashed through Vincent’s head, a movie marquee with an ominous message.

Vincent looked at his left and right armrests. To his left was a snake-like creature, layers of flesh piled on flesh, a boa constrictor which hadn't ever shed its oily skin, a gelatinous slime coating that skin. It’s not his fault, Vincent tried to convince himself. He’s got no place for his arm. Though what I’d give for a saw right now.

Vincent bobbed forward and craned his neck toward the aisle, hoping to see what kind of watch the guy had on his left wrist. But trying to see to the guy’s wrist was like trying to spot what’s behind Mt. Fuji when you’re standing directly in front of the mountain. A sharp snap in Vincent’s neck sent lightning bolts of pain through his neck and shoulders. I think I pulled a muscle, maybe all of them. That was a stupid thing to try. 

Vincent pressed his fingertips into the back of his neck, willing their dance to undo the pain. He’d arrange for a massage at the hotel first thing. Make that second thing. Overpriced ibuprofen from an airport store was going to be the first order of business after landing.

The arm slithered closer, the fatty flesh undulating at different speeds toward Vincent. Vincent blew out another bubble of precious oxygen, but no matter how much he tried to shrink he couldn’t stop the slithering arm from touching his body. The more the arm pressed against Vincent, the thicker the pus that leaked out of the marble-sized pores became. Vincent thought that the layers of flesh and fat were on the verge of separating, each becoming a distinct creature determined to asphyxiate him. Guy couldn’t wear a long sleeve shirt? We’re going to Chicago — who wears a short sleeve shirt to Chicago in November? What’s the matter with him?

Vincent glanced to his right. “A long sleeve shirt is only marginally better,” he muttered, as the tentacle to his right undulated against his hip. Keep that thing away from my privates, Vincent prayed. Long sleeve, short sleeve, it didn’t make a difference, Vincent realized. The guy’s shirt and sleeve were soaked in brimy sweat, and now Vincent’s pants and shirt were looking like they’d been dipped into the Dead Sea.

I’m cold and these guys are ovens. If they shed a hundred kilos maybe they wouldn’t be sweating like pigs and I wouldn’t feel like I’m being consumed by a primordial peat bog.

I can’t breathe! I’m suffocating! 

Grand Seiko Spring Drive photo by Alex Thompson 
Vincent wanted to reach under the seat in front of him and extract a paperback from his carry-on bag, but he was fixed in place, like the keystone in an arch. Reading would distract him. Reading would carry him to another place, diluting his misery with adventure. But his carry-on bag might as well be in the luggage hold. And even if he managed to reach his bag and pull the book out, how was he going to hold it amidst the sea of corpulent flesh pressed against him?

Vincent hoped Lilith was faring better somewhere in the aisles behind him. Maybe Lilith didn’t have a middle seat. Maybe she’s sitting next to a fashion model who’s five weeks into a six week diet. No, fashion models don’t fly basic economy. Vincent couldn’t imagine Lilith being worse off than he was. But why were they separated in the first place? Vincent was sure he paid an extra twenty five dollars each for reserved seats. Completely sure. And yet, the airline’s will was stronger than his certainty. He had stopped arguing with the flight attendant about their seating assignments when he suspected her next words were going to be, “You’re off the plane. Have a nice day.”

I have to pee. 

Vincent looked at the man to his left again, and slowly shook his head. It would take that guy until the end of the flight to extricate himself from the seat. They should install some type of pulley system above seats. 

I have to pee badly. 

Vincent unstuck his arm from his seatmate, twisted his wrist, and glanced at the time. Three twenty-two. He had set his Grand Seiko to Chicago time before his seatmates deposited their asses into their locked positions. Good thing he set his watch when he did because no way he’d have had room to maneuver to perform even such an elemental task now. He had wanted to take a photo of his watch against the window with the passing clouds as a backdrop, a wristshot, his tradition on every flight, but the window was eclipsed by a belly. That was the least of his problems.

Two hours and six minutes to go. He doubted he could hold it for that long.

I have to pee more than I’ve ever had to pee before.  

Vincent’s eardrums imploded. The flight attendant who had been pushing a cart down the aisle flew to the ceiling as if she’d been expelled by a canon. Cups, tiny peanut bags, plastic knives and forks, ice cubes, and lemon slices scattered everywhere. Small, square napkins turned into a snow squall. A second boom left Vincent’s ears ringing, a high-pitched screech that blocked nearly all sound and thought. The flight attendant landed in his seatmate's lap, bounced off, and rolled onto the floor. After a few moments, she pressed her arms into the floor and lifted herself up, her blonde hair acquiring instant punk by the bright, red blood coating it. But she stood, so no bones broken.

VIncent’s stomach jolted right and up as the plane banked left and down. The flight attendant fell again. The man sitting to Vincent’s left grabbed his arm, and squeezed hard, his grip on Vincent’s arm increasing exponentially with each passing fraction of a second, moments away from crushing his bone. Vincent wriggled his other arm free from the girth of the man to his right, and slugged his left side seatmate hard in the arm. It worked. Jabba released him.

I’m in pain. 

Vincent wasn’t sure damage hadn’t been done to his arm. This fucking hurts. Fucking sumo wannabe. Fucking airline for losing my seat reservation. 

It took a few seconds for Vincent’s mind to free itself from agony’s claws. When he could think again, Vincent noticed the jet was flying straight and level and hadn’t become part of the Rocky Mountains.

The intercom crackled. “Ladies and gentlemen. This is your pilot speaking. Is there a Spring Drive on board?”

“What?” Vincent said to the man to his left. “Did he ask for Vincent Lang?”

“No, the pilot said, ‘Is there a Spring Drive on board?’” Mr. Sumo was massaging the spot on his arm where Vincent had punched him. He seemed oblivious to how that injury had occurred.

Spring Drive?

Always wear your Spring Drive when flying
because you never know when it will be
called into service. Photo by Arnaud of
Ikigai Watches
Vincent dug deep into his memory’s recesses, uncovering fragments of a post he’d seen on a watch forum, which he had dismissed as hearsay, the kind of nonsense that people send upstream to the internet all the time after chugging one too many beers. “I’m a 737 pilot. Our jet’s stabilization system uses a form of Seiko Spring Drive technology. A quartz crystal oscillating 32,768 times a second, used as an unerring reference for the watch’s movement, coordinated by a tri-synchro regulator, letting the second hand glide across the dial, rather than jumping in jarring intervals. The same mechanism is in the plane. That’s the key —  the smooth, precise glide movement. That’s the heart of what keeps a 737 on an even keel in flight. Of course we don’t use an actual watch to stabilize a 737, but a Spring Drive would work as a backup in a pinch.”

Vincent wondered how he remembered that. He didn’t recall when or on what watch forum he’d read that post. Must have been the bump in flight that jarred my memory loose, like a stalled car starting after you’ve kicked it.

Vincent looked at the seat card’s safety information. We’re on a Boeing 737 Max. Vincent snapped his eyes toward his watch, a Grand Seiko Spring Drive.

“Is there a Spring Drive on board?” the baritone voice repeated. “Would any passenger with a Grand Seiko Spring Drive please come to the cockpit immediately.”

“That’s me,” Vincent said to the man sitting between him and the aisle. “That’s me.” Vincent inhaled a deep breath, and as if his lungs had filled with helium, floated over the man, and skipped to the cockpit.

----

Thanks to everyone at the Grand Seiko Owners Club for their photos. 










Friday, February 8, 2019

Grand Seiko Nerds

I am a watch nerd, and I'm happy with that.

I'm a watch nerd not because I'm attracted to shiny objects (which I am). I'm a watch nerd not because I enjoy gadgets (which I do.) I'm a watch nerd not because I like the thrill of finding and wearing a new watch (that, too.)

Geeking out with Grand Seikos 
I'm a watch nerd because watches make me feel complete. When I put on a watch, wind it, set the time and spin my wrist so the watch fills the space in front of me like a full moon, joy runs through my veins. Being a nerd is being happy.

I recently wrote about how collecting watches is a type of nerdism, but after publishing that article I'm willing to take this idea a step further: Grand Seiko collectors are the biggest watch nerds of all. Grand Seikos infuse collectors with an endorphin-like sensation more than most other brands, as if you're sitting inside a centuries-old Japanese shrine on an early spring morning, the melody of rustling leaves accompanying birds’ songs. Why does Grand Seiko make magic on our spirit, while other watch brands don't? I think it has something to do with the culture behind Seiko's special Zaratsu polishing, the purposeful journey Grand Seiko has taken over the past sixty years, the way Grand Seiko combines beauty and engineering without bragging about either, and the enchantment that lives in Japan and is embodied in each Grand Seiko.

But the pleasure we get from Grand Seiko also has a lot to do with us, the community of Grand Seiko wearers, who are spiritual cousins. When you spot a Datejust or Speedmaster on somebody else's wrist, it's a shrug of the shoulders. But if you happen to see a Kiku, Whirlpool, Cookie, Glacier [add a link or two] or other Grand Seiko in line with you at Starbucks you feel like you've reunited with a friend after many years.