We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, January 5. 2016
My leather watch band broke. Mrs. BD brought it into town and asked me about a $125 leather band. I told her my Timex had cost about $37. She advised me to toss the old watch and get another from Amazon.
Wrist watches: The young folks do not use them. I feel unclothed without one, even wear it to bed. Often, business people like expensive ones, to demonstrate that they know how to make money. That's fine - it's jewelry for men, like ghetto glitz, but it does not say much about how wisely they spend money. I had a semi-fancy watch once but it died and the parts were no longer available. Now I am a Timex guy.
The humble Timex is like Toyota - Timex can wear out many bands, and Toyotas can wear out many tires.
Interestingly, both of my doctors are Timex guys too. I do not like digital watches, because I like to see the bigger picture of time.
I was rummaging through my safe this weekend, looking for a car title, and found my grandpa's engraved gold watch. I think he used it in his youth, but switched to wrist at some point to keep up with the times. It's an Elgin. Mainly of sentimental value. Antique gold pocket watches do not have much value - under $1000 generally. My watch expert pal tells me they are gold-filled, not solid gold.
Do you use a watch? If so, a cheap one or a fancy one?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:16 | Comments (54) | Trackback (1)
Practical wrist watches for regular American fellows
From comments and emails regarding our timepiece post on Tuesday, I am left with these recommendations (it's scientific consensus): - Watches over $100 are jewelry, not timepieces - and not very masculine but some guys need them for work- Expensive wa
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Jan 07, 17:55
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I haven't worn a watch in about ten years. I've been looking around for one to wear - I've found that I miss it - but just haven't found one that I like enough. As an IT guy, you'd expect that I'd want a smartwatch, but I've yet to see one whose features justify the cost, in my opinion. I'd rather spend the money on my kids, and check my phone for the time.
Have not worn a watch for the last 15 years or so, before that I also wore Timex...good value for the money. Was very happy a few years ago when my cell phone fell out of my pocket when I was climbing a fire tower....smashed to a thousand bits....freed from the last remnants of technology for a few weeks....until I was forced to get a new phone...both job an wife demanded I get a new one.
When I was young and poor, I wore a lot of runner's watches.
Now I have some expensive diver watches that I rotate through. I work as an investment manager, and clients don't want to work with poor looking investment managers.
I also like the heft and size of the diver's watches. I have a smart phone, but I don't live on it like the Millennial generation does.
I have about four watches on the go at the moment.
None of them are digital display (though, as you will read, I have nothing much against that type) and all are battery-powered. A couple of them have no second hand (my preference).
Two are "casual" and nostalgic: a straightforward Orvis-branded watch bought in an outdoor shop in the UK and a Tintin watch bought - appropriately enough! - in Brussels). The third is a simple Swiss-made dress watch with a black leather strap and Roman numerals.
My fourth is a cheap CASIO for manual work outside and things like biking and skiing; the kind of watch I wouldn't be upset about if it were accidentally damaged.
When I first went into the Canadian Army as a junior officer, I bought myself a very expensive Seiko. It was soon shattered. At that time, cheap digital watches were just beginning to appear and for the rest of my military career I always used one. They are perfectly accurate, have a glow-light, cost a pittance and you don't get very upset when you smash one against an armoured vehicle hull in the dark.
Oh, there is a fifth watch too but I don't wear it much now: a silver pocket-watch and chain that used to go with my mess uniform waistcoat. Silver, not gold, because of my corps (branch of service).
I used to use Timex watches, but after some bad experiences with them I switched to a Seiko that I wore for seventeen years (and might still be wearing but it was stolen). Seiko is now crap, unfortunately. I wore a Swiss Army watch for a few years, but recently switched to a couple of watches with leather bands from Stührling. They are great.
No, have never worn a watch in all of my 51 years. Don't like the feeling on my wrist.
Use my IPhone for knowing the time.
I just like watches. No digital though as I like to look at the numerals. Just replaced the band on my everyday Swiss Army watch...$25 on Amazon. Have two of those gold pocket watches that were handed down to me by Grandfathers...one railroad man and he other on the ore boats on the Great Lakes.
I have 2 wristwatches, one pocket watch (wedding gift) and one on a carabiner to hook to a beltloop. One of the wristies is a digital Timex (I like the timer on it) with a nylon and Velcro strap); the other is analog with a leather strap. The carabiner has both hands and a read-out. I prefer analog hands (mine's got odd hands; it was a gift) for instant reading, but am OK with the digits.
It is a Boy Scout First Class rank requirement that you be able to find North without a compass both day and night. One of the methods illustrated in the Boy Scout Handbook to find North during the day is through the use of a wristwatch. Point the hour hand (subtract an hour during daylight savings time) towards the sun. Bisect the angle between 12 and the hour hand. The bisection line points due south.
The problem is not just that they don't have watches. If they do, it's more than likely digital! So I have to teach them to pretend their watch is analog....
Used to wear a watch until about 1995. After that, I stopped. It's uncomfortable, and once I started using a cell phone (1997), it was superfluous.
I don't wear any kind of jewelry. People like rings, earrings, piercings, even tattoos, watches, necklaces or other things around their neck.....I can't stand any of that. Not opposed to it, just don't like it for myself.
I wear a watch 24/7. And always carry a pocket knife (since the age of 6 -- thank goodness my school days preceded the current nuttiness).
I love watches as long as they are cheap. (Well, I do have one or two semi-expensive slim analogs). I prefer analogs. And I love gimmick watches: one has a roulette wheel, another shows constellations, a third one displays a Euclidean theorem, also a MOMA color wheel watch, a couple of single hand watches, a few tachymeters, various world timezone analogs, sun/moon/tide, etc. Love the different ways to visualize time.
Timex watches are a staple. The digital ironman versions are good, the bands horrible. I've worn out many Casios over the years, including running and other versions. My Casio pro-trek G Shock feels like an SUV on my wrist. (Mostly for show, as I don't go four wheeling or climb mountains.)
I am slightly ashamed to admit that in my college days I once walked 5 miles to buy one of those geeky calculator watches. (It was on sale and I could barely afford it if I saved the T fare.) These days I like my Garmin for running and casual wear.
I haven't worn a watch since college. I always wear long sleeved shirts. Who wants to unbutton the cuff and roll up the sleeve to see the time? In Winter it's even worse with additional sweatshirt and insulated coveralls layers.
I wear my watch 24/7 with the exception of taking a shower or swimming/doing water activities. I bought it at Costco for about $100. No battery needed. The face is a solar collector. Simple lines denoting hour and quarter hour. No numbers. If I need accuracy, I can use my phone.
I would feel naked without a watch. I did it for awhile in college. I found that there were plenty of places I could get the time without a watch, but sometimes I did have to bother someone to ask (this was in the early 90s).
Love my watch. Like that my kids can't seem to read the time on it. Makes me feel smart. LOL!
Timex expedition - Velcro strap (which I love). I've been wearing watches since I can remember and it's fun now to flick my wrist when asked what time is it. I also use the countdown when starting a race.
Never carried or wore one except when flying for pay. They gave me a wrist watch and made me wear it. Put it on when I arrived at flight planning and took it off when the work day was done. If I got checked and wasn't wearing it I had to get counseled on flying safety. Never figured that out because the airplanes I flew had at least two clocks powered by the emergency bus. Had to turn the watch in when I retired.
I wear a Timex for everyday time telling. I have a fancier one my wife got me years ago for Sunday-Go-To Meetin'. Both have numbered dials, but the Timex lights up!
I like wearing a watch. Used to have an 'expensive' one that cost me about $100 about 30 years ago. Lost it so bought a $30 one that is just as reliable. I, too, hate the digital ones and like a plain watch face.
It used to be that the jewelry counter in discount stores would put the new band or new battery in for you, so you could get an inexpensive Speidel leather or metal band put on the watch easily. Lately I've resorted to watch kiosks, and I've had proper jewelers refuse to even put a battery in a watch of a brand that they don't carry.
For me lately it is a not expensive ultra-thin Skagen. I used to buy a few quartz watches ahead in discount-store clearance sales because of my propensity to break them, but the Skagen seems pretty indestructible so far after 8 years or so of bashing it into things, so I've saved money in the long run.
I'm an engineer who went to school with a slide rule. I love mechanical watches and have five. None particularly fancy with jewels or gold but all precision swiss instruments, one has a slide rule on the bezel for the times I don't have my phone. In addition I have a watch for running with GPS and heart rate monitor but the every day wear is mechanical and analog.
I buy the spouse's replacement leather watch bands on eBay for under $20. He loves his Timex. Our gold watches from graduations and weddings and so forth sit unworn. My watch is a Brighton (kinda upscale costume jewelry) with a very large square face and a turquoise leather band. It is designed after a vintage fruit label, hence the style name "Orchard." I am ridiculously attached to it.
I guess I've always been sort of a watch fanatic/addict. I inherited my Dad's old watches when he passed away (a gold Jaeger LeCoultre he wore in later years of his life; a gold Girard Perregaux curvex he got from his parents when he graduated from high school in 1940; and a real beat up Movado military watch he wore in the Navy during WWII). I don't wear these very often because I am scared of damaging them. Usually I will wear them during family get-together occasions such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Sort of like having my Dad still around, or at least the memory of him being there.
On my own, I have a gold Movado and gold Cyma that my wife bought me, as well as a stainless steel automatic Hamilton she bought me which is my biggest everyday wearer in the office.
For weekend wear, I have a couple of Seiko dive watches (one automatic and the other solar); and also an old digital G-Shock for when I'm either really roughing it or working out, going running or swimming. Also an old basic Timex analogue watch whose battery has lasted an amazingly long time (close to 10 years now?). Looks a lot like the one in the picture above, although an older model.
And then there are the assorted Fossil and other cheap watches, usually vintage in appearance, that I bought because they were cheap and looked cool. Those have pretty much each lasted a couple of years and then gone to watch heaven and now sit in a dead watch drawer. They also tend to rust and corrode over time. (Last tempted to buy something similar several months ago at the open market near Hongik University in Seoul, Korea; but talked myself out of it knowing it would probably break after a couple of months.)
Although I have had a couple of digital watches, I really haven't ever been able to relate to them. Like Bird Dog, my mind just can't focus on the single displayed time--it doesn't really mean anything to me. I need to be able to look at the hands of a watch which instantly give me an idea not only as to what time it is, but how long I have before I have to be somewhere. "A quarter to noon" means a lot more to me than "11:45:00."
I wear a wrist watch except in the shower and in bed.
My current watch is a Seiko5 self winder. I bought it on the recommendation of a friend who is a watch nut (he repairs and collects old watches as a hobby).
I was complaining about batteries, and how I had a Seiko Aviator languishing in my sock drawer because it needed to be sent to the factory a new battery and I had not got around to it yet. I also wanted something lighter, simpler and cheaper.
He suggested the Seiko5 "The Kalashnikov of watches", as he put it. Simple analog watch, self winding, and easy to repair should it ever break.
The only thing is it lacks two features I want, namely self luminosity and a hack, otherwise it is ideal. I replaced the metal band with one I made from woven paracord.
When I see some who constantly check the phone for the time it reminds me of seeing my grandpa check his pocket watch back in the day. Nothing new under the sun.
My current watch is an inexpensive Casio Quartz face watch with a battery that is supposed to last for 10 years. I got it on Amazon to replace a Swiss Army Watch I was given as a gift years ago. That one was never the same after I took it someplace for cleaning and after that, moisture got under the crystal and messed up the face.
I was recently sent a Vivofit band as a Christmas gift; it features a digital watch, but I have yet to try it out because it wouldn't feel natural to wear both that band and the watch at the same time, and yet I'm not ready to dispense with the watch just to wear the band.
Timex cheapie from Amazon. Less than $30 and I wear it on all outdoor activities. My previous watch was also a Timex -my watch is for functionality, not for glitz.
And on which arm do you wear it? Up or Down?
Being right handed, I wore mine on the right hand face away until I saw a right handed guy wearing his on the left and face toward. He could always see the face as he gripped the tractor steering wheel because the right hand was working the other controls.
I cannot wear a watch because of the magnetic field in my body. Well I could wear an anti-magnetic watch but have never found one I like, that I could afford. So I content myself with my well developed internal clock and my medical alert bracelet instead.
Haven't worn a watch since college. I have become very good at sensing what time it is.
When I travel, this rather naturally breaks down.
Watches: I'm a pretty simple guy, so I buy Casio digital watches. Used to be that I needed fancy features like two time zones, and I still occasionally use the stopwatch function, but not often. I replace it when the battery dies. I've had this one for .... seven years now? Eight? I don't remember. When the battery dies on this one, I'll throw it away and buy a new one from Amazon.
I also am pretty good at sensing the time. Plus, I have bad luck with wristwatches and tend to always scuff them.
On occasion I do wear my late father's old army field watch (L.L. Bean) -- still ticking after 60 years.
Fifty years back, in an undergrad basic psychology class, the professor told us that the human brain was the finest time piece ever discovered. Alarms, reminders, etc always seem to work once one is convinced. Haven't worn a watch since then and can always tell within a few minutes what the time is.
Otherwise, the lower right corner of the computer display, the caller ID of the desk phone, the dashboard clock in the pickup truck, my cell phone display, and any of the digital desk clocks my wife loves will always allow calibration of the inner time-keeper for me.
Bought an Apple watch in August. Hopefully that's the first and last outward sign of a midlife crisis. Better gas mileage than a sports car. Only $1100, but it's dumb without an iPhone, and the iPhone 6+ cost me $900. Two grand, but I was able to see - right on my wrist! - that it was 3 degrees this morning. That just warmed my heart. While the fingers and toes...well, maybe iWatch 2 will fix that.
" because I like to see the bigger picture of time."
I like calendars for the same reason. I have several calendars, including entire year at a glance type calendars, hanging in my cube at work and at home.
My favorite watch is an analog Timex indiglo that's about 15 years old, with a soft worn leather band of course. Though, at my age I don't need a watch to gauge time anymore.
Timex with a leather band exactly like the picture. Buy new bands whenever I can because I wear the watch when I swim laps and to bed.
Think that band is leather? Looks like a "NATO Strap" usually made of nylon with a feature that prevents losing the watch if a minor malfunction occurs.
I too have a Seiko 5 automatic. Black face but with an aftermarket "rallye" band in light brown. I've gotten several compliments on that and the package was very cheap for a reliable automatic ticker.
As a nuclear engineer, I just had to get a tritium watch. I did my senior paper on radio-luminescence. It's a black "tactical" style but quartz with a very legible white-on-black dial that glows in the dark.. I did swap to a nice, black German leather band, again with sweat holes, on it that is very comfortable (diModell - $50.) When I'm not wearing it, it sits on the night table next to my bed doubling as a night clock.
Pride of my collection is a gorgeous IWC Portuguese chronometer in rose gold. A $20+k watch except it's really a knockoff from China I got for $300. The cab driver here in Korea this morning was very taken with it and even whipped out a magnifying glass at the stop lights to look it over. Don't know if it fooled him or not. I told him a rich girlfriend gave it to me 10 years ago.
Watches are a fun hobby that can be reasonably inexpensive. I definitely prefer the mechanical drive watches over the quartz one-second tick drives. The smooth movement of the second hand for a mechanical watch looks so much nicer than the annoying jumps of the quartz movements.
I have a Seiko Railroad Approved Watch, I was required by rule to have a watch when I became a railroad section foreman. Up until that time i never wore a watch. I was also required to have a watch which ran within 5 minutes of railroad standard time, and to set my watch to conform to a railroad standard clock when coming on duty. I spent 32 years as a railroad foreman and front line supervisor in a variety of ways. I still have my original watch. I purchased a gold Seiko and wore it for a bit. I was given two other railroad approved watches, one a Boluva, the other a Victorinox Swiss Army Men's 241293 Infantry White Watch by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a safety award. I too feel naked without a watch. I wear my original watch daily. I was given a beautiful Seiko Men's Solar Diamond Accent Black Leather Strap Watch for 25 years of service with BNSF. It has a small diamond at 12, the rest is all coal black with gold hands. The band is to small for my wrist. I would love to get a gold or black metal band that fits both my wrist and this watch.
If you think that a gold Elgin pocket watch isn't worth much, you should take a look at antique pocket watches for sale on eBay. You can find out the details about your grandfather's watch by opening it to find the serial number on the movement and then entering it in the pocket watch database web site.
Anyone who pays more that 50 bucks for wrist watch is just making an ego purchase. Look at Me! Look at my watch! Ain't I SPECIAL?!
You could say the same thing about someone who saves money by cutting their own hair.
Yes, they can be fashion accessories, but like Shakespeare's Polonius advised Hamlet, "Apparel oft proclaims the man."
Somehow, my wife once convinced me that she could cut my hair because she does an okay job with the children's haircuts. Big mistake.
A watch is something every man should have, and let it be an expression of the man. Just like "never go anywhere without a knife."
Old school: Hamilton and Elgin made pocket watches, railroad quality. As hothead says, they are collectable and high quality.
Oh, yeah, I had a Rolex Aviator; watches in that quality range go for thousands. I traded that one off for a vintage Precision Bass and an amplifier.
Now I go for cheap & cheery:
Hamilton thin line self winding, my father got it for twenty five years service at EMD (General Motors Diesel);
Lecoultre gold, also my father's;
Seiko 5, workhorse self-winding, about fifty bucks;
Hamilton steel case not self-winding;
No batteries, no digital, no plastic case and strap.
I recently started wearing a watch again and it took about six months to get used to it on my arm. Now I don't like it if I forget to put it on in the morning.
Mine is a Wenger, classic white face and steel band that was a gift. I prefer metal for the loose fit and the weight. I've looked at replacing it with an identical one because it's scratched and the date doesn't work. The cost varied from $65 to $180 depending on what website and what subtle differences you prefer. I'd buy the cheaper one.
I can't stand digital watches.
More on watches. Worked in the bush in Canada and the northern US and every watch with a plastic face was unreadable after a few days because of multiple doses of 100% DEET--the active ingredient in mosquito repellent.
I wear my father's 14 kt gold Rolex all the time, its an early 1960s low end model. Still keeps good time and still waterproof. While I would never spend the kind of money needed to replace it ( approx 10 grand), I will wear this long as I can see it to tell time.
Analog Timex Indiglo, leather band. I have a tendency to scratch up the faces and ding the watches. And, when at sea or in the dark, I can see the time. These work very well. I have an I-phone but I have to take it out of my pocket to tell the time...just like a pocket watch back in the day.
I wear watches less regularly than I used to. But one staple is a basic Timex "Expedition" analog watch. No features other time, date, alarm. It's over 20 years old and still works
Other staple is a Casio digital. Mainly I like it for the auto-repeat countdown timer, useful for sailboat racing, and for swimming (set it for how long I want to swim - 30, 40, 45 minutes and go until it beeps at me). The Casio has a lot of other features like compass and thermometer, multiple world city times, but I don't use them.
I still remember the excitement I felt 50 years ago when I received my first wrist watch on my 7th birthday. It was a Timex boy scout watch. Nothing fancy and I still wear a wrist watch and carry a pocket knife continually.
I'm wearing a Timex as I type. "Timex, Takes a licking and keeps on ticking". I prefer the old style analog over digital display. I've been a big fan of the "Indiglo" feature for years. Almost always purchase the Expedition series watches with a leather band. I'll replace the batteries and leather band 2 or even 3 times before I decide I want something different. I recently purchased another Seiko self winding watch. I've owned several Seiko's over the years but mostly only wear them on special occasions. This one is no exception,....to fancy for everyday use and no Indiglo feature.
Like you I wear a watch at all times. Definitely analog.. with numbers. I like the simplicity of it... sort of like a totem vis a vi Inception..
The more retro the better..
Got a Citizen "analog" watch (hands and second hand - along with day & date info) that has a metal wristband. It's face is a solar cell and it has a supercap for storage, so 4 hours of light will run it for a week.
It'll outlive me.
My dad's 50 year old Eterna chronometer, which he got for 25 year's service at Alcan. A real MadMen watch, skinny, sparse, steel, with a Fixoflex band.
I have a Citizen Eco-Drive that I wear most of the time. I bought it because I was tired of changing batteries, and my self-winder won't keep proper time - apparently the innards keep getting "gunked up" and requiring cleaning.
For travel, I've got a cheap ($34) watch that does WWV and simple time zone changes.
I carry a pocket watch; only jewelry I wear is my wedding band.