My birthday is coming up soon. I mention this for two reasons: first, because it means that I have to renew my vehicle registration; and second, because… well, I’ll get to that in a minute.

The registration is relevant to the object of my lust, because, you see, Georgia requires vehicle emissions testing every time the registration on a car or truck is renewed.

This afternoon, during my lunch break, I went to have my emissions tested. The place where this is done is a tiny steel building, about the size of a Quonset hut or metal shed, with a diminutive office–really, a space hardly big enough for two chairs and a magazine stand–attached.

In the magazine stand were several copies of some “high fashion” magazine or other; I don’t remember their names, as they all look the same to me.

In the magazine I picked up at random and flipped through while the technician revved my engine and prodded my car was an article on wristwatches. And in that article was a description of the thing to which I am by degrees coming.

It is a wristwatch made by a company called Romaine Jerome.

It is not a wristwatch in any conventional sense of the term, however. Rather than a dial and hands, it tells time by means of small drums which rotate, and on which are printed numbers. The drums are driven by–get this–a tiny chain, like a bicycle chain whose miniscule links are well under half a millimeter in size. The whole thing is steampunk and retro and gorgeous beyond belief.

This, gentle readers, is the Romaine Jerome Cabestan watch:

Just the thing for a steampunk ‘con costume.

The only down side? Suggested retail price: $220,000.00 US. Did I mention my birthday is coming up?