Choosing my latest watch

Reading the article on the Suunto watch packed full of features has inspired me to write a little about how I chose my watch. My watch is my constant travelling companion and has been everywhere with me. It’s time to give it some space here.

As it’s my constant companion, I get particularly attached to it and fussy when choosing new ones – I don’t want to keep getting a new one every so often like mobile phones. So choosing the right one is crucial and I’ve been rather lucky so far.

The first watch I could remember having was a red watch for kids of course. I was still young. Then later I got a simple Casio. I can’t remember if I chose it or I had it as a gift but it lasted for many years. In fact, I’m sure it must be still lying around somewhere, ticking away. I only upgraded to a new one when I got some money from a relative and my wrist outgrew the tiny Casio.

Quite happy with the performance of the small watch, I bought a bigger one of the same make. This lasted many years until the rubbery wrist strap broke through too much wear and tear – probably sweat! I had the wrist strap replaced with a metal one that did not match the black casing but I loved my watch, it was working perfectly well and there was no need to throw it away. So tick away it did for a few more years until the battery went dead. No big deal, I had it replaced but as it wasn’t the original, the new battery didn’t last long. After that I had to start replacing the battery more and more often and humidity started creeping into the casing and fogging the inside. One day I went to the beach and my watch died on me, despite not getting soaked. Fortunately, it somehow woke up once I got back home, probably due to reduced humidity.

The signs were clear: it was time to get a new one as this one was getting unreliable and towards the end of its life. Soon making this decision, I got some money as a gift. Just like old times, I rushed to buy… another Casio! I was always pleased with my previous watches and wanted something reliable. Ecommerce on the internet was not yet in its prime, so I couldn’t find much online. In fact, I wasn’t looking for just a watch anymore but one packed full of features such as altimeter, temperature, heart rate monitor, etc. Reading the previous article on the Suunto watches brought all my searches back to mind. But back then, I must have been ahead of my time as there was not much choice out there at that time. Nevertheless, I managed to find something to satisfy me.

My most important feature was for my watch to have a rechargeable battery, after having gone through the experience of replacing batteries too often and seeing humidity creeping in. By not having to replace the battery, I wouldn’t have to open the casing and no moisture could get in. I also save on batteries! The watch I found was solar-powered. Just what I wanted – free power. When I just bought it, the power level was quite low but after a day, it charged up fully and never ever dropped again.

My watch doesn’t have any of the digital meters I so wanted but I got the most important think sorted out – the battery or lack of. The downside to this watch is that it is quite bulky and heavy. It also comes with a radio signal receptor to capture the NPL time signal emitted from Cumbria. This is the same signal that is used in banks and on train platforms to run trains. My watch establishes contact around midnight every day to keep its time accurate but in return this means that it doesn’t have to be overly accurate as its accuracy is restablished daily. if I were to move abroad where there would be no time signal, I would lose accuracy quite quickly. I actually don’t need this waveceptor function as it’s called. I guess it is just another marketing gimmick and an excuse to make the watch less accurate, something which would be more difficult and costly that to synchronise it daily with the NPL signal.

I’ve been using my current watch for several years with no problem now, though I can never get used to its big size. I’m sure that with the internet and progressing technology, my next watch will be truly outstanding.

What say you?