Merry Christmas! Another year has come and gone and it's time for my annual Christmas post.
2022 has been a difficult year and to it I say, "good riddance". It is reminiscent of Charles Dickens', "A Tale of Two Cities...
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Dickens' words reminds me of a passage from Ecclesiastes. You may recall this from the 1965 Bird's song, "Turn! Turn! Turn!".
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace."
This past year checked almost every box in that passage for me, other than "born" and "war".
Although eclipsed by the importance of Easter, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I like to take time off during Advent to get in the holiday spirit. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and it symbolizes God's gifts of faith, hope, and love. Life can present many challenges, but it's less difficult when you have faith, hope, and love.
Over 100 years ago, somewhere in the European trenches of World War I, British and German soldiers were slugging it out in unimaginably brutal fashion. As the story goes, on Christmas Eve of 1914, stanzas of "Stille Nacht" (Silent Night) were heard coming from the German trenches. The British soldiers joined in and both sides raised candles above their picket lines. When the song was finished, a German soldier called out, “Tomorrow is Christmas; if you don’t fight, we won’t.”
The following day, Christmas, the Germans sent over beer and the British sent over pudding. The two enemies met in No Man's Land, exchanged handshakes, small gifts, and even played a game of soccer.
Fighting resumed on the 26th and continued for four more years. Christmas brings light into darkness.
My project watch was made 17 years later while the "war to end all wars" was still fresh in everyones' memory. It's a 1931 Square B.
The Square B was made for only two years. The model came in solid yellow, green, or white gold as well as gold filled. The solid gold watches were outfitted with the 6/0, 19 jewel 979-F movement while the gold filled versions received the 17 jewel 987F movement. You could also chose from an etched dial or a luminous dial. Models were also made with engraved or plain bezels.
All said, if you wanted an example of every version in both solid gold and gold filled, plain and engraved, with etched and luminous dials, you would eventually assemble a very nice Hamilton collection! I have already posted an example of the etched dial here.
I thought it might be fitting to close this post with a Swedish Christmas blessing in honor of Vilgot and Signe but I couldn't find anything fitting. Instead I'll offer something from their ancestors, the Vikings and wish you the happiest of Christmases and a prosperous 2023.
"May your web be spun tightly with that which makes you stronger, happy, and wise. And may God always look upon you with good grace!"
God Jul! Ha ett gott nytt år!
(Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!)