Writer Johanna Derry is passionate about nature, here she reflects on the changing of the seasons and rounds-up some the best ladies watches for spring.
Is there a season more longed for than spring? If you’re anything like me you start looking for evidence of it from February onward – noting the first snowdrop, then the blackthorn blossom, the rising volume of birdsong, and finally that moment when the alarm goes off after sunrise rather than before, leading up to the stretch of daylight that finally tips when the clocks move forward. All these act as graduations on the chapter ring of the year, and we mark them off in haste to will the chill of winter over.
However, once the summer finally arrives, we change tack and desperately try to cling on to every minute, to slow it down, spending every second we possibly can in the sunshine, soaking up that precious happy-making vitamin D.
From ancient times people have used the changes evident in nature to mark time. The spring equinox, where day and night hours appear equal, marks the official end of the gloom of winter and the promise of warmer days to come, and the new and full moons mark festivals like Passover and Easter. The changing moods of the year become cause for celebration and the seasons form the core rhythm of our lives. They roll continuously, one of the great constants of our days and an ongoing reminder, in the background, of the passage of time.
Over the centuries people became more skilled at trimming down these rhythms into hours, minutes, seconds and nanoseconds. Though I also remember blowing the delicate puffball seed heads of dandelions until they were all gone, counting as I went, to try and calculate whether I should run home for tea. A more inaccurate method of measuring I’ve yet to discover, though it was an altogether pleasant way to spend the spring afternoons of the school holidays.
You can wish the time away in the hope of hastening sunshine and greenery or try to slow it down and eke out as much as possible. Or you can choose to appreciate the moment as it is. Instead of watching the clock hands turn, I’d rather pass the time listening to the chorus of the birds as they greet the season, noticing the fragrance of the cherry blossom as it blooms, and feeling the rising warmth of the air on my skin. The seasons pass all too soon. Now is the time to pause and breathe it all in.
Track the phases of the moon just as your ancient ancestors might have done, with the aid of the moon-phase display in this beautiful Baume et Mercier mechanical watch (the advantage being you can see what the moon is doing even on the cloudiest of nights). Its shimmering mother-of-pearl dial and diamond-set indexes make it an attention-grabbing timepiece for your wrist.
Some of the prettiest wildflowers of springtime – forget-me-nots, shepherd’s purse, purple henbit – are the tiniest and most delicate. Echoing the small delights of the season, this ladies’ watch from Fossil has a slimline stainless steel bracelet and a minimalist silver dial housed in a 32mm stainless steel case.
The humble daisy has inspired much in the way of design, and as the verges, parks and greenswards fill up with swathes of smiling white flowers, you can bring the simplicity of its petal pattern onto your wrist. The white outline on a verdant spring green dial and cream strap makes this a pretty contemporary take on the floral pattern in the iconic Orla Kiely style.
Kate Spade’s Metro watch range might seem like the height of urban sophistication, but with the addition of bird silhouettes in place of the 12 numerals to mark the hours, it’s a reminder of the song that starts with the dawn and rings out until the last of the light has faded. A white strap and gold quartz hands give it a clean and bright look that’s both sophisticated and seasonally appropriate.
Taking inspiration from the English countryside, Olivia Burton’s woodland designs feature images on the dial that are reminiscent of the harbingers of spring and summertime. This particular model shows off the beauty of the Holly Blue butterfly, a delight to spot in the wild as it emerges in the springtime, and a striking image framed beautifully by a 38mm gold-plated case.
Johanna Derry is a freelance journalist with an insatiable appetite for good food and drink, who’s written for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Vice, Stylist and CN Traveller, among others.