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E Editor’s Note Gary George Girdvainis gary@isochronmedia.com More Than A Timekeeper Not too long ago I received an e-mail out of the blue; the topic, a new self-published book called “Watches I Have Known”. Co-written by Barry J. Marcus and his daughter Julie Campisi, the book follows the career of Mr. Marcus and his sixty five years of experience repairing watches. Composed as a loose series of vignettes, I could not help but be drawn in by Mr. Marcus’ own perspective and the experiences that formed them as he rode the waves of time and timekeepers. Even more engaging than the battles fought and won with wounded watches, the personal experiences with the watch owners and members of the watch industry really struck a chord. Through the lens of time Marcus elicits the real value in watches. Far more than simple timekeepers, any watch can become a time “capsule” – a vessel carrying with it its travels and experiences passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. From grandfather to father, from father to son, a watch can house more than a timekeeping mechanism; it can hold powerful memories and emotions within its tiny case. Few objects have this innate ability to become more than the sum of their function. At a glance they can call to mind family – living or departed – as well as mark those wonderful and sometimes even tragic moments in life. These watches, given as a gift or handed down through the generations are certainly worth maintaining at costs far higher than any “market” value could possibly condone, and Mr. Marcus knows this better than most. For myself, I do prefer to imagine that the venerable mechanical watches are better suited to hold the humanity that may eventually be imparted into them. Having said that, I will admit that one of my own treasured timepieces is relatively “worthless” gold-filled quartz Timex with the famous “Twist-O-Flex” Speidel bracelet. First given to my grandfather at his retirement, this electronic watch later came to me at his passing. I will always keep this watch in good running order and wear it on occasion until it finds its way onto my own son’s wrist in the (hopefully distant) future. As a member of the watch industry for these last 26 years, I’ve had the great fortune to have access to the guys at the front lines; watchmakers and specialists, brand and store managers and even continental and worldwide brand CEOs and presidents. Having sampled a small taste of Mr. Marcus’ life at the bench through “Watches I Have Known”, I can say without equivocation that I wish I had the benefit of knowing him and adding him to my list of teachers and advisors during my own education in the world of watches. Its AboutTime (For A Cup Of Coffee: Black, No Sugar Please) Gary George Girdvainis AboutTime Magazine | FUNCTION 3