Do you wear a watch?

My watch!

Sitting in a bus, or a train, or even walking about the streets is always a good opportunity to take a look at other people and to see if they are wearing a wrist watch. Ok, I don’t actually do that often, but it is always an interesting experiment to perform.

I’ve recently heard arguments that [wrist] watches are no longer needed, that they are a thing of the past. People will now take a look at their phones to see what time it is, or glance at a clock on the wall. Granted, those are both reasonable ways to get the time, but to me, they compliment wearing a watch, rather than replacing it.

I myself have gone through various phases – I remember that I would wear my watch compulsively as a child, and set it every day to the radio. I would then know exactly to the second when the school bell would go off. Perhaps this was to know when I would be done with a boring class, or be free to go home, and in a way, it was pretty fun! In my teens, though, I stopped wearing a watch, although I can’t remember the reason. Perhaps it was because I lost my watch.

However, at some point or other, one will always need to know the time. When I went traveling for 2 months in 2008, I decided to start wearing a watch again. At first, it was actually annoying to wear it, and I always couldn’t wait to take it off. However, I decided to keep wearing it. After a while, I got used to it and since then, always wear one.

In the Fall 2010 semester, I decided to take a class on Celestial Navigation, and it was here that I really realized the advantage of using a wrist watch. I decided to make a list of why one should wear a wrist watch (My points generally refer to a digital wrist watch, but analog wristwatches still have uses), and here it is:

  • A watch is a simple device which won’t fail easily. If you kept up with the news, you may have heard about various glitches in the iPhone which caused its alarms to go haywire during the DST change and the New Year. Now, there are basic watches and fancy watches, but the vast majority of them are simple devices which perform a few tasks, and perform them well.
  • A watch will last a long time. How often do you change your computer, or your phone? Probably a lot more often than you’ll change your watch (as long as you don’t lose it). A watch will continue to do its task 10 years from now the same as it does it right now. That’s real value!
  • A watch is durable. Even the cheapest of watches can last a long time, and most of them can survive being dunked in water, taken for a swim, or a fall to the ground. You can’t say the same of most phones.
  • A watch has a long battery life. Ever gotten frustrated because your phone ran out of juice? While phone battery life is generally measured in hours or rarely, days, a watch has its battery life generally measured in years! For example, my cheap watch is supposed to last 10 years.
  • A watch is convenient to look at. You don’t have to take something out of your pocket, but you just glance at your arm. There are situations when the usage of phones is frowned upon, since people may not know you’re just checking the time. Further more, you don’t have to press a button to turn on / light up the screen to see the time (unless it is dark, of course)
  • A watch has a known accuracy. If you use your watch often, you will eventually know whether it’s fast or slow. For example, I know my watch gets fasts by one second every week, but anyway, I set it every week. Meanwhile, if you rely on some clock on the wall, you don’t know if it’s accurate! (Of course, most phones are able to synchronize themselves, which can be an advantage or disadvantage) There are cases where you need to know the time very accurately, especially if you are using it for navigation. (A watch which is 4 seconds off can result in your navigation being a mile off!)
  • A watch immediately tells you the seconds. Most phones won’t tell you the seconds, unless you launch a dedicated application to show it.
  • Cheap watches function arguably just as well as more expensive ones

Given the cheapness of watches these days, personally, I feel that there’s no reason not to wear one. Perhaps some people think it’s ugly, and I can’t say anything about that, but I know that there are a lot of fancy “fashion” watches around. Others feel that it’s uncomfortable, and that’s fair enough – it can be weird having something around your wrist all the time, but I say – try it for at least 2 weeks and only then if it’s still uncomfortable, take it off.

I don’t know, maybe there are valid reasons for not wearing a watch. Please feel free to let me know if you have one!

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