As much as I think it is a bit of a cop-out to post a link to a post I’d already written (which itself was a re-publication of a piece I’d written even longer ago), today is Groundhog’s Day and there is something about today that would seemingly make that ok. A long time ago, I wrote something about the movie Groundhog Day, by Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. As a short recap, it is a movie about one day in the life of Bill Murray’s character, were he forced to repeat it infinitely. Its main premise derives from everything that could occur from a simple disturbance in how we experience time. I never turn down an opportunity to watch it. And in turn, I have never been disappointed after watching it. It is time-defyingly good.
In a small digression, I’ve been doing a lot of research on watches lately. Wrist watches, specifically. For some reason, I got in my head a while back that the next thing that I wanted was a handcrafted Swiss timepiece. So in between my time spent at work, cramming for ARE exams, managing my stock portfolio (heavy on gold-short on China), wagering on professional football, and managing to be not completely asocial, I’ve been reading about works by A. Lange & Sohne, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex. It’s hard not to want to own/experience one of those things once you know about them, and the horological world is a place where the knowledge is not easily exhausted. So I’ve been looking into buying one. Not anything digital, or electric, but the kind that are called “automatic” or “mechanical.” Maybe at some point one with “complications.” Run by gears, tourbillons, gyromaxes, oyster cases, and any matter of who-ha and what-not. You know, the kind that are a bit obscenely priced, and not altogether all that practical, but contain within each of them generations of knowledge derived from experiments, engineering, and a healthy dose of artisanship and inspiration. A while ago, in another post, I wrote about how a distinguishing idea about time is the primary contribution many famous architects have made to the concept of urbanity. Embodied in each watch is an idea about time, a theory of the meaning of that idea, and a mechanical execution of that idea. They’re wonderful things, and they remind me of how personal, relative, and individual our sense of time is.