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  1. There is a great discussion going on at Sales Of Fountain Pens X Mechanical Watches. The question concerns the relative growth rates of fountain pen collecting v mechanical watch collecting. Over fifty interesting responses so far with insights into specific rewards and emotional satisfactions of each obsession. The discussion raises a question in my mind that probably isn't germane to the active discussion, and that may be inappropriate to this particular venue. If not appropriate, I hope the editor will sinply not put up this post as I don't want to be a troll. Here goes. I am as many may be, overwhelmed with opportunities to both absorb and disperse measages. And the means of both have decome increasingly pure digital. And, if not digital than new forms of mechanical that have nearly replaced the ollder forms of expression. Hand-written communication in analog format - instrument on -paper- is the point of this wonderful site. The meta questions become very particular, ink, FPs, BPs, RBs, paper and the pros and cons of the many offerings. Yet within analog. Watches have their many charms and attractions to express time. From decoration to accuracy to mechanical v battery movements, the opportunirty for expression is enormous. But what is the person/user/collector looking for beyond the depth of collection, fun of the search, care and maintenance of the objects? I think that it is a need for authenticity. the real, at a time when reality becomes more and more virtual. OK. My very peculiar experiences that raises this point. I'm an old guy, Williamsin the '50s, a working career in communications. I've seen and experienceda a number of the changeovers at first hand in printing, design, photography, television, radio, writing techniques, and reproduction. And now I have this reaction to virtual reality. I want more authentic experiences. I'm not talking about children, marriage, career, and all of the experiences that come along with living the life. There is no doubt that they are authentic. I simply find myself needing to write with a pen and ink, rather than a BP or RB, because the pen and ink goes back to my first experiences of real and authentic in writing and reading messages from people I knew. I have bought mechanical watches because I want to wind then to know that Time can indeed 'wind down'. I've just dusted off my film camera and equipment because I want the feel of capturing an image mechanically that I will see as an analog print on paper. I am starting to stop and sketch scenes i pen and ink rather than pull out my phone. I am not trying to be a Luddite. I believe that the new technical achievements have opened our world beyond our imagination. I need, however, to be able to have some small physical portion of my surroundings that I can define as 'real' in other and older terms.

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