Six years ago, wanting to treat myself, I purchased what I considered my first proper watch – a fully mechanical Omega Speedmaster. It’s served me well all these years and I enjoy the ritual of winding it in the mornings.
When I was researching which watch to buy, I became obsessed. I read and posted in online forums and learned everything I could. For instance, mechanical and automatic watches are not necessarily better timekeepers than their cheaper battery-powered cousins. A mechanical or automatic watch can run fast or slow and in some cases may need an adjustment to keep more accurate time. I noticed posters on watch forums would gleefully report “My new Omega is keeping almost perfect time so far. Only off by three seconds after two months!” Just as often someone would post, “My new Breitling is already off by twelve seconds after three days.” Yes, they (or we as I would come to discover) kept track of how precisely new watches kept time.
When I finally strapped on my new watch, I created an Excel spreadsheet to track seconds gained or lost each day. I even [[[cringe]]] reported the daily results to my wife as if it was something she might need to know.
I kept up this spreadsheet daily for an entire month until I realized that my watch always showed the proper time give or take a second or three. It may have not been perfectly on time with the atomic clock, which I did have bookmarked, but it was on time enough. I finally realized that it didn’t matter. I stopped reading the message board posts and glancing at my watch wondering if it was exactly right. I just wound it every day and enjoyed it. I haven’t reset it to the atomic time in years. It’s on time enough.
I learned an important lesson though: my watch was, and is, fine. Your watch is probably fine too. I think of that weird little spreadsheet of mine often with a bit of embarrassment.
And, I’m reminded of that obsession almost daily when I read the ongoing debates on the sharpness of camera lenses. Trust me, your lens is probably sharp enough. Stop obsessing over graphs and data and just enjoy using it.