Mechanical watches partake of what my friend John Clute calls the Tamagotchi Gesture. They’re pointless in a peculiarly needful way; they’re comforting precisely because they require tending.
I think it’s an expression of our old hunter-gatherer module. I think that’s the module that lights up for everybody on eBay, regardless of what they’re looking for. It’s the flea-market gene. It’s hunting a bargain, sometimes. But when I went through my “watch process,” at the end of it I realized it was about information, about trying to master a body of fairly esoteric knowledge, regardless of what it was about. For somebody else it could have been hockey statistics. It wasn’t really collecting; it was about getting the knowledge.