Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Nine years ago while having a necklace repaired, I spied a lovely vintage lady's watch at our village jewelry shop. I was instantly smitten and asked to try the timepiece on. Oddly, it fit my wrist perfectly. No, pluperfectly. The diamond encrusted face spanned the entire front of my wrist and the black fabric band could barely be seen at all and yet, its clasp connected with ease in the back. It was made for me.
Over the years, I visited my watch regularly. Sometimes I simply gazed at it longingly and sometimes it was simply too irresistible not to try on. Soon I became known as The Watch Lady. When the little bell above the shop's door rang, the owner would look up and smile, knowing exactly what I wanted. Of course, he tried every tactic to get me to buy the watch but I couldn't imagine spending such an amount while putting my daughter through college. He did let me take it to the big palladium window sometimes so that I could turn my wrist in the sunlight for maximum sparkle and spark. Unfortunately, I watched the price of the watch climb in increments until it was completely out of my completely outer range.
Last summer, I had not been to the jewelers in a while when I advised my daughter and her fiancé to visit the shop to search for their engagement ring. I told my daughter to tell the owner that she was The Watch Lady's daughter and perhaps he would offer her a good deal on her ring. She did. And he did. And my daughter was sent home with a special message along with her engagement ring: "Tell your mother she can have the watch for the 2005 price".
Did I buy it? No. Did I think about it? You bet. But then the rush of the holidays came and I was busy shopping for others, wrapping, and baking. On Christmas morning, however, I noticed an odd box under the tree. At first, I thought it was a book but when I picked it up, I realized it was too light for a book. The wrapping paper was unfamiliar but something told me the present was mine. I tore through the Christmas foil to an elegant gold trimmed navy box. Inside was the very object of my desire: the lovely vintage diamond encrusted lady's watch that fits my wrist pluperfectly. There was no note, no message attached to my beautiful gift and the watch isn't talking. Neither is the young miss who may have aided and abetted. My newly engaged roommate only smiles when I ask.
P.S. I have discovered that my watch is a 1933 Bulova art deco style called "The Ardsley". It was made in Zurich and imported to be sold exclusively at Gimbels in New York City. And believe it or not, I wear it every day. Life's short and afterall, I was without it for nine years.
(Credit: Strickland Vintage Watch)