Monday, May 02, 2005

What's your Birth-Watch?

Ever wonder how the idea of birthstones came about? How did April get the honor of the diamond while January gets a lousy garnet? Is it all just a marketing ploy to increase sales of certain stones in certain months?

Well the origin of the birthstone, most people agree, dates back thousands of years to the breast plate worn by Aaron the brother of Moses. It was adorned with 12 different jewels to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Over time these precious stones were matched with the 12 months of the year or the 12 signs of the Zodiac and attributed with special qualities. The chart varies in different traditions and cultures but here is the official modern American list (adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912):
  • January - Garnet
  • February - Amethyst
  • March - Aquamarine
  • April - Diamond
  • May - Emerald
  • June - Pearl, Moonstone
  • July - Ruby
  • August - Peridot
  • September - Sapphire
  • October - Opal, Tourmaline
  • November - Yellow Topaz, Citrine
  • December - Blue Topaz, Turquoise, Tanzanite

(I suppose with a few of the months you get a choice depending on which stone happens to be in fashion at the time.)

Now there were no wristwatches back in the time of Aaron so the idea of a birth-watch hasn't really taken hold yet. But there is no reason we can't change that. If there were a chart of birth-watches, what would they be? Well here is my list (only time will tell if it becomes universally adopted around the world.)
  • January - The Pocket Watch (the pocket watch was of course the first watch, the ideal choice for the first month of the year).
  • February - The Perpetual Calendar Watch (this is the month that screws up all regular calendar watches and is the whole reason for the Perpetual Calendar function anyways.)
  • March - The "Iced Out" Fashion Watch (You know like a Michele, Ice-tek, Technomarine, Jacob etc. - colorful watches great for Spring).
  • April - The Tourbillon Watch (April's birthstone is the diamond - the most valuable of all gemstones - so why not also give it the tourbillon - the most valuable of all watch functions.)
  • May - Vintage Ladies Cocktail Watch (perfect for Mother's Day)
  • June - The Chronograph Watch (great for timing a good car race like the Le Mans 24 Hours.)
  • July - The Oversized Sports Watch (wear it while off-roading in your oversized Sport Utility Vehicle.)
  • August - The Diving Watch (A Panerai + Aruba + August = Perfect combination).
  • September - The Classic Yellow Gold Watch (September is a nice simple month: a good Patek 3919 or 3802 comes to mind).
  • October - The Rose Gold Watch (to match those rich autumn colors.)
  • November - The Dual Time Zone Watch (Over the river and across the timezone to Grandmother's house we go. . .)
  • December - The Minute Repeater (chimes just like those Christmas bells.)

Well what do you think? Would you make any changes/additions? Don't take it too seriously though, it is just a marketing ploy.


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