¶ The Seiko 5 Automatic Watch

I first wore a watch in elementary school. I was nearly obsessive about time as a young child. When was recess? Lunch? End of the school day? When did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come on? I was always looking forward to what was next in my day and a watch kept me informed. I'm sure I annoyed my teachers by reminding them of what should be coming next in the day.

Over the years I wore many different types of watches. I had the Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. My Dad passed down his Casio G-SHOCK watch when he got a newer model. I love that watch, because of all the timers and gizmos it had. I envied Dad's newer model because it looked almost futuristic.

As I grew into my teens and became fascinated by the newer James Bond movies of the time (ah, GoldenEye), my taste in watches mimicked the class of Bond. I desired stainless steel. I eventually got a Pulsar that was stainless steel with a blue bezel that made me feel like 007.

After a number of years, the ratcheting bezel on the Pulsar broke and I got a very nice looking Seiko stainless steel watch that I still have to this day, though it needs a new battery. But a few years into wearing it, I decided to stop wearing watches entirely.

I remember exactly why, too. I was in college, and had upgraded from the eMac to the iBook G4 for my sophomore year. It was the thickness of the iBook combined with placing my wrist on its wrist rest that discouraged me from my watch. The angle made the buckle of the watch dig into my wrist, and it wasn't long before I started having shooting pains in my left hand. I started taking off my watch when I'd be typing for a bit and, over time, it just remained on my desk. I started checking the time on the small external display of my Motorola RAZR.

I stopped wearing a watch.

Fast forward about ten years and watches are quite popular to talk about again, the topic is not the watches of your father's or grandfather's time. That's a story for a different day. Needless to say, the interest of those I follow on Twitter and read articles of has had a halo effect renewing my interest in timekeeping. So I put a watch on my Amazon wish list about a year or so ago, and figured I'd see what happens.

I could have simply replaced the battery in my stainless steel Seiko, but it is a watch that is not likely something one would wear day-to-day with a t-shirt and jeans. I wanted to wade back into timekeeping with something simple and unobtrusive. I picked the Seiko 5 Automatic watch.

The Seiko 5 is a simple watch in that it tells the current time and shows the day and date. That's all. It has an aluminum body, a clear back, and a simple black canvas strap. Its second hand moves in such tiny yet quick increments it appears as if it were a sweeping second hand. It's a nice touch that I enjoy quite a bit.

It's also an automatic watch. It will never need a battery. The momentum of wearing it keeps it going. This is where the clear back of the watch is fascinating. You can see the weight move around and keep the springs wound tight. It's also a neat way to observe the inner workings of a wristwatch. Everything is so small and delicate, it amazes me any of it even works.

My favorite characteristic of the Seiko 5 is when I bring my arm up to rest my head upon my hand, leaning on my desk or the arm of the couch. That's when I can hear the mechanics of the watch as it is close to my ear. Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick. It's rapid and almost hypnotic. The steady rhythm is relaxing and brings peace.

The Seiko 5 is both simple yet elegant in appearance. It can be worn casually in your most comfortable clothes, but also pairs well when dressing up, as it doesn't stand out in any way. Not too plain, not too eye-catching. Just right.