Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Cheap Watch

About four years ago I bought a nice Timex digital watch. It was big and had an intriguing feature - an electronic compass. But it was SO big that it wouldn't fit under my shirt sleeve. I had to push my sleeve up behind it, which I didn't like, so I didn't wear it much. When I did wear it I would push a button expecting to turn on the light and get darkness. Then when I found the light button, I would not see the time but the direction the watch had been pointing when I pushed the first button. It was a fiasco - and it cost me about $50.

When the battery died, I thought, "This is a relatively expensive watch. I will buy a battery for it." Which I did, for about $10. But when I asked the store to install the battery, they declined. These watches are too complicated, they said.

"How can putting in a watch battery be that complicated?" I asked myself. So I opened up the watch. I couldn't even get the old battery out from under the restraining spring. I tried for quite a while, but, fearing that I would damage the watch, I ultimately put it back together and put it away in a drawer with the new battery in its packaging next to it.

Several months later I saw them lying pathetically in the drawer and said to myself, "What difference does it make if I break it or not? It isn't doing any good in there." So I took them out, took the watch apart, sprang the release by brute force, put the battery in, got the retainer back in place and read the mysterious inscription about resetting the compass by crossing the contact points. I saw what I thought might be contact points and crossed them with a mini-screwdriver.

I put it all back together and it worked. I even figured out how to recalibrate the compass. "Not too bad," I told myself, smugly.

But it was still too big to go under my shirtsleeve. And soon it began to behave strangely. The display would go blank, but would come back strong if you pushed a button. Then it began resetting itself... "This is too frustrating," said I.

That's it! I've had it with complicated watches. I went to WalMart and bought a $10 digital watch to replace the Timex. I am thinking disposable. When the battery goes the watch can go too and I'll buy another $10 watch. It is just not worth the time, energy and frustration - not to mention the extra money - to buy more complicated watches.

Cheap watches are the wave of the future.

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