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Poll

My wristwatch is

the cheapest available
[ 1 ] (25%)
digital with light button
[ 1 ] (25%)
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!)
[ 2 ] (50%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Topic: Best about wristwatches (Read 2919 times)

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.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #1
Maybe this fits better to the hobbies category. Let the mods decide.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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?

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #11
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.
What's the watch you have here?




Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #13
Pretty cute!

This month I got myself this one (not from this website and not as expensive) and this is where my quest for watches ends. Now I am a legit Swiss watch guy and I have accumulated a small collection of three watches.

Casio W800H is still my fav in terms of functionality and features. Certina has got style. It looks considerably better in person than in the pictures, which is a good sign, I think, even though I would prefer the watch companies to put out truer-fairer pics of their products.

Edit: By the way, I don't understand why you are so fascinated by self-winding. There is nothing special about it. I have known about it all along, since the 70's. Even the Soviets could do it. In the watch business, it is called "automatic movement". My Certina has it too. I am more annoyed that manual winding does not appear to be there. The crown only exists for setting the time.

Edit2: For the short while I have had a mechanical watch now, I think manual winding is something to appreciate. Mechanical watches are not very accurate (mine strays about +10 sec per day but cheaper ones would more than half a minute or more), so it would be a nice little daily morning routine to both check its accuracy and wind it up at the same time. The issue with automatic winding is that you "don't need" to wind it up and thus you don't get the feeling how wound up it is. With luxury things it's all about the feeling eventually.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #14
...and this is where my quest for watches ends. Now I am a legit Swiss watch guy and I have accumulated a small collection of three watches.
Yeah, who was I kidding. This thing can get you hooked. Even me.

For the short while I have had a mechanical watch now, I think manual winding is something to appreciate.
So I upgraded myself to the four-figure price bracket and got myself the current top model by Oris[1] https://www.oris.ch/en/watch/big-crown-calibre-473/01-473-7786-4065-07-5-19-22fc



In this one it's all about the clockwork. The movement is a recent in-house achievement of the brand, probably will be featured only in this model - this model is the first one to have it, released in January 2023. It is manual wound[2] up to 120h power reserve - 5 days, proudly (but entirely unnecessarily in my opinion - Oris has had earlier models with 10-day power reserve) declared on the dial too. The power reserve indicator, attached directly to the spring, is visible through the transparent caseback. Which is nice. I like the power reserve indicator, but I do not want it staring at me when I check the time.

By the way, I did enough research to find the channels and opportunities to pay considerably less than the list price, while still getting the brand new official and authentic item with original box, papers and warranty. The channel is Chrono24 where you can poke around a bit for the kind of prices that dealers deal with among themselves.

I still have all my earlier collection too. Each one of them serves a specific purpose. The Oris will be a vacation and retirement piece.
Last summer in Switzerland I visited an Oris shop. They did not manage to brainwash me to buy one right there on the spot - brilliant customer service culture in Switzerland, by the way - but this purchase now is definitely influenced by the experience.
My automatic watch that I very much like and do not consider selling unexpectedly stopped on me once in the middle of the day. It turns out that desk work can be so static that an automatic watch does not get swung enough.

 

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #16
It's about investment. Must put excess money somewhere. Watches are fine artsy manufacts akin to jewellery, guaranteed at least to hold value in long term, different from electronics, which are guaranteed to halve in value quickly and then never recover from there.

At the beginning of the year I started to try investing on the online platform provided by my bank. Right on time for Americans to launch another goddamn worldwide financial and economic crisis as they did last week. Exactly my kind of luck. The stock/securities kind of investing is non-different from gambling, extremely repulsive to me. Watches are much better. Suppose I become a war refugee like my grandparents, then it is good to have some high-value little wearables to carry along to somewhat be able to start a new life elsewhere and not go totally broke and get screwed several times over like my parents who were not even war refugees.

A few thoughts I have gathered about watches according to their price brackets:
- Below 100 e mechanical watch: probably not a good idea, unless it is Vostok from Russia, Luch from Belarus or Red Star from China. Until recently, also cheapest Seikos and Orients were below 100 e, but not anymore.
- A quartz watch over 200 e: suspicious, usually not a good idea
- A mechanical watch in the three-digit price bracket: Make a perfect pick based on the looks and specs. Get what you absolutely like, no compromise.
- Four-digit price bracket: Research the intestines of the watch carefully before committing to it. The clockwork must certainly be unique and special. Also the looks better be unique, not some homage, lookalike or hype of the moment. Some quirks may be allowed - if you made an honest purchase under warranty, issues will be fixed.
- Higher prices: Grail.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #17
Below 100 e mechanical watch: probably not a good idea, unless it is Vostok from Russia, Luch from Belarus or Red Star from China. Until recently, also cheapest Seikos and Orients were below 100 e, but not anymore.
I have a couple of € 20 mechanical watches. They work well enough for my purposes, but of course they hold no value.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #18
I have a couple of € 20 mechanical watches. They work well enough for my purposes, but of course they hold no value.
It could be worse. It could be smartwatches.

In terms of "work well enough for my purposes", smartwatches can be awesome, counting steps and observing heartrate, sharing your location and what not. However, they are not the same technology as watches. Smartwatches are electronics and are accordingly guaranteed to lose at least half of their price along the years and then never recover from there, just like electronics in general.

Quartz is different because it runs for years on a single battery and the firmware will never be outdated, whereas modern smartthings become utterly stupid in less than a decade. On smartwatches, hardware cannot keep up with the software updates, online services get discontinued, apps are not compatible with every firmware/opsys (Garmin versus Apple) nor with every version of the same firmware/opsys, you need to charge the thing every day (about weekly or even better with Garmin, I have heard) etc. These are smartphoney problems that quartz watches don't have and therefore these are to be considered radically different technologies. And some peculiar or special quartz watches hold value rather well.

I think the main reasonable purpose for cheap mechanical watches is tinkering and experimentation, such as when trying to learn and practise watchmaking, repair and modding. Otherwise it has to be some exceptionally cute watch. Or a gift.

My purpose has become to park some excess money into watches. And to show off to friends and colleagues. At work we have a bit of a competition. And there's some hope of expensive mechanical watches to retain reasonable value and liquidity in long term. Jewellery would be better and precious metals better still, but those just sit idle and don't show time.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #19
In terms of "work well enough for my purposes", smartwatches can be awesome, counting steps and observing heartrate, sharing your location and what not. However, they are not the same technology as watches. Smartwatches are electronics and are accordingly guaranteed to lose at least half of their price along the years and then never recover from there, just like electronics in general.
I also have a Casio from the '90s, albeit currently without a working battery. It's the superior form of a smartwatch, and they sell them new as well. The battery lasts… two years? Maybe more.

The main selling point for "smart"watches seems to be that they bother you every time you receive a text or something. (And they spout some lies about being able to measure your heart rate and how you sleep.) I wouldn't want that unless they paid me at least a thousand a month to wear it.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #20
Need a Social-Media Detox? Start With an Analog Watch

This article is just a fahion pitch pointing to some trends in women's watches, but the larger idea behind the heading is nice. Watches are a gateway to reduced screentime (via increased dialtime). About the same way as e-readers keep a check on video-gaming and movie-going.

Unfortunately, the world has already been overrun by smartwatches. Now that AI is the latest craze, there is no way to hold back smartgadgets for some time.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #21
Armed robbers escape with up to €15m in jewellery from Piaget store in Paris

The robbery took place around lunchtime on Tuesday at the store on the Rue de la Paix in the high-end Place Vendôme area, home to several jewellers, watchmakers and luxury brands. The area has seen a spate of armed robberies in recent years.

:no:

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #22
Ouch.

Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #23
Even Fidel Castro liked watches.


Re: Best about wristwatches

Reply #24
Also Schwarzenegger is a fan of watches.

Schauspieler Arnold Schwarzenegger ist vom Zoll am Münchner Flughafen festgehalten worden. Der 76-Jährige soll eine Luxusuhr nicht angemeldet haben.