I was going through a box of bits and pieces a few weeks back, odds and ends that I’ve somehow managed to drag in my wake over the last few years, with a vague idea of chucking it out, and amongst all the dusty rechargers to devices I no longer have, crumpled boarding passes, business cards from people I can’t remember, wads of useless currency from poorer nations, hardened tubes of glue and so forth, I found an old watch. Just the watch, no strap. The glass was badly scratched and it no longer worked – the winder had seized up. I remembered buying it in the far-off days of my first marriage and suddenly felt sorry for it. A Hamilton automatic, with a glass back so you can see the works spin (or not). Twenty-five jewels, Incabloc, sweep second hand and date window, and beautiful “Westminster” hands, very delicate. But busted and beat-up.
So I took it upriver to Nakhon, where I knew of a watchmender in the market. He has a couple of glass-topped display counters and a rack of cheap straps, and his business is mostly fitting batteries into digital watches. His face lit up at the » Continue Reading.