Someone’s Trash Is My Latest Obsession

Someone's Trash Is My Latest Obsession
Someone’s Trash Is My Latest Obsession

Day 4:30 Day Writing Challenge

Recently I was browsing through an op shop, oggling every curious little item when my peepers hit upon something particularly shiny. I was like a bower bird, eyeing it lustfully… It was a beautiful gold retro Tissot watch. I’m not much one for brand names but I do seem to have a seventh sense for good quality serendipitous finds. I would never go out and buy one new but to find something opulent for next to nix is what makes it so special.

Anyone can go out and buy a diamond, something gold or a designer thread, but to discover it second hand, in a place where its true value is overlooked is like discovering hidden treasure. It’s so exciting!

Fawn Heart Flutter
Fawn Heart Flutter

I asked how much it was… A grand total of $3! They cautioned me that it probably didn’t work. I said I’d take it anyway. It felt pleasingly heavy in my hand. The weight of something just a little bit special. I left the shop, pulled out the watch, set the time, wound it up and… tick, tick, tick… It’s little cogs sprang into action with swiss made perfection.

Ah, music to my ears. Not a loud tick, tick like a tinny alarm clock. More of a faint, quick fluttering like a fawn’s heart… Yes, I’m so in love with this thing that I’m coming up with poetic little metaphors. Haiku will be next!

I haven’t owned a watch for years and my punctuality is notoriously bad, so this find was not only delicate, beautiful, stylish and exclusive… But also very practical.

The face is a little scratched but I love looking down at it on my arm. It’s bordering on obsession actually. One recent afternoon, sitting outside in the sun with my partner and sons, I lovingly admired the way the sun glint off the facets of the band. I pointed it out to my sons and they just looked at me like I’d gone potty. Perhaps I have!

I love the ritual daily wind up. There’s something intimate and comforting about the simplicity of turning cogs; imagining the micro precision engineering that went into all the little parts that with no more propulsion than a spring loaded wind up, keep perfect time. It really is amazing.

Happened upon precision craftsmanship is so satisfying,
especially when it’s adorning my arm.


92 thoughts on “Someone’s Trash Is My Latest Obsession

  1. I love the picture at the top of your post! Did you take that? The yellow top on the right really caught my eye. Congrats on your great secondhand find. 🙂

  2. Isn’t that just the best feeling in the world? I love sifting through heaps of baubles and trinkets at thrift stores and walking away with that one perfect item. And you can’t even feel guilty for buying it either! $3 for a watch is a steal whether it’s designer or not.

  3. “Anyone can go out and buy a diamond, something gold or a designer thread, but to discover it second hand, in a place where its true value is overlooked is like discovering hidden treasure. It’s so exciting!”

    Completely, totally identify and agree.

    I love thrift stores, second-hand shops — whatever they are called, to me, they are “treasure lands.” I love the cool, random, “out-dated,” vintage, special, unique things you can find.. and actually buy, because they are cheap (or to be more proper, “affordable”). Congrats on your find!

    Aun Aqui

    1. Thanks Aun… It’s truly a thrill to wander into a thrift shop (op shop in Australia) and wonder what special little item is waiting to be discovered between the old ties and cast-off kitchenware.

  4. I love finding bargains that mean a lot to me… but not as much to others…its what makes style original 🙂 nice blog

  5. I just love items that hold history.. I recently happened across something special as well.. a 1919 Cosmopolitan magazine. Cosmo magazines are crap now but back then they were filled with art, short stories and poetry.. Anyhow, I’m happy to hear you found a treasure!


  6. So many people nowadays don’t wear watches; there is a clock in almost every electronic device I own. There is so much wonderful engineering inside that little thing strapped to my arm, made even more special because you found it the way you did. Enjoyable post; thank you!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it John… Falling in love with this little ticker strapped to my arm reminds me of the beauty in craftsmanship, and the time taken to create something special and unique. Like a hand written letter. 🙂

  7. Today I only slept 4 hrs in excited anticipation over being the first person in line so I could receive 25% off at the newest thrift shop I found. $25.83 cent later I had two belts, a vintage jumper, three shirts (one silk, one vvintage) and a pair of earrings. Second hand is good.

  8. I love finding treasures in op shops and it is so rare that you find one as you have.
    I worked at an op shop as a volunteer in my teens and noticed the ladies would go through all the new donated deliveries and put aside all the donated brand names for themselves to buy, while the regular items went out on sale.
    Good on you for finding such an excellent piece, it’s lovely that watches are still very fashionable.
    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    1. Thanks! …The funny thing is, one of the ladies told me it was $2, then the other lady who was working the till said $3. The first lady pointed this out and said I could have it for $2… I said I was more than happy to pay $3!!

  9. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed! I know the exact feeling you’re talking about. Seeing something truly special amongst a bunch of junk is very exciting. I can always feel the adrenalin as I make my way over to it, hoping someone doesn’t swoop before me.

  10. What a great find! I have been obsessed with visiting op shops and flea markets recently to feed my food styling addiction. Picking up vintage plates, cutlery and little knick knacks at bargain prices is so satistyfing! I’m actually off to a market tomorrow to look for more great pieces for my blog photography. Yay!

  11. Beside the fact that it was a name brand item found in a very unlikey place; you found a tresasure that was hidden in a world of throw-aways. Things were made so much better way back when.

    Imagine: a watch that has to be wound. What will they think of next …. computers???? LOLOL

    Good post ….. Congrats on FP ….!!!!


  12. I so know what you mean – op shopping is one of my most favourite addictions – finding little treasures for a song!! Sounds like your buy was a winner!!

  13. How exciting! I love that feeling I get when I find an item in a thrift store or at a yard sale that is just perfect for me. It may be junk to someone else — most likely, it is — but if it completes a collection, goes perfectly with the color scheme in my kitchen or adds that much more character to my craft room, then it is truly priceless to me. Congrats on FP!

  14. Your story made me think of my treasure. My mother gave me her mother’s pocketwatch given to her by her grandfather which is engraved with my grandmother’s name( pre 1900). The watch has been removed but the engraving is such a link with my mother now that she is gone too.
    I love vintage finds when shopping too, such beautiful things to appreciate.

  15. I have had the same watch for years and years and my family is trying to get me out of it and get me another one, but I won’t give it up. It just hasn’t broken yet and I find no need to get another until it does. I’m glad you found this little treasure and enjoy it as much as you do!

  16. Love all the comments! & LOVE garage sale shopping:) Any excuse for a treasure hunt & to experience the joy of discovery, xxn

  17. That’s awesome! I love finding inexpensive old treasures that people just soon throw out.

    Have a great day!

  18. I believe one’s home is a store house of memories of things bought with great care and where each piece has a great story behind it. And the joy of finding something unique is beyond words and precious. Do put a pic of the wrist watch if you can.

  19. Love it. My favorite shops are the second hand shops. Your purchase helps out someone else on a more personal level than the brand stores. You find AWESOME deals. It’s like finding the treasure at the end of the treasure hunt.

  20. My grandma used to buy all sorts of watches from second hand stores and whenever I asked her what time it was she never knew because the watches usually didn’t work, but I’m glad you found the one that did!

  21. Cool! I love charity shops too and once found a curious little necklace, hanging off it was a frame with a glass front and back with a butterfly pressed between the 2 panes of glass. I love it and people always comment on how unusual it it.

  22. I think that watch was meant for you but just had a few owners in between. It had to be broken in and seasoned. It liked your arm which is why it started tidking again. Enjoy your find.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. I like that thought. It does feel very special and ‘mine’…even though someone else has owned it before me. It feels more mine than if it was brand new so I think you’re right. 🙂

  23. I love “scrap shopping!” I was never a person big on the yard/garage sale scene…my grandmother lived for weekends when she and my grandfather could hit the back roads of rural Nova Scotia (and beyond!) and stop at every yard sale. They found some great finds. Unfortunately, my OCD and snobbery prevented me from EVER doing this. Up until recent years I couldn’t even go vintage shopping in clothing stores. But after getting a slight grip on my phobia of other peoples’ dirt, I’m finally able to second-hand shop with the bedt of them. And I LOVE watching Storage Wars…it’s sort of a new obsession. Like they say “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” – I’m just certain to bring lots of hand sanitizer with me on my hunts.

    1. Haha, that’s funny Sandy!! …And there’s always to HOT machine wash to sort out those germs!! …My sister is a compulsive weekend garage saler. My grandparents are antique store nuts… I don’t really go for either of these, but I absolutely love searching through thrift shops for hidden treasure… I love that you can find special one-off things to covet. 🙂

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