FRIDAY WIND DOWN: An open letter describing how you schooled us on the place of watches in a pandemic. How can they still matter? FRIDAY WIND DOWN: An open letter describing how you schooled us on the place of watches in a pandemic. How can they still matter?

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: An open letter describing how you schooled us on the place of watches in a pandemic. How can they still matter?

Andrew McUtchen

This time a couple of weeks ago, the challenge was set, and it was formidable. A fast approaching watch fair – Watches & Wonders – with no watches in sight.

None to have.
None to hold.
None to video.
What choice but to fold?

We didn’t do that, though. We’re Aussies, we don’t give up that easy. And also, as newly minted media partners of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH)  – a responsibility that we are honoured to uphold – we had a duty to deliver.

Like we talked about in last week’s Wind Down, we considered that many of you, our dear readers and viewers, are currently on the couch, rapidly bingeing through ALL the series like Joe Exotic binges on hair dye.

We considered that while we couldn’t hold them in the metal, we could talk to the good images we had of them, and we could bring in some friends, and off-site team members to talk to the detail and the highlights. And then, late in the piece, the boss of IWC joined in, too. We could also make it look more fun than usual. Like a Late Show. Voila. We had a virtual watch fair of sorts, and it was something we could home deliver to you wherever you were in the world. Hence the name, the Home Delivery Watch Fair.

We start the Wind Down with this, because the whole week was all about it. New watches. New collections. It was almost like normal at Time+Tide, except it’s still not at all normal. On any level. I, for example, am working from my pool shed in near freezing temperatures (winter has dropped in April, just to make this year even more enjoyable, ROLLS EYES), Nick is coming to you live from his walk-in robe after losing a rock papers scissors desk battle with his girlfriend. Sandra is still stranded in New Zealand, unable to fly out, and Luke and James are fighting battles with empty apartments and a house full of toddlers, respectively.

This picture does NOT show Sandra Lane’s feelings about being stuck in New Zealand. But really, Sandra, it could be worse …

At the moment, the mentality of whatever gets you through the night has never been more applicable. And we can tell you that what has got us through this last seven of them, magnificently we must say, is you. Your positivity. Your comments. Your passion. We have had a whopper for engagement across all platforms, and you might think that’s all about the new watches. But don’t forget, people, it’s making a huge difference to our lives too. Your positivity mattered more than ever this week. What surprised us, on a deeper level, was the place that reading and watching things about watches has in your life, and in difficult times.

Richard Winter wrote on YouTube, “Thank you so much for putting that together. It’s nice to spend an hour looking at watches we’d all love to have … a much needed time out from the virus and related tragic events.”

Benny Chen, also on YouTube, agreed. “Thanks for a great video! Brings a bit of watch hope in difficult times.”

“Awesome work Andrew and the team from T&T,” Sam Webmaster wrote on YouTube. “Keep us updated during the lock down. Keep up the good work guys and stay safe.”

So, I have learned something over the last seven days. More than just a schooling, comments like these have given me a precious wake-up call. Because, let’s talk honestly here. Sometimes, in the context of this global pandemic, what we do here at Time+Tide can seem trifling. At best, its meaning can be diminished. At worst, it can seem a plain silly way to spend one’s energies. Especially at a time when the world needs so many things.

So, to recap this unforgettable week … in a timely fashion, we’ve brought you up to speed on many new watches. But we want to thank you for teaching us about something timeless. We have come away with a renewed sense of purpose that watches do matter, even in a crisis. In some ways, whatever you love, whatever gets you through the night, has never mattered to us more.

Stay safe and (for those with toddlers) stay sane,