Adios, Cliff


One of our longtime teachers here are the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program has left us for greener pastures. His name is Cliff Prisament, and he taught here from 2010 to 2014. We’ve collected some old material about Cliff as a way of commemorating his time with us, a video interview with him and a little something he wrote about his main hobby:

If you look carefully at my wrist while I’m teaching, you might notice I wear a different watch almost every day.  Since 2005, I have been collecting and fixing watches as an amateur horologist (someone who fixes watches and clocks).

In 2005, I moved to Shanghai, China to teach children English.  While I was there, I found several markets that sold very cheap, antique watches (watches that are very old).  I fell in love with watches and it became my favorite hobby.  I would sometimes buy 2 watches a week!  In 2007, I owned almost 40 watches!  Now, I only own about 15 watches.

My oldest watch is a Mickey Mouse watch made in 1933!  It’s half a century older than me!

Most people just buy a watch because they think it’s beautiful or fashionable.  When I buy a watch, I buy it because of its movement.

There are three types of watch movements.  They are quartz, automatic and manual-wind.

1. Quartz watches are the most popular.  Your watch is probably a quartz watch.  Quartz watches have a small, round, silver battery that powers the watch hands.  Quartz watches are the most accurate. 

2. Automatic watches do not have a battery.  They have a rotor, which winds a mainspring that moves the hands.  So if you wear an automatic watch every day, you never need to change a battery.

3. Manual-wind watches only have a mainspring and no rotor or battery.  You have to wind them every day or they will stop moving!

Any questions about watches?  Let me know!

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One thought on “Adios, Cliff

  1. Hi Cliff;Two years ago, When I was in Michael’s class .It was in 2012. One day you was passed by
    our classroom. Michael Called you. You was stood by the door and disscussed the question with us.That’s the first time I met you.
    I wonder where was the other twenty-five watches gone?

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