I have always been drawn to watches. My first memory of them is the thick band that my grandpa used to wear. I would sit on his lap while he did crossword puzzles and spin it on his wrist. Ever since that moment, I’ve loved them. The ticking, gears, and old-school way to tell time makes them my favorite pieces of jewelry. That’s why I hold my vintage watch collection so near and dear to my heart. It’s an odd thing to be drawn to, but I feel like I have a piece of the memories ticking away inside them.
So when it came time for my grandparents to clean out their drawers and start getting rid of their watches, I was happy to be the one to receive them. It’s not just about being the person to hold them. It’s about going through their memories with them and getting to pass them on. Okay, so it’s a little about actually having them too.
Because the vintage watch collection is quirky and fun and everything that my family is.
My grandpa was a conductor on the B&O Railroad for his entire career. He worked with the company until he retired. You know, before everything was run by machines. I love hearing stories about his time on the railroad and have always been drawn to trains. Most of the watches passed on to me were either awards or gifts from his time on the B&O.
Growing up, my grandpa always told me things about trains. Most of them were safety tips and random stories. But the coolest by far was when he took me to the railroad. It’s a memory that I will never forget. I think that’s why his railroad items means so much to me.
The first in my vintage watch collection is the Chessie watch. According to my online research, this watch was given as a safety award and is pretty rare. Although I do recall my grandma saying that she used to wear it, so I’m not completely sure where it came from.
The secondhand on the watch is a train that spins around.
I had to replace the band on this one, because it was very much loved. Unfortunately, I have to replace part of the mechanism inside for it to start spinning as well. Working or not, this is one of my all-time favorite items in my vintage watch collection. It’s a little reminder of my family that I can take with me.
The Fossil watch is also one that came from the railroad. I have always been a big fan of the brand, so I was so excited when I saw this in my grandpa’s vintage watch collection. I eyed it up for a very long time before I have the guts to ask for it. My grandparents were completely open to giving it to me, of course. I just never want to be rude and ask for anything.
Looking down at the watch and seeing CSX gives me an instant reminder of the hard work that runs in my family.
I love to wear this watch as a statement piece. I tend to stay on the minimalist side with my clothing, so jewelry is where I amp it up. The CSX watch is larger than the others in my vintage watch collection. Mainly because it’s a mens watch. But I think it really adds something to every outfit I wear. Plus I love telling the story behind it when people comment on it.
The last item in my vintage watch collection is not from the railroad. In fact, it goes back one generation deeper. This watch is from my great-grandma. Well, it was passed down to me from her. The dainty little accessory has diamond and rubies in it. My great grandma and I were extremely close, so I feel closer to her every time I wear it.
It’s easy to go to the store and buy the watches and other jewelry that’s on trend. It’s another thing to make your accessories mean something. I love knowing that the items I wear tell a story. If not my own, then of my family or someone that came before me.
What are your accessories saying?