Black,Silver, and Green: The Weight of Western Materialism on a Wrist

Cool to the touch, this object feels surprisingly heavy. The structure of titanium steel brings the object’s weight to approximately 5 ⅛ ounces. From afar the object looks like a mass of black but a closer inspection reveals a beautiful combination of ion black and luminous silver with a distinct amount of lime neon green. Laying flat across a surface, the object resembles the shape of a lollipop; A circular head with a thin body descending. The object measures four inches long with its circular head possessing a diameter of one and a half inches and the length of the body measures two and a half inches. The height of the circular head is half an inch high while the body stands at one fourth of an inch tall.



Peering from above, one notices a perfect circle . The circle’s interior reflects a luminous silver, the rim producing a bold ion black.  The diameter of the circle measures one and a half inches. A closer look into the interior one notices slow strenuous movement. In the direct center, two hands are ever rotating, reflecting a relative aspect of life; time. Identical to  one another, the hands are only distinguishable by height. The larger of the two measures almost a full centimeter while the smaller hand reaches only half centimeter. These hands resemble miniature blades missing only the hilt. Appearing razor sharp, the hands overlap one another with a fat rounded bottom. Ascending towards the top, the hand gradually thins out to a fine point as the tip of the hand reaches right below the rim of the perfect circle. These hands are painted a bright luminous silver. Yet the actual stem of the hands are coated in a whitish yellow tint. This beautiful silver reflects in the line, yet in the dark the hands continue to shine. This tint provides a secondary function other than aesthetics. When in the dark, this tint makes the hands visible to the human eye.


These hands are ever revolving in a beautiful luminous silver background.The silver service is embedded with tiny miniscule dots, each the size of the end of a paperclip. From afar, one would hardly notice these tiny indentations covering the entire interior of the circle as one might only notice a silver background. Though initially appearing as aesthetics this physicality provides the functionality of life to this object. Requiring no battery to operate, this object operates and fuels itself purely off solar-power. Hence this dot-embedded silver interior surface absorbs sunlight which transfers the light into energy to fuel itself.


Following these indentations outwards, one might find themselves peering into the rim of this perfect circle. The rim, the dividing line between the interior  and exterior of the object, remains a thin line, a circle, painted a distinct neon lime green. Found directly below this thin green circle, within the interior, remains silver markings, each just a thin silver line.Each no longer than an pencil’s eraser and no thicker than lead from a mechanical pencil, there are exactly three hundred of this razor thin thins. At each interval of twenty five, the line is emphasized as the size is doubled, around the length of a human’s eyelash. These tiny silver markings are found encircling the dividing area between the exterior and interior of the object, which I refer to as the steep. No more than a gradual height increase of one millimeter, this steep provides enough of a height increase to provide two primary functions. The first function of the steep is providing a home for the tiny silver markings. The two rotating hands do not measure  these markings as this responsibility is left to a third rotating hand which is activated by a button on the exterior right side of the circle measuring seconds and milliseconds.This silver rotating hand starts from the center of the object and extends directly to the rim ending where the silver markings begin. No thicker than a piece of hair, one would never notice this hand without a closer inspection.


The second function of the steep provides is protection. THis step provides a height increase making the primary circle not a two dimensional object, but a three dimensional circle. By the steep gradually extending outwards, a convex rounded piece of glass is able to be placed over the interior circle providing protection for the subdials, design and rotation hands.The glass appears thick when tapped against, almost providing similar security and protection similar to a window protecting a bank teller or car windows.

Following the twelve emphasized lines located on the rim inwards, twelve identical silver rectangles rest directly above or below these silver lines (depending on location in circle), resting directly on the interior border.  These small twelve silver rectangles represent the numerals one through twelve, despite having no numerical value present. These silver rectangles are thirty degrees apart from eachother, just like the emphasized silver lines resting on the steep. At every ninety degrees, the numerals divisible by three contain small silver squares instead of rectangles. These numerals possess squares instead of rectangles due to other aspects within the interior.


Located at the numeral three,directly to the left of the square is an adjacent square, twice the size of the original square discussed. WIthin this square is a numeral that changes everyday dependent on the day of the month. Changing everyday, this number is inscribed in silver writing. ABove that square reading the date is a description written in two lines. The first word, in all capital letters and silver inscription reads, “CITIZEN.” Below the CITIZEN, in italics and slightly smaller font, the inscription reads “Eco-Drive.” The top inscriptions reveals the brand of watch this object remains. The second description reveals the brand’s particular design.

As stated before these inscriptions lie on top of the date square with the inscription ”CITIZEN” directly above the “Eco-Drive” inscription. Now directly below the date square remains one more inscription. The same font, size, and color as the “Eco-Drive” inscription, just not italicized, the markings read “WR 100.” WR is an acronym for water-resistant meaning this object can withstand depths of 100 feet of water pressure.

Redirecting attention back to the centerpiece,  immediately left of the center point is another miniature circle.Above and below the center remains two more slightly larger circles. These circles within the overall circle are referred to as chronograph subdials when discussing the nature of this object.


The first chronograph subdial to be described remains the one directly adjacent, left of the center of the primary circle. This subdial remains the smallest of all the subdials. Almost impossible to measure with an average ruler, the diameter measures one fourth of a centimeter. This subdial does not fit the criteria of a perfect circle, such as the its larger brother and sister subdials, and the overall circle it rests within. The top right and bottom right corners of the  smallest subdial are overlapped by the remaining subdials in the primary circle; as the silver rim of the two largest subdials lay on top of the greyish matted black interior.


This subdial is divided into four parts by a white cross. These lines of the cross are painted razor thin , only enough to add to the design as these cross provides no functionality, only aesthetics. As each point remains a number in  numerical form. At the top, the number reads twenty four. Ninety degrees down, (moving clockwise) the number reads six. Another ninety degrees the number reads twelve, directly below the number twenty four, only divided by a thin white line.  The final and fourth point of the cross hold the number eighteen These numbers signify the hours in the day measuring society’s twenty four day in intervals of six hours.

Though the cross remains aesthetic the hours are monitored by a revolving hand. THough not as elegant and beautiful as the sword-like hands rotating in the primary analog face, this ever rotating needle is just as significant concerning the watch’s functionality. The needle begins at the miniscule black dot found directly in the center of the subdial, the size of the rounded end of a pin which extends to the rim of the dial. The hand extends far enough to cover the entirety of the white cross but not long enough to cover the number when it reaches such.

The remaining two subdials found directly above and below the centerpiece are designed similar but have a few distinct differences. SImilarities include that same needle. All subdials contain the same hand discussed in the previous paragraph. Another similarity includes the background of the subdials. All subdials possess the same color background, matted black.

Both subdials consist of the same design; a matted black background with a silver outline. Within this silver outline are tiny black dots encompassing the entire border. These black dots are the size of the end of a paperclip or the same size of the dots within the solar panel. Every forty-five degrees however, the black dots are replaced by a thin black line. Overall both silver borders contain 54 black minuscule dots, and six thin minuscule black lines.

The only difference between the two largest subdials remains the numerals within that circle. The top subdial adds the function of recording the hour in twenty minute intervals moving one hundred and twenty degrees once every twenty minutes. The top number reads sixty and moving clockwise, the next number located one hundred and twenty degrees away from the numeral sixty reads twenty, while the final numeral reads forty.

Now the subdial directly below the top subdial numerals are divided into intervals of ten. The top numeral reads sixty. Moving clockwise, at forty-five degrees, the numeral increases by ten each time reading ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty, respectively. These numbers represent the seconds in a minute, as the hand in the middle is constantly rotating at a rapid pace.


Leaving the interior, the exterior of perfect circle contains three buttons on the right side of the object. The middle, slightly larger than the top and bottom button. The top and bottom button are simply black with the bottom outline in the same neon green button that push inwards. The top button starts and stops the stopwatch function of the object. The bottom button completely identical in appearance, provides users the option to set the stopwatch needle as a rotating second hands for traditional watch wearers who wish to have the traditional analog watch face.

The middle button provides the functionality of rotating the two primary rotating hands clockwise or counter-clockwise. Unlike the buttons surrounding this middle button, this does not push inwards, but can be extended outwards to rotate clockwise or counter clockwise. This button remains the size of a pencil’s eraser. Yet directly in the middle is a slight indentation that is colored the same neon lime green located around the rim of the watch. This indentation provides users the ability to pull the bottom slightly out to allow them to rotate the primary hands in the direction the user pleases.



The remaining aspect of the watch is the band. Painted a gloss black, each link is composed of three identical squares, each side measuring half a centimeter. The middle square, however i raised one fourth of a centimeter higher, so the links can stack on top one another ever continuing pattern. Starting from the top, following the eighth link, a solid black clasp, rectangular shaped. At the top of the clasp, engraved in capital bolded letters reads “CITIZEN”  Directly below the letters C and N, lie two silver flat half circles no larger than the tip of a baby’s thumbnail, are buttons to release the clasps allowing the clasp to extend outwards and allow user to place the band around their wrist. Following the links upwards, one reaches the back of the watch, a bright shining silver, directly in the middle engraved reads “CITIZEN” while the bottom following the border reads the numbers and letters “B632-S082846 201022374,” referring to the model and serial number of the object.



According to Wikipedia, wrist watches were invented sometime in the sixteenth century. Initially and for the better part of two hundred years wristwatches were only worn by women, with men generally sporting pocket watches. proceeding the industrial revolution, and following western society’s demand for colonization, and expansion, the majority of the world plunged into a constant warring state. It was soon strategized through the decades the need for an awareness of time to coordinate strategize and synchronized movement of troops, supplies and attacks. BY the the conclusion of WOrld War One, troops returning home continued sporting these wristwatches to where eventually wristwatches were fashionable for both men and women.


As we’ve progressed throughout the decades, western society continues to place a higher and stronger emphasis on  materialism, as it is one way to reflect personal and financial success in the eyes of many. Shiny, heavy, attractive objects are what people crave. Televisions, cars, jewelry, clothing and clothing accessories, the list continues infinitely. THis watch fit the description of all three adjectives. The targeted consumer for this object remains obviously the western society male. The association of cheap objects make most, including myself, think of unsturdy light, easily breakable objects. The heavy composition of this watch provides me the security that this item will hold up to the daily wear and tears; that the  purchasing price of this item was well worth its price. I feel well-compensated. The design is beautiful and intricate, fashionable and sleek. These features are the cornerstone of what western society thrives off of. Time is relative. So is personal preference. Yet we see how objects and people’s preference towards them is not being determined simply by opinion and personal preference anymore, but becoming more objective as society sets the an objective standard of what should be consumed and why. From advertisements to the standard of living we set for ourselves, and or attempting to live up to the American dream, whatever the reason, intentional or not, our society and our western culture  influences our relationship with objects.

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