A grandfather clock adorned the first home I owned in Alton, Illinois, in the early 1970s. It stayed there when I moved out in a divorce and wasn’t replaced until 2004 when Amy and I moved into our new home in Floyd County.
Once a week, I crank up the three weights that drive the clock’s movement and then move the hands forward each Spring for Daylight Savings Time (DST) and then back an hour when we fall back into Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Before retiring for the night Saturday, I reset the clock in our entrance hall up for the return of DST at 2 a.m. Sunday. I also reset our wristwatches, except for two.
Our two Citizen “radio-controlled” watches reset themselves at 2 a.m. every day to a signal from the National Atomic Clock in Colorado. The watches also never need rewinding or a battery change. Both are “Eco-Drives,” which mean that light recharges them.
The watches, both gifts, were always accurate. The Navihawk also keeps time in multiple time zones and provides both local and UTC (University Time Code) at a glance. UTC is also referred to as “Greenwich Mean Time” (GMT), the British-location of the zero hour for the multiple time zones that exist in the world. The military calls it “Zulu” time.
The Navihawk watch is decades old: Amy gave it to me to use when I was traveling a lot in my work. It could, if desired, sync automatically, with any time zone I traveled to while providing displays of both UTC and time back in Washington.
For years, I had traveled with a Rolex GMT-Master II automatic-movement watch that allowed to see the time in or three time zones, but had to be set manually whenever I crossed time zones. The watch also had to be reset each morning after it lost 3-5 seconds a night.
The Navihawk is an astounding watch for those who travel. It has a stopwatch, a timer, an alarm, a slide rule and a few other functions I seldom use. I wear it less frequently, since stopping traveling in 2004 after completing a coast-to-coast flight in 2004 and declared that it was my last-ever trip on a commercial airliner.
After too many years of 100,000+ miles on planes on trips to every continent of the world, I decided it was enough. Although my jobs usually allowed travel on business or first class, airline travel had become tedious and a close call when a United 747 lost an engine as it tried to take off in Hong Kong.
While waiting just over 12 hours for United to bring in another plane from the states, a United pilot in the airline lounge admitted that while the 747 could fly with just three engines, the chances of completing takeoff one overloaded with passengers and fuel for the long flight were “damn near impossible.” It was not the first serious problem on a plane in nearly 40 years of spending too much time on them.
“Maybe it is time to slow down,” I thought. A helicopter crash had come close to killing me several years earlier. The incident in Hong Kong haunted me for another few years before the decision in 2004 to stop
The key now is to enjoy whatever time is left.