Dr Robert Graves and the second hand • Eurogamer.net

The time is out of joint.

When time grew close, I discovered time. Which is to say, I guess, that I emerged from the first lockdown tending a new fascination with mechanical wristwatches. It's shameful in a way - wrongly, I had always associated watches and the people who love them with a certain kind of sneering conservatism. Watches the size of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups glinting and twitching on huge wrists. But I had read an essay by William Gibson about his own discovery of watches at the same time that he discovered very early eBay back in the nineties. I was hooked by the magic of the watch word horde: escapement, movement, complication. I was hooked too by something he refers to as the "Tamagotchi gesture". This is the fact that a mechanical watch needs its owner. It needs caring - to wind, to reset the time, to spin the day date window through its lazy cycles.

Something else. I was fascinated by what Gibson refers to as a "medical chapter ring". This is a border around the watch face on certain watches, marked with indents that allow a person to keep track of a pulse - their own or someone else's. Around the time I learned about this I was becoming interested with a nineteenth century physician named Dr Robert Graves. Graves was the first to describe Grave's disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid. He was a friend of Turner and once saved a bunch of people on a sinking ship by fixing the pumps using leather from his shoes. Oh yes, and you know the second hand on a watch? The rumour is that he invented it.

You May Like Also

  • Monster Hunter Rise weapon types
  • Explore our supporters archive
  • Already a supporter? Sign in
  • Star Citizen developer lays out increasingly ambitious five-year plan
  • Feature | What we've been playing
  • Feature | Looking forward: hardware accessibility
  • Feature | The many meanings of home in video games
  • Video | Who needs Horizon Call of the Mountain when you can play the R.E.A.L. thing in VR?
  • Flight Simulator's competitive multiplayer DLC and big free GOTY update are out now
  • Feature | Balsa Model Flight Sim is already filled with skyminded charm
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator's Top Gun expansion delayed to lineup with Top Gun: Maverick movie's revised May 2022 release
  • Feature | Take the A-Train, or how I fell in love with a hardcore accounting sim
  • Digital Foundry | Flight Simulator 2020 best settings: how to balance performance without losing the next-gen experience
  • Premium only | Off Topic: Is there a more cinematic space than the elevator?
  • Premium only | The Eurogamer Podcast: unpacking Unpacking with creator Wren Brier
  • Premium only | Off Topic: Hedra's astonishing page layouts revel in their giddy sense of invention
  • Premium only | The Eurogamer Podcast: a final sit-down with departing Editor Oli Welsh
  • Premium only | Off Topic: An end-of-the-year miracle!