The Longtime Owner of a Palos Verdes Family Watch and Jewelry Business Turns the Dial Back

About time.

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    Robert Medawar

It seems like it was only yesterday that I arrived in Switzerland for horology school in 1978. I remember stepping into a wide, bustling Geneva train station and searching for the engine that would take me on the two-hour journey to Biel/Bienne. I am grateful that I found my train in time because when the SBB station clock marked departure time, the conductor immediately blew his whistle and the engine pulled away from the station.

While I attended the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère, I learned that the Swiss truly deserved their reputation for being meticulously punctual. I witnessed the Swiss pioneering new levels of timepiece accuracy as they applied the technology of the razor-sharp atomic cesium clock to the wristwatch through 4.2 gigahertz quartz crystals.

I quickly learned that the Swiss spare no expense to be accurate, efficient and prompt. In some ways, the punctuality of the Swiss embodied my own spirit at the time. I knew that time was valuable, so I sought efficiency in my exploration, growth and education.

After finishing school, I moved back to the United States and established my family’s business. We have continued to serve the South Bay for 43 years. Now that I am older, I have adopted a different view of time. I began to discern what I valued and to spend time with the things and people that matter most to me. I treasure the relationships I have built and the memories I have created as a public servant in my community.

As a horologist, I know better than most the importance of being accurate and on time. As the years go by, however, I have learned to appreciate the value of my surroundings. My youth may have been marked by the creation of timepieces, my customer base and my reputation. However, my maturity is characterized by stewardship and enjoyment of these good gifts.

Life teaches a man that time is valuable, and I believe that it is OK to spend it differently in different stages of life. In the words of King Solomon, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”