why i wear: a watch with a cracked crystal

Developing my own style stemmed from including pieces over time that were not only aesthetically pleasing, but also served an additional function in my daily life.

Back in 2012, my sister was living in Australia at the time and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go and visit her during one of my holiday breaks in college. Our goal was to embark on a cross county road-trip from Perth to Uluru and back. A trip that would span nearly two weeks of solid travel.

Upon arriving at Perth Airport, I was picked up in the camper van that she, her boyfriend, and one of their friends from Ireland had rented and we began our journey. Without going into extensive detail as to how the trip went, I soon realized that there was no use for having a cell phone due to the fact that a) I didn't have a data package for Australia and b) I didn't have service for 99% of the road-trip.

Before leaving for Perth, my mom had given me our Christmas presents to bring with so my sister and I could open them in the outback together, roughly a week into our journey. So on Christmas day morning, in the parking lot of a gas station in the middle of nowhere, we opened our presents. We each were given a Swatch Watch.

This was the moment a watch became an essential part of my style. Everywhere I went, the Swatch watch was on my wrist...that was, until the strap broke.

Fast forward to present day. I have gone through several watches over the course of the last six years. A watch I received for being part of the Orange Bowl with WVU football, a Nixon I had received for a gift, and most recently, my great grandfather's Elgin Automatic.

When I first saw the watch, I was fairly disinterested. It had a stainless steel bracelet (I prefer nylon straps for comfort and flexibility), an awkward square face, and most notably, a sizable crack along the bottom half of the crystal. All imperfections I have grown to appreciate.

Although I know little about my great grandfather, (mostly due to the fact that my family seldom offers any information into our past). I do know that he was a bit of a gambler ...again, this is from the small amount of information that I've heard. So  much so, that it created a situation where he and my great grandmother lived in a trailer park. To think that this watch may have possibly been one of his most prized possessions is something that allows me to disregard the flaws and has even made me to cherish it.

I may not hear about his struggles through life, but I have heard plenty of his warm personality, his unbelievable appetite for pasta, and his genuine love for life...which is something that I truly do admire and strive to include in my everyday life. (Even the pasta part.)

The watch itself often has trouble keeping time, tends to soak up sweat in the gym  like no watch I have previously owned (due to the recent switch to a cheap nylon strap), and has a certain amount of heft to it. However, there are sometimes sacrifices that have to be made when looking to achieve a particular aesthetic.





  • Ben

    Thank you for taking the time to read the blog post. I’m glad you enjoyed the story of the watch. Writing these blog posts does help me appreciate the pieces I had acquired over the years that much more.
    All the best,

  • David Mullins

    Thanks for a sharing a little piece of your true self with everyone Ben. That is a really cool story. Life is a mystery and that watch is a really cool piece of your roots. And honestly bro I love the clunky square metal

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