As I drift into permanent adulthood, I continue the struggle to find new hobbies and interests which redefine me. It's the trickiest part about getting older. The midlife crisis is not so much about lamenting years gone by, but more about getting acquainted with the person you've become. Old habits and tendencies no longer apply. New passions and routines must be established. With kids, that becomes difficult. As we approach middle age, it's essential that we take the time to invest energy into our new interests, or we run the risk of becoming tired shells of former men and women we've forgotten how to be.
One of my new interests, which began almost exactly on my 40th birthday, is mechanical watches. It started with an obsession with the Rolex Submariner, and has evolved into a quest for as much knowledge as I can learn about watches and watchmaking. I'm not sure how it happened, but I've become obsessed. So I read watch magazines, look at pictures of watches on Pinterest, read about watch news on Hodinkee, scan the /r/Watches subreddit, check my Watchville app daily, and get excited for an annual watch expo in Switzerland called Baselworld. Each year at Baselworld, new models are introduced. Last year, Nomos introduced the Metro. After some brief thought, I pulled the trigger. It took six months to get it (each watch is made entirely in-house by skilled watchmakers in a small factory in Glashütte, Germany), but it was well worth the wait.
Take a look:
The greatest thing about this tiny masterpiece is that 99.9 percent of people will never even notice it on my wrist. It's not a flashy gold Rolex or blinged out Breitling. It's a Bauhaus inspired, perfectly simple dress watch.
One of the joys of collecting watches is that you get to choose the watch that feels right each morning. Whether it's the Swatch Sistem 51, the classic no-date Sub or maybe the vintage Rado, each watch makes checking the time a different and enjoyable experience. I know that sounds weird. But as a species who make it a point to mark time methodically and, at times obsessively, it seems fitting that we might enjoy doing so with some style.
I just started a separate Instagram account for my watch obsession. It's here if you're interested.