By most people’s standard, my watch is pretty old. At least a decade, by my own estimation.

It is a Fossil (it’s the brand, I don’t mean it literally :p) given to me by my then-girlfriend, and my now-wife. We had just started work after graduation. The piece of metal has one hour-hand, one minute-hand and one second-hand. It tells the time, nothing more, nothing less. There isn’t a function to tell the day of the week or the date, either. No light. No nothing – you get the idea.

It used to look pristine but has added quite a few scratches since then. The bronze-colored coating on the sides of the metallic band has long faded away to reveal plain metal underneath, from the constant contact with my skin and sweat.

A simple mechanical product that has had its battery replaced countless times. The water-resistant rubber seal has been changed once, too. It prevents the interior from getting fogged up. The gears get regularly oiled when I get the battery replaced, and that’s about the only maintenance it gets.

I don’t need any fanciful place. Just an old-school outlet in Bras Basah Complex for the past few years.

On a quiet Saturday, I walk into the shop with two uncles inside. One is staring blankly into empty space, another seemingly hard at work on another watch piece.

“Hello! 要换电池.”

They leave me to wait and wander around the small shop. While waiting, an auntie popped by to buy a simple digital clock, and lamented at the price. Failing to get the price any lower, she left. Me? I don’t even bother to ask the price anymore. Places like these? It will disappear soon enough. Why not give them a little business to keep it going just a little more.

The process took a little longer than usual. The uncle had taken the effort (without asking me) to do a little cleaning and oiling. Fifteen minutes later, it was good as new.

I paid, and left.

Every year or so, my wife would inevitably ask if I want a new watch for my birthday present. And I always say “no”. Mine tells the time, and it does it well. “Besides, it is a gift from you”, I would say to her.

There is no frugal or “kiam-siap” moral of the story to share here. It is just who I am. Besides, I’m the worst person for such blog posts. I’m way better with my YOLO luxury lifestyle. Can somebody please “whip” and remind me to blog about Maldives and pool villas 🙂 Even my wedding (did someone say 7-year itch) would be a memorable share. One day, perhaps!