I own a mechanical watch, a film camera, and a fountain pen
(hi, pet84rik, solderpunk, logout [1,2,3,4]).
I feel terrible about this fact. Why? Because I haven't used any of them
for years. In the past, I've been both a collector and a utilitarian and
these objects sat somewhere between the two.
I still take photos pretty often, since I have a job as a photographer.
I use the company's digital SLR (Canon EOS 5D MkIII), because clients
want digital images and fast turnaround. I used to shoot black and white
with my Olympus OM-2SP, and process and print in the darkroom, for both
art and fun. There've been a couple of times recently I've taken photos
for fun; but as a whole I've stopped doing photography for myself since
I started doing it for a job. I haven't done any art for a long time,
and haven't put a roll of film through anything for a long time either.
My mechanical watch is a Russian Poljot, I forget which model. It's a
gift from my father. I still have it; it's sitting in a drawer somewhere
(yes, I know which drawer). I did wear it regularly for a while. I don't
any more, partly because I wouldn't want it to get scuffed up and I want
a watch I can wear every day and not worry about it. But I think it's
mostly because I feel it's too posh.
Instead I wear a Casio A168. And I do wear it everywhere. I'm not
especially attached to it, which is great, because if something happened
to it, I could just get another one. The gold plating is starting to
wear off, but I don't care. It's a watch. It tells me what the time is.
I don't use my fountain pen any more. (I actually have more than one
fountain pen that I don't use, but this one is ~my~ fountain pen that I
don't use.) It's a Parker 51 with a somewhat fat, tapered nib. It's nice
to write with. It's certainly not a throw-it-in-your-bag pen or a
take-it-on-the-aeroplane pen. It's not a pen I'd want to lose or break
or scuff up. But I get this feeling that, I dunno, I'm only supposed to
write good stuff with it, 'cause it's a good pen.
My current favourite pen is a rollerball I got given in Brisbane last
year. I guess it'd cost around $25 if you bought one like it in a store.
Most of what I write with it is notes to myself and letters and filling
things out and the occasional piece of writing. I use pencil in my diary.
At uni I used a Mitsubishi Uni-Ball Eye Micro. As well as writing essays
and exams with it, it is excellent for taking fiendishly fast lecture
notes, which I did. The Parker couldn't keep up.
What is the common trend here? I don't think it's just "I have stuff I
don't use". I've got stuff for things I don't do any more too, like a
kite I haven't flown for years, but I haven't stopped photographing or
writing or telling the time. I guess I just use stuff that gets me
things done and that's it. It's not just "okay, get it done, move on";
I still like doing these things, but if I'm taking photos I want to be
thinking about the images I'm taking, and interacting with the people
I'm taking photos of, not thinking about my equipment. I don't look at
my watch; I look at the time.