Editorial A Life Well Seasoned
Is it just me, or did autumn come early this year
Last week, I wrote in giddy naiveté that we were still between seasons, lulled into false security by the cascading golden rays of sunshine outside, the occasional muggy shower of rain and the last stubborn phalanx of lake-goers trooping past our office windows in flip-flops and Bermuda shorts. (I did not witness their cold and grumpy towel-wrapped return, which would have struck foreboding into my summer-loving soul.) This week, apparently, snow awaits us above altitudes of 1,500m. Welcome to Switzerland.
There were mixed reactions to this piece of news when I read it aloud in the office. Sophie, our resident optimist, morale booster and one of the fittest people I know, remarked that it would soon be time to resume her strengthening cold-water dips in the lake. Liah and Fiona, the power duo of our commercial team, felt energised and shifted into high gear for organising (exclusive reveal ahead!) the winter edition of WorldTempus On Tour. Luna, our half-Brazilian intern, made a sad cat emoji face and plunged herself into her work. Jordy informed me in the most Swiss manner he possesses — ie, robotic and coldly factual — that autumn in the Northern Hemisphere officially begins on Friday, 23 September. I openly wept and tore at my hair and clothes (I really love summer).
However, the vagaries of calendrical systems are such that it doesn't actually feel like summer is completely over. It's still a balmy 20°C outside. Friday, 23 September marks the autumn equinox, one of the two days in the year that the Sun appears at the intersection of the Earth's ecliptic and equator. This means that in principle, 23 September receives equal hours of daytime and nighttime (hence the term equinox, from the Latin words for "equal" and "night"). In the lunisolar calendar used by a number of North Asian cultures, the Mid-Autumn festival is kind of a big deal, and it's celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, which was 10 September, the Saturday before last. Of course if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, all this is complete nonsense to you, because it's not the beginning of autumn at all; it's the end of winter and it's time to drag the barbecue out of the garage in anticipation of the warmer days ahead. Those living on or near the Equator literally could not care less about all this.
All that to say that all the advice we usually give out about what watch to wear, what's appropriate for what season, is kind of pointless, since it all depends on where you are. Right here and right now, as lighter clothing gives way to bulky sweaters and long sleeves, sports watches with thick cases and chunky rubber straps also make way for slimmer watches in a more classic style. In other parts of the world, the opposite shift is happening. There is a verse in the Book of Ecclesiastes that says, "For everything there is a season / A time for every activity under heaven." For every watch, as well, there is a season. It just depends where you are.