Rosemarie Bata, Zlín September 25, 2018

 

I have seen, and touched, many items that belonged to my grandfather – his desk, his tie pin and even his famous notebook … but for some reason, nothing seems as individual to him, as personal, as this watch.

Tomas Baťa (1876 – 1932) was a man for whom time was clearly very important: “The day has 86,400 seconds”.

And tragically, for him, because of the plane crash, time is something is something that he would have very little of.

I do not know exactly when this watch travelled to Canada.

Very likely my grandmother, Marie Baťová, brought it with her as a treasured possession.

And it has remained a treasured family possession all these years.

My own mother, Sonja Bata, had the stand you see made for it.

Following my father’s death in 2008, we – her children – noticed that she began to keep the watch on her desk, just below her computer screen.

Perhaps as an inspiration for her own work?

When Sonja Bata died in February this year, It was the unanimous decision of her children, myself included, that this watch should be returned to Zlin…  where, in my grandfather’s hands, it had performed such miracles.

We wanted especially that it would be here in time for the reopening of the Memorial … to support of the City’ of Zlin’s tremendous achievement in restoring this beautiful building.

And so, I leave this watch in the capable hands of Pavel Velev and the Thomas Bata Foundation.