Lost But Not Forgotten: The Enduring Peacock Watch

Lost But Not Forgotten: The Enduring Peacock Watch

Dai gazed at the long-lost watch in disbelief. Encrusted in mud, the 17-jewel Peacock barely flickered recognition in the dusk farmland.

"I bought this for my wife at Spring Festival years ago," he breathed. That sunny day seemed eons past. Since then, time flowed on - the watch kept peerless pace with their rural routines through countless market errands.

Fate turned that summer afternoon. Planting paddies as skies darkened, Dai cherished his wife's gracious loan while his own watch malfunctioned. But slippery fate...a careless tilt of the wrist sent the Peacock plopping into brackish waters! Dai groveled desperately through thick mire but in vain. As the moon rose, the loss gnawed within. His wife too grieved the abandoned treasure that ticked the tidings of their countryside lives.

Another year round the calendar when Dai returned to the same plot. Tilling the thawed winter mud, his hoe hit an unfamiliar edge. Brushing away grime, there emerged the long-lost companion! Incredulous, Dai wound the crown expecting useless rust. Yet like an old friend unperturbed by the separation, the hands stirred back to life! The faithful Peacock resumed its tireless rhythm, to the pure astonishment of gathered neighbors.

Though the elements eroded its sheen, Dai found in the Peacock a soul fortified by inner strength. A steadfast spirit reflecting the labors and loves sculpting his own weathered face. "We shall honor this gift of craft and time," he whispered with brimming pride. That night, forgiven trails of tears and joy flowed as one.

The above story is adapted from a real letter of appreciation written by a customer to the Peacock Watch Factory. The following is the content of the letter of thanks:

A Letter To Peacock Watch Factory









Here is the English translation of the letter:

Dear Comrades of the Liaoning Watch Factory:

I am a Yi ethnic farmer from a village west of Kunming. During Spring Festival 1983 I bought my wife a Peacock 17 jewel calendar watch made by your factory at the Kunming Department Store. After wearing it for over a year, it kept very accurate time, much to my wife’s delight. In 1984 during rice transplanting, my watch malfunctioned so my wife let me wear hers. On the afternoon of May 8, 1984, while transplanting in an irrigation paddy, I accidentally dropped the watch in the muddy water. Around 6 pm I realized the loss. I groped in the mud briefly but to no avail. My wife and I regretted losing the fine timekeeping watch.

A year later, as I prepared to hoe the soaked paddy, I finally recovered my lost Peacock watch. Having soaked in the mud for over a year and through an entire winter, I figured the watch must be scrap metal. But after wiping away some grime and rewinding it, it actually still kept perfect time! My neighbors there were quite astonished.

We felt proud to own such a high-quality watch, so I write to express our thanks.

Rural Farmer from Chejia Village West of Kunming
Dai Feigong (Yi)
Zhang Zhengzhi (Bai)
May 30, 1985, Kunming

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