Monday, August 12, 2002

Today's post will be of a personal nature. Those looking for timely musings about the downfall of society should go elsewhere.

I'm currently in the market for a new watch. The current one needs a new battery, but as you will read below, I'm considering getting a new watch instead of just replacing the battery. Since 1988, I've worn a series of digital calculator watches, and since 1990, they've been of the Casio Data Bank model. I used to use the watch to store phone numbers and the occasional anniversary, but in the past few years I've acquired cell phones that store phone numbers and PDAs which store numbers and much more. So the Data Bank on my wrist has been rendered obsolete. I do still use the world time feature, which is convenient when I'm traveling outside the Eastern time zone. I don't ever remember needing the stopwatch, and the timer is useless as well since I have a cooking timer at home. (And I can't remember the last time I needed a timer outside of making dinner.) As for the calculator, I realized a few minutes ago that at any given time I have on my person at least one device that includes a calculator (other than the watch). The two PDAs that I carry (BlackBerry and Palm Vx), as well as my Nokia cell phone, have calculators. To add to the fun, all three of these devices also include clocks. So you could say that I don't even need the watch. But since I've worn a watch since I was about six years old (or about as long as I can remember), it's too much of a habit for me to chuck the watch entirely.

The problem is deciding what watch to buy. Twelve years ago, the calculator/data bank watch was cutting-edge and extremely geeky, so of course I loved having it. Now with the proliferation of data devices (see above) it's not geeky any more, just dumb. Casio has a $200 watch that includes a compass, altimeter, and barometer, but unless I'm going to become a TV weatherman or a serious hiker, I don't need one. And not at that price, either. The new geeky watch from Casio seems to be the Wave Ceptor series, which gets its time by radio from an atomic clock in Colorado. But this model is so new that I've only seen it online, except for one style (the latest Data Bank, which I don't want anymore) at J&R downtown. I'm wary of buying a new watch online, since I won't be able to see it firsthand until after I've paid for it. I don't know much about any other manufacturers or models, excep that they can get really expensive and shiny. I'm still enamoured of digital watches, so a fashionable analog watch isn't really my thing. The more I think about this, the more likely it becomes that I'll just break down and get what I want online. After I looked at the web sites for some Manhattan department and/or watch stores, I found that most stores don't carry Casio, or a large selection of casual digital watches. Damn. Why do I always have to make things more difficult than they need to be?

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