Essay: An American High Schooler In Hong Kong That Loves Watches

Essay: An American High Schooler In Hong Kong That Loves Watches

Essay: An American High Schooler In Hong Kong That Loves Watches Feature Articles

The below essay is a contribution from Evan Tich:

My name is Evan Tich, and I am currently living in Hong Kong and will be for the remainder of my high school years. I have relocated many times in my life due to my father’s job. It came as no surprise to me when my dad sat our family down and broke the news, again. Different cities ideas flew through my head, but never in my life would I have expected to move to such a foreign place as Hong Kong; however, I have been living here for three years as a student, a soccer player, and, most importantly, a watch enthusiast - and have been loving every minute of it.

When I made the long trip to Hong Kong International Airport, it was no surprise that there were many things different to that of which I was accustomed to in the United States; however, the longer I rested in the city of Hong Kong, the more accustomed I grew to it. My quick assimilation into Hong Kong culture brought along with it a keen curiosity of certain aspects of Chinese culture. The superficial image or "face," as my father calls it, is one of the most pertinent aspects of Chinese society.  The way other people view you, your outer image, is defined by what you wear: clothes, a watch, a bag, etc. or what you drive: Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce, etc... The Chinese are willing to spend large amounts of money on what they wear or their "face," which makes for the fact that Hong Kong has the largest population of Rolls Royce than any other city in the world no mystery at all.

Due to my youthful age my curiosity was left un-phased by the luxurious cars, which I had seen before often in the United States. A young mind always needs something new, out of the ordinary to attach to, and that is just what mine did. The watch, something I always viewed as a time piece, a way to know when to go from one appointment to the next, to know when to pick up laundry, or to know when to go to soccer practice, now held a completely new definition - and I needed to accept that there were many different interpretations of this very word. With the passing of time I began catching on to the "Hong Kong" definition of a watch, and to my father's dismay, I too wanted a luxury brand watch on my wrist. In my mind, I would no longer be sitting on the sidelines, watching as billion-dollar men walked by with their million dollar watches, but would buy a watch of my own to assimilate even deeper into the Chinese culture.

With the technology era in full stride, many people, children in specific, do not share the same view as I do, and would rather read the time from a digital watch or phone than an intricately engineered piece of machinery. I realize; however, that the watch has a multitude of different meanings, and although many are switching from a watch to a phone to tell time does not at all belittle the watch. In my opinion, I believe that there will always be a group, me included, who would rather read the time from a timepiece than from a phone. The future of the watch companies is rather bleak because of the fact that the world is in a rush. People do not have time to stop and read a watch, and, for this reason, the watch indeed has a dismal future. Although I have seen many different definitions, many interpretations of the watch, there will always be one that I will go by. A watch represents the need for the world to slow down and realize that even though a person is wearing a watch, time is not always the most important thing.

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  • Well said at the end. You might be years beyond your age. Cheers.

  • BoardTraveller

    Great little essay. I think it’d be neat if you could continue this as a miniseries. Different people from different generations writing a short essay on what watches mean to them. I’m really curious what some of the older generations think. Enthusiasts, not industry people, who have seen the trends and technology change first hand.

  • Snow1

    hmmm. First it was the article on the bell & ross roulette watch. Then the 50th hublot king bang edition (i don’t even really have anything against hublot but come on). Now this. I think a little bit of the watch lover inside of me died while reading this article. I wont be returning to anymore. I appreciate what the site used to be and I really enjoyed it for a while but this is too much. good luck with the site.

    • Thanks for the comment. I take your disappointment to heart, however I don’t precisely know what has been to your distaste as you vaguely mentioned things you don’t like. There is no curation of content suitable for all tastes. I like a variety of things related to watches and try to share various products, viewpoints, and experiences that I find interesting. Not really sure what “killed” a bit of the watch lover inside of you from reading about one kid’s experience in HK. That is a rather heavy statement. I am sure you can be resuscitated. Take care.

  • Andre Fortin

    I lived in hong kong for 2 years (93-94) my father was a pilot for Cathay Pacific (Was/ is, he is taking his retirement is a week) Hong Kon is the place to be for a watch lover !

  • DG Cayse

    2 years on now Mr. Tich – any updates?