Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Morpho

a short story by Bill Adler

Jason Chien was walking south on Third Avenue between 56th and 55th Streets when he went blind. A bright blue and green light that appeared to have been fired from a laser cannon destroyed his eyes.

Jason had never thought about what he’d do if he suddenly couldn’t see, but today he found out. Jason froze in place. The sidewalk was crowded with office workers on the hunt for lunch, and Jason fully expected somebody to crash into him. Jason’s last sight was of tattooed blond woman in her twenties walking two border collies, closing in at a fast clip, which made him think that if he didn’t get tackled from behind he would become entangled in the retractable leashes and face plant onto the pavement.

Morpho photo by Ricky Wong. This is the same Morpho
as the one in the photo below. 
After standing still for about thirty seconds — Jason couldn’t tell exactly how long because he couldn’t see his watch — he concluded, happily, that he wasn’t going to topple over. Jason extended his arm and took a tentative step forward. When he didn’t collide with anything or anyone, Jason braved another step. He detected light leaking in from the sides of his eyes, a gray glow that resembled a thick, nighttime fog illuminated only by a weak streetlamp. Jason took another step. Jason could make out shapes, and while the forms were only rectangular slabs, being able to see anything at all offered hope. Jason shuffled forward another meter.

Same Morpho as above - hard to believe, but that's the
magic of the Seiko Morpho. Photo by Ricky Wong.
Though motionless, the rectangular slabs jingled like windchimes in an approaching storm, but with the sound coming from all directions at once.

A shadow to the right followed him. Jason told himself that the shadow was just an aftereffect of temporary blindness, that nothing was there. But with each step the shadow stalked him. Jason sped up his pace. He wasn’t ready to run lest the shadow attack, like a leopard chasing an impala that suddenly darts, but he tensed his leg muscles just in case. Jason maintained a steady pace, his arm still in front of him.

Jason glanced to his right. The shadow still followed. Jason darted his eyes toward the left where he saw another ghostly phantom tracking him. He slid forward faster, lowering his arm in case he needed it to defend himself from whatever was pursuing him.

A man jumped toward him.

Jason screamed.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Mr. Gold's Cold

"Seymour, waddya up to next weekend?"

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

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

"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 machine.

"What I want 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. “ 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 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 missing a Friends rerun. 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 eyes, the light from his halogen headlamp absorbed by the opaque orbs.

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

“The exhumation sheet doesn’t say. 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. 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 sending 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 the words, “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.

Mike dropped his instruments next to his patient, and sallied over to Seymour's table. “They should tell us what the deceased did for a living because that would give us more insight into what killed them. Like if it’s a lawyer, it’s going to be a heart attack, or if it’s a race car driver and the body’s 2D, we can surmise he wasn’t pushed off a building. Maybe your guy was a professional ice diver and caught a really bad cold that way.” He surveyed Mike’s patient and asked, "Gold’s been dead about two weeks, right?"

Seymour took the clipboard at the foot of the autopsy table and flipped to the second page. "Yeah, that's what it says."

Mike lifted the dead man's arm, a stiff, rotten branch, tapped around the elbow and forearm, squeezed the upper arm, and said to himself, “Does feel like two weeks.” He turned back to Seymour. "Answer me this. How can it be two weeks if his watch is ticking and showing today’s date?" Mike ran his fingertips along the watch’s crystal like he was polishing it.

“You’re not going to steal a dead man’s watch, are you?” Seymour held the clipboard in his left hand and the pencil attached to it by string in his right, as if he were about to give Mike a demerit.

“So what if I am? He’s not going to need it.”

“Maybe he does. Like you said, it’s ticking.”

“That’s exactly why I want it.” Mike offered Seymour a wide, toothy smile. “I’ve never seen a watch that’s still going strong after a body’s been in the ground for two weeks.”

“You’ve been sniffing too much formaldehyde, Dr. Angelo.”

Mike sneered. “Tell me you’ve never stolen anything off a corpse.”

Before Seymour could complete a sentence, stuttering his way through a seemingly random set of consonants and vowels, Mike interrupted, “I saw you slip that diamond ring off a dead lady and pop it into your pocket the week before last.”


“You thought I didn’t notice? You’re so clumsy, so obvious. You may be an okay pathologist — and I’m not saying you are — but you’re a lousy thief. Make a note of that on your clipboard: Seymour Hass will never be a competent thief. So I’m keeping this watch and you’re not going to tell a living soul.”

Friday, October 4, 2019

Alternate Reality

a short story about watches by Bill Adler

"Are you sure you won’t press charges?" The young cop straightened his shirt with a quick tug. He would have smoothed his collar, too, but was already feeling self-conscious about his stiffly starched uniform.

"It's certainly your privilege, but I've never known anyone not to." The cop neglected to mention that he’d only been on the police force for a week and this was his first investigation. "A crime's been committed, and justice should be done." That’s what they taught him at the Academy.

The cop’s name tag read Fitzmond McElroy, but he liked to be called Fitz.

Fitz stood just inside Stan Harwood’s apartment. Fitz had also been taught that a cop can learn more from what you see where somebody lives than by what they tell you. The essence of a person is in their furniture, art, decorations, style of living, and the other artifacts of their life. Stan’s apartment told Fitz that whatever Stan did for a living, Fitz would never know such opulence even if he eventually became a police captain. Fitz patted his Timex.

“Officer —” Stan glanced at Fitz’s name tag. “McElroy. I appreciate your concern and I appreciate your coming so quickly, but I just wanted to report the crime for statistical purposes. I believe crimes should be reported regardless of anything else.” Stan brought his arm to his face and coughed into it.

“Are you okay, sir?”

Stan continued to cough for the remainder of the minute. “I’m fine. Just allergies.” As if on cue, a tuxedo cat strolled over, rubbed against Stan’s leg, and then retreated back into another room. “Cat allergy. What can I do? I love Alley.” Stan looked at his watch. “Where were we, Officer McElroy?”

“We were talking about you pressing charges.”

“Ah, yes. But no.”

“May I see your watch?”

“Of course.” Stan unfastened the metal clasp, snapped it back together, and gently placed his gold Grand Seiko in the policeman’s outstretched palm. With his right hand, Fitz pulled a magnifying loupe out of his pocket and scrunched it with his eye. He rotated the watch through all possible geometric angles. Fitz returned the loupe to his pocket.

“May I?” Fitz asked.

“Of course.”

Fitz ran his fingertips across the watch’s crystal. “Oh, lovely.” He then held it to his ear. “Hi-beat. There’s no more beautiful sound.”

“I agree.”

Fitz retrieved his phone from his other pocket. He tapped the screen, opened an app, and placed the phone’s microphone next to Stan’s watch, silently holding it there for a full two minutes. Red, yellow and blue lines wobbled up and down on the screen in a graphical dance. Below the graph was a digital display that flashed a pattern of numbers: +.01/+.085/+.072/-.0036/-0052. Finally, his phone beeped a long, mellow tone, and the top half of the screen displayed OK in green. Fitz aimed the screen at Stan, who nodded and smiled.

“While the injuries are just cosmetic — it looks like everything’s fine on the inside — that’s still aggravated assault. Plus Diamond Kerr — we caught him thanks to street cameras — ran away, which adds a charge of hit and run. He’s looking at five to ten years. We’re holding Kerr now at the Twenty Second Precinct, but will have to release him in the next seventy-two hours if you don’t press charges.”

Friday, September 27, 2019

Time Serviced

a short story by Bill Adler

SBGC231 photo by Samuel Chan
The following is a record of email correspondence between John Logan and One Watch, from which John Logan purchased a Grand Seiko SBGC231, a GMT Spring Drive of exceptional beauty. In September 2019, the Grand Seiko SBGC231 made its journey from One Watch’s’ Florida shop to San Francisco, where John Logan lives.

Or so he thought. There was an unplanned detour along the way.

September 10, 2019:

Hi Kate, Just wanted to let you know that FedEx seems to have lost the watch. It was supposed to have arrived yesterday according to an automated email, but now the tracking information says, “No Delivery Date Scheduled.” I even received an email from FedEx that said, “Preparing for your delivery,” but after that, crickets. Can you help me? -John

September 11, 2019

Hi, John I’m so sorry to hear that your watch hasn’t arrived on schedule. I’ll contact FedEx and let you know what they say. -Kate

September 12, 2019

FedEx is still looking for your watch. The latest tacking information says it was at their hub in Memphis. Thanks for being patient. We’re on it. -Kate

September 12, 2019

Thanks, Kate. It’s strange that the watch was scheduled for delivery, but then just vanished. I’ll stand by. -John

September 13, 2019

John, We’ve enlisted out insurance company to help track the package down. This has only happened once before, but one way or another you’ll have a Grand Seiko SBGC231, even if we have to send you another. Hang in there. -Kate

Hi Kate. Thanks again. It still says “Processing at Memphis.” It’s been that way for three days. I’ll hold on. I have faith. -John

September 15, 2019

They found your watch! It got misplaced somehow. It will arrive in San Francisco in a few days. Same tracking number as before. You’re a prince for being so patient. -Kate

September 17, 2019

I got it! Thanks. You’re wonderful!

October 1, 2020

SBGC231 photo by Samuel Chan
Hi Kate. Do you remember me? I ordered a Grand Seiko SBGC231 (nicknamed Chewbacca) from you about a year ago. The package was lost for several days with no tracking information and no indication of what happened to it during that interval.

I’m not writing about any problems. The watch is still working great. In fact, too great. Weirdly great. This isn’t my first Grand Seiko Spring Drive, so I’m familiar enough with them to know the range of a Spring Drive’s accuracy. I set the watch when it arrived a year ago; the SBGC231 hasn’t lost or gained a single second in over a year. The second hand is right on the money. Exactly, even after a year. Although Seiko rates the Spring Drive to +/- a second a day, some people’s watches will do a bit better. But no Spring Drive I’ve ever heard of is perfectly accurate like this one.

Here’s the other thing. The power reserve. It’s supposed to be 72 hours. But it lasts six months on a single winding.

Anyway, I’m happy with Chewbacca. Thanks again for all your help a year ago. I just wanted you to know how it’s both fantastic and strange.

October 2, 2020

John, Thanks for the update. I’m glad you’re enjoying the watch. That is odd, but it’s a Grand Seiko, so not so surprising, eh? -Kate

“Sam. Sam I Am,” Chip said. He scanned the box in front of him with his laser wand.

“Stop calling me that,” Sam replied. He sneered at Chip. 

“I’ll stop calling you Sam I Am when you stop messing up.”

“Oh, did I make a mistake?” Sam grunted as he put the FedEx box he was sorting on the table. 

“Only like the third time this month.” Stop with the innocent look, too. You know exactly what happened. “You put a parcel in the experimental temporal sorter.”

“I did?” Sam blinked several times at Chip, surrendering to him with a wide smile. He shuffled his feet on the concrete floor, as if starting a dance routine. 

“Where did you FedEx it?” Chip demanded. “We could lose our jobs for this.”

“Chill.” Sam waved his hands in an arc. “Nobody’s going to know we used the ETS. What’s an experimental device if you can’t experiment with it? Besides, you mean ‘when and where’.”

“Just tell me.” Chip tapped his foot on the concrete floor. 

“The customs invoice on the box said the contents were a Grand Seiko, so I FedExed it to Seiko in 2039, along with some instructions.”

“What instructions?” Chip narrowed his eyes. 

“Please service this watch.”


“FedEx in 2039 returned the package a few days later the same way they received it, through the temporal sorter. The ETS is no longer experimental in 2039. But it’s all good. Seiko serviced the watch and I forwarded it to the original recipient in our time, a guy named Logan in Frisco. No harm, no foul.”

“Just. Don’t do that again. Okay?”

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Grand Seiko Man

a short story by Bill Adler

“Mommy, can I have a lollipop?” Bobby tugged on his mother’s arm with all the strength his five-year-old muscles could muster. He opened his eyes wide, doing his best to resemble Pepper's face when she begged for food. Pepper was their beagle. “Look, Mommy, that man has a basket full. Maybe there’s a blue one. Blue lollipops are my favorite.”

Alice scanned the man up and down, from his perfectly coiffed brown hair, to his impeccably starched white shirt, to his tan, alligator belt, gray, Merino wool pants, and his shiny, unscuffed, Versace black shoes that were laced in perfect symmetry. Had she been single, Alice might have been attracted to the man’s soccer player physique, flawless skin, and come hither lips. But that was long ago, and besides, she was in mom mode.

The man directed his gaze downward, smiled at Bobby, and flicked his wrist so his watch reflected the yellow sunlight toward Bobby’s feet. He traced a rocket ship with the sun’s reflection. “Mommy, please?” Bobby smiled at Alice, trying to mimic the man’s expression. Bobby didn’t notice that his missing two front teeth made him anything but a mirror image of the man with the lollipop basket.

Photo by Greg Goode
“He’s a Grand Seiko Man,” Alice said, punctuating the sentence as if there was no more that needed to be said. Alice wanted to throw a sheet over the easel the man was standing next to, which displayed photographs of shiny Grand Seikos worn by attractive women and men like him. Bubbling inside her was a powerful urge to pull a pen out of her bag and deface the words, "Grand Seiko. Timeless elegance, relentless perfection." If she had been alone, Alice might have done that. Her muscles tensed, and a vein separated her forehead into two parts. "It's all lies," she needed to scream.

Alice tugged on Bobby’s arm. Bobby planted his feet on the sidewalk, summoning gravity to glue himself in place. “Just one lollipop, mommy, please. My tummy is hungry.”

“If you take a lollipop from a Grand Seiko Man he’s also going to give you a pamphlet. He’s going to want you to read it.

“I can’t read yet, Mommy.”

“It doesn’t matter. He’s going to give it to you anyway.” Alice had a vision of throwing out the pamphlet only to have it return, the pamphlet finding its way to Bobby’s pillow as if under the spell of a dark fairy. She’d throw it out again and again, but each time the pamphlet would come back until Bobby was old enough to be persuaded by its dangerous words.

“All I want is a lollipop.” Bobby groaned. He rubbed his belly. “I’m so hungry for a blue lollipop.” Bobby took a gulp of air, and held his breath, trying to turn his face blue, too.

Alice noticed the man grinning. He was counting on her willpower being worn down by a five-year-old. It had happened to her, to every parent in one place or another, and it could happen today.

“It doesn’t matter if you can’t read.” Alice tried to slow her heartbeat by focusing on her breathing. One and two, in; three and four, out. “He’s going to say things to you when you’re close enough to hear him. That’s what the Grand Seiko Man wants, to whisper a few words to innocent little boys, to plant evil thoughts that you'll recall when you're older.”

The man took a small cloth out of his pocket and rubbed the watch's crystal, as if he was waxing a car.

“I don’t understand, mommy. Is he a bad man?”

Friday, September 13, 2019

Time Eater

a short story by Bill Adler

"Take my hand," Ann says. "Feel my life."

We hide in the forest as it devours time’s last scraps. Only a sliver of sun still glows, but I have Ann’s warmth. Is it a monster from another universe? We only know that the behemoth eats watches, grinding time to a halt with each bite, its obliteration relentless. Today, rivers stopped flowing; yesterday, clouds froze in place. We’ve not seen people in weeks. We may be the last.

It senses our Grand Seikos, crushing the trees that had concealed us, anticipating its final meal before the Earth stops spinning.

I wrote this story aiming to keep it short, very short, under a hundred words. One hundred word stories are special genre of short story, a complicated dance between word count and adventure. I hope that you enjoyed Time Eater. 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Revenge Is Expensive

a short story by Bill Adler

“This better work,” Alexandre typed.

“Damn right,” came out of Kyoko’s keyboard.

“That’s one thing I’m certain about — this is going to cost a fortune,” flew across the shared messaging screen from Tomas.

“Everyone pause a sec,” William said. His words glowed. “This is going to work. And it is worth it. You know that. We’ve been discussing this for nearly a month and now’s the time.”

“Yeah, but $100,000 US,” Kyoko said to the group. “That’s over 10 million yen.”

“It sounds larger when you say it in yen,” Tomas typed. “But I agree with William. It’s put up or shut up time. Is everyone still in?”





“Before we commit our bank accounts to an irrevocable path,” William typed, “I just want to reiterate how much of a jerk Mr. Pleasant is. He’s not pleasant at all. Posting that picture was wrong, more wrong than anything I’ve seen since starting our online Grand Seiko group. My stomach fills with acid when I think about that day.”

“Poor Harry,” Kyoko said. “He didn’t deserve what Pleasant did.”

“Nobody does,” Alexandre added. “Even if Harry lied. We’ve all lied in the group about something at some time.”

When nobody replied for thirty seconds, Alexandre continued, “Let’s start next week. The sooner the better.”

“I’ll handle the logistics since I’m in Japan,” Kyoko typed. “I can do it so we remain anonymous. You all just make sure to cover the $75,000 that’s your end.”

“The first package will arrive next week?” Tomas asked.

“Yes. And one a week for twelve weeks or until we run out of funds,” Kyoko said. “Or until his wife leaves him, whichever comes first.”

Alexandre, Tomas, and William sent blue thumbs up.

“Anyone who’s married to a watch collector gets angry when their spouse buys an expensive watch without telling in advance. She’ll steam when Pleasant gets his first package. Become enraged when the second watch arrives. She’ll be furious when the third $7,000 watch is delivered. I figure Pleasant’s marriage may not survive even four watches,” Kyoko wrote. “What’s he going to say? ‘These aren’t mine! I didn’t order any Grand Seikos.’ Once Pleasant’s wife brands him a greedy liar, it’s only a matter of time until the next box kills their marriage for good. I only wish I could see Pleasant’s face when his wife confronts him.”

“If we’re lucky, she’ll think he’s got a mistress who’s sending him watches,” Tomas added.

“Somebody might get a ten dollar baseball cap in the mail by mistake. But not a Grand Seiko. His marriage is toast,” William said.

“That will teach Pleasant not to post private information about anyone on the Grand Seiko Street. I feel bad for Harry, despite him lying.” Alexandre said. “Posting a picture of Harry wearing a Rolex right after Harry said he only wears Grand Seikos was wrong.”

“Pleasant’s an ogre and he’s getting what he deserves,” William added.

Four blue thumbs popped up across their screens.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Soul

a short story by Bill Adler

“You’re awake.”

The disembodied voice arrives on my left. A man’s voice. Young, a smooth baritone that echoes. In the pitch dark I can't see or know anything other than the man’s voice and that we are in a room with solid walls of some kind.

“I could tell you were awake. Your breathing changed. Your breathing rate increased right after you took in a swallow of air. I’m a paramedic, so I noticed.”

My head hurts, especially the back of it. I try to raise my arm, but my hands are stuck.

“Handcuffs. We’re handcuffed to metal chairs. The chairs are bolted to the floors. And our legs, too, shackled. There’s nowhere to go, nothing we can do.” The voice pauses, then there is a yanking sound, like a rope being jerked in the game, tug-of-war. “Every now and then I try even though there’s no hope.”

“I’m in pain all over and I’m cold. My head feels like it’s been split in two.”

“Yeah. I know. What’s the last thing you remember before you woke up in this nightmare?”

“I was pushing my stroller between two buildings on Third to get out of the sun. My husband said he’d dash into Starbucks for a couple of iced coffees while I waited in the shade.” My mind snaps to attention. Involuntarily, I try to bring my palm to my face but it won’t move. “Oh my God. Emily! Where is Emily?” Although I already know it would not amount to anything, I struggle in my chair with all my might tug against the cuffs. “Where's my baby? Is she here? Emily! Emily!” A six-month old isn't going to respond, but the mother's instinct rules me, and I call out, “Emily! Where are you?” I shiver from the cold and shutter from my fear. My cheeks are covered with tears I cannot wipe off. I hear dripping, but it is not the sound of my tears falling to the floor.

“Hey, hey. She’s not here. I’m sure your daughter's okay.”

I swallow a few shallow breaths, taking in some of my tears with them, which makes me cough. When I stop coughing he continues, “He doesn’t want your daughter.”

“How can you know that? It’s pitch black here. She could be here.”

He doesn't answer my question. “What’s on your wrist?”


“What are you wearing? What kind of watch?”

How does he know I am wearing a watch? Is he in on this? Is he the kidnapper? I don’t know this guy. What am I doing here? But without any other ideas of what to do, I answer, “A Grand Seiko. My husband gave it to me.”

“I have a Panerai.”

“A what?”

“Doesn’t matter. What matters is that yours is a high-end mechanical watch. It’s mechanical, right?”

Friday, August 23, 2019

What’s Your Superpower?

a short story by Bill Adler

Kathy poked at her meat loaf with her fork, as if she were testing the temperature of a swimming pool with her toes. She looked both anxious and apprehensive as she let her fork hover over the plate, before it dropped like a divining rod into the mashed potatoes.

“Good choice,” Abe said.

“Sometimes I want to save the potatoes for last. It’s a toss up, you know what I mean? Eat the food you’re not favoring first, then the good stuff becomes dessert. But the danger is you’ll fill up and won’t have room for dessert.” Kathy consumed two forkfuls of potatoes, letting a few peas along for the ride. “Mmm. Diners are god.” She sliced into her meatloaf with the edge of the fork, took a bite and said, “Speaking of which, “I can drive a thirty-foot truck in reverse. I register voters. I ask random strangers if they’re registered to vote, and if they say ‘no’ I sign them up real quick. And, most powerful of all, I can drink flat tonic water.”

Abe smiled at Kathy while he swirled his spaghetti around his fork. “I have hindsight. I’m a foster cat dad. I grow tomatoes on my balcony.”

“You going to share some tomatoes with me?”

“When we get back, you can have as many as you desire.”

Christopher, who was sitting next to Kathy opposite me in the booth, rang his water glass with the side of his spoon. “Ah hem.” He cleared his throat. “I can function on little or no sleep. I get ready for work in twenty minutes flat, and that includes brushing my teeth. And I’m able to insert a USB stick into a USB drive the correct way every time.”

“Ooo,” Abe said, “That USB thing is a superpower I wished I had.”

It was my turn. “I’m a redhead. I can walk down the aisle of a moving train without holding onto other people’s seats and not fall into anyone’s lap. I can rid my brain of earworms with a single thought.”

Abe, Kathy, Christopher, and I played What’s Your Superpower? whenever we stopped for a meal during our cross country road trip. What’s Your Superpower? isn’t the most inspired group game, but it’s more fun than Twenty Questions, Memory, or Would you Rather? Our superpowers were fanciful, funny, clever and sometimes poignant. In What’s Your Superpower? you can have any superpower, as long as it’s not a real one like Superman or the Flash. And, most importantly,  playing What’s Your Superpower? distracted my friends from their other pastime: ridiculing me for wearing a dive watch.

When you wear a dive watch, you have
powers beyond imagination. Photo by
Samuel Chan from the Grand SeikoOwners Club.
It was gentle ribbing, but the words still stung. “Are you going to bungee jump into the Pacific?” (That was from Christopher.) “You won’t need lead weights around your scuba suit; your watch is big enough to carry you down.” (Abe’s spoken thoughts.) About five hundred miles ago we stopped to get water bottles and Milky Way bars at a 7-11. It was drizzling. “I volunteer Dan to go out in the rain to pick up supplies. He’s got the dive watch,” Kathy said.

I should have expected the ribbing, because they’re right. Who needs a watch that’s water resistant to 1000 meters when the wettest I’m going to get my watch is a shower’s gentle drizzle. I’m no diver. I can’t even remember the last time I swam in a pool or waded into the ocean. (In my defense, redheads visit the beach at their own peril.) I bought this beautiful, British technological marvel of a watch because it’s fun. There’s nothing wrong with having fun. The Christopher Ward C60 Trident Elite 1000’s dial is one of the most gorgeous blues I’ve ever laid eyes on. The blue bezel reminds me photographs I’ve seen of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral. The watch is fashioned out of titanium, the same stuff they use to make submarines, which means it’s impervious to nearly everything, including shark bites — not that I’d ever get closer to a shark than at an aquarium —  and it keeps great time, too.

I was eating a tuna melt sandwich and drinking a Diet Coke at Tim’s Joint, the diner off I-40 a few miles from Flagstaff, Arizona we had stopped at, when Christopher put his burger down, pointed to my watch, and blurted out, “You can dive 1000 meters underwater without a scuba tank. That’s your superpower.”

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Grand Seiko Snowflake, A Photo Essay

“With luck, it might even snow for us.” 
-Haruki Murakami, After Dark

Meadows and forests inspire poets as places of tranquility and meditation, but snowfields are just as evocative and refreshing.

The Grand Seiko Snowflake’s dial is the Karmann Ghia of watch dials, a look that will endure for as long as the universe. But unlike the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, or other everlasting image such as the Coke bottle, Hasselblad 500C Camera, the V-J kiss in Times Square, the Snowflake’s dial is without complexity or adornment. It is what it is: A field of drifting snow over which time moves. It's as if Mother Nature herself played a part in designing this dial.

The dial tantalizes you, invites you step into its embrace.

Please enjoy this photo essay about the Grand Seiko Snowflake. The photos are from the Grand Seiko Owners Club, which you can join for free at

Photo by Mark Lim

Photo by Tim Gleason

Photo by Stefan Molin

Photo by Tony Abbate

Photo by Tim Gleason