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Poll

My wristwatch is

  • the cheapest available
    0 (0%)
  • digital with light button
    1 (50%)
  • gym smarty with heartrate counter because i am very old/fit
    0 (0%)
  • inherited from grandfather
    0 (0%)
  • other (specify - extra points available for watch collectors!)
    1 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 2

Topic: Best about wristwatches (Read 1032 times)

  • ersi
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Best about wristwatches
Maybe not totally worth it, but here's a whole new thread on wristwatches. Not worth it, because this is a deadish forum with barely any participants, but I feel like doing another useless poll, so let's do it! The moderate market penetration of smartwatches, expensive futile gimmicks in themselves,[1] indicates that the wristwatch format is a lasting idea.

Wristwatches are of two main types in terms of the driving engine (called "movement" in professional circles in English, as I have learned in my recent research):
 A. mechanical
 B. quartz

In terms of display (or "face"), they can be categorised as:
 1. analog (these can have either type of movement)
 2. digital (quartz movement only)
 3. combined



My first watch ever was an analog mechanical kiddie style watch at the age of 9 or so and I lost it already next week. The first watch that I somewhat cared about was a Citizen digital watch towards the end of eighties. Right now I have a Casio digital watch.

In terms of functionality, there's not been much evolution in the arena of cheap digital watches. The alarm function of my current Casio is missing the common-sense alarm feature that Citizen used to have: alarm per weekday. On the Citizen digital watch in the eighties, it was possible to activate the alarm for the five workdays of the week and keep it off for weekends. On the current Casio, there are all sorts of weird barely useful options available, e.g. a specific date each month, a specific date each year (once a year - useful I guess to remind you of your spouse's birthday or the wedding anniversary), all days for a specific month every year, every day, or nothing. No options for a weekdaily alarm on the Casio. Did Citizen patent weekday alarms or what? But Citizen has moved into the more prestigious analog segment these days and it hardly produces digital watches these days.

In this lockdown situation, some of my old fascination with wristwatches has returned. I bought four cheap quartz watches last month and tried them on. The cheapest of them all became the winner. I am giving the others away as Christmas presents. Last weekend I additionally thought it would be nice to gift myself a mechanical or at least an analog watch due to all the amazing promotions and payraises I have gained in my current job. After much figuring, I am inclined towards a true mechanical watch with some serious calendar features (e.g. a Triple Calendar Moonphase or a Multi Year Calendar watch), but this decision needs to be precise and lasting. Some other time maybe.
Futile because they duplicate the functionality of smartphones, but the users still need a smartphone for the complete functionality. The only ingenious thing about smartwatches is that they are fastened on the wrist, so you do not need a pocket or a bag to carry them along. But wristwatches were ingenious this way long before smartwatches, plus wristwatches - with battery - last for years, and with winding they last for a lifetime, while smartwatches pass out weekly or even daily, defeating their own purpose.

  • ersi
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #1
Maybe this fits better to the hobbies category. Let the mods decide.

  • Luxor
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #2
I've only ever bought one watch when I was 15 or 16 years old, which was a cheap one with a digital display that had a calculator, but the buttons were so small it was practically useless, unless you had tiny fingers. It didn't last long before I binned it, waste of money to be honest. Every other watch I have owned have been gifts and I still have three of them.

One an Omega analogue watch which stopped keeping the correct time and I really do need to get into the jewellers to be cleaned and repaired. I've had it for over 40 years but it's been put in it's box and put somewhere safe, one day I might find it.

Other than that I own two Pulsar watches both gifts from my wife, both analogue displays. One a chronograph, which I wear every day and have done for 30 years and other than the battery needing replaced it has never lost a single second in all that time. The other one is solar powered and I have only used it a couple of times (when my other one is in getting a new battery). It's just not the style of watch that I would ever really wear, too small and thin for my liking I prefer something more chunky on my wrist.
The start and end to every story is the same. But what comes in between you have yourself to blame.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #3
My main watch right now is a cheap Chinese self-winding type. I only use it once in a while when I wish to have particularly easy access to the time.

  • ersi
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #4
Oops, I forgot the beer option :( Well, not a good idea to drink alone anyway.

One an Omega analogue watch which stopped keeping the correct time and I really do need to get into the jewellers to be cleaned and repaired. I've had it for over 40 years but it's been put in it's box and put somewhere safe, one day I might find it.
Sounds like an old respectable timepiece. Let's hope you can find it, fix it, take a photo and upload it :up:

My main watch...
Does this mean you have a small collection of watches? Yo, we have a winner! :hat:


My main need for a watch stems from near-daily bicycling and catching trains. (Both activities have had long pauses though in this Year of the Covid.)

Trains depart accurately most of the time, so I need to be on time. Quartz watches are precise by their nature and digital watches prominently display the seconds. (Unfortunately with analog watches I tend to think "it's *about* such o'clock" which is no good when catching a train.)

And it is not permissible to fiddle with a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop when riding a bicycle. A wristwatch is much better, even though also sometimes precarious.

Therefore, in my situation, everything points towards a digital watch. An analog watch would only be for festive occasions. Nah, these days a festive occasion would mean some virtual online conference call or such, so I guess a photo or a looping video would work, no real watch needed.

  • Luxor
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  • Global Moderator
Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #5
Sounds like an old respectable timepiece.

Old and respectable, yes that's a good description for it.  Very plain though, but I like that.
The start and end to every story is the same. But what comes in between you have yourself to blame.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #6
Futile because they duplicate the functionality of smartphones, but the users still need a smartphone for the complete functionality.
Worse, they take a second to respond to you flicking your wrist. I don't know how long it actually takes, but it feels like I already know the time on a normal watch when the smartwatch is only just getting started.

The main selling point for a smartwatch as I understand it is that it can bother you better with incessant notifications about emails, text messages, or worse. That sounds like a nightmare to me.

I understand there are also more or less normal E Ink watches like the Sony FES Watch U that can change their background. I believe there used to be a series of watches with background inserts for kids back in the '90s that could also do that. In any case, I do like the idea of E Ink. It's just a slightly more capable alternative to the LCD display on the aforementioned Casio watch.

Does this mean you have a small collection of watches? Yo, we have a winner!  :hat:
I have a digital Casio watch from the '90s. It's very good, but possibly in need of replacement (besides needing a new battery) due to some of the buttons having worn out a bit, and I think I almost lost it in Paris because the strap broke.[1] Also at the moment I don't know where it is. At a glance it looks similar to the Casio F91W-1 Classic currently being sold. I also used to wear it while swimming.

Then there are the various free watches people give you. Some big monstrosity from the Postbank, a somewhat better looking model from an accountancy firm, another big monstrosity from some place I used to work at... This hasn't happened to me since the early 2000s anymore though.

Besides that I have two cheap Chinese self-winding watches. I thought the concept was pretty cool back in '08. In any case, I use them because they don't ever need anything. On a morning that you want a watch you just grab it, shake and/or wind it a bit and fix the time. For daily use they kind of suck because they can be off by up to two or three minutes per day, which a proper Omega watch wouldn't do.

In different territory there's also my dad's pocket watch, but my main watch is my own pocket watch.[2]

My main need for a watch stems from near-daily bicycling and catching trains. (Both activities have had long pauses though in this Year of the Covid.)
That's when I use watches, when I occasionally take a train. For regular everyday cycling it doesn't matter for me.
That would've been in '03.
I.e., cellphone.

  • ersi
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #7
In any case, I do like the idea of E Ink. It's just a slightly more capable alternative to the LCD display on the aforementioned Casio watch.
You mean like SQFMI Watchy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCPxTS1aF3w

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #8
It looks a bit post-apocalyptic and the default display seems rather busy, but yep! It's not quite clear to me if I can count on at least weeks from the thing though? A traditional battery-powered watch does what, a year, two?

The only problem is that the fake Casio face looks by far the clearest/most useful to me. Maybe one could do something with calendar integration instead of the silly steps thing.


  • ersi
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Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #9
Post-apocalyptic as in exploded/caseless? For me, one of the reasons to have a watch is to have something more weatherproof than the usual smartphone. In an average rain, I keep the phone in the pocket and I do not answer calls. Unfortunately I must pass on the eink wrist thingy, if I cannot check the time in the rain and snow. Hopefully their next plan is to produce pretty cases and strap/bracelet options for the thingy.

A traditional battery-powered watch does what, a year, two?
Casio commonly does three. Some Casios, such as my W800H, promise ten years, but I am probably too trigger-happy on the light button for it to survive this long.

Step counters would be great, if they counted something on bicycle too.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Best about wristwatches
Reply #10
Post-apocalyptic as in exploded/caseless? For me, one of the reasons to have a watch is to have something more weatherproof than the usual smartphone.
Quite so on both counts!

Step counters would be great, if they counted something on bicycle too.
If you say so. :) Incidentally, I'd expect cellphone activity tracking apps to be able to count cycling activity?