The Search for the Perfect Watch

I love watches.  I've had a watch for most of my life, and I just like the fact that the watch makes it so easy to check what time it is.  (In my case, it's nice because I can get it up close and look at it really easy too.)  I didn't have a watch for my senior year of college, and I guess I got by just fine, but I really do like a good watch.  My most recent watch buttons are not working, so I'm going to ramble on a bit about what I want and how I cannot seem to find it.

For at least the last decade, I've been using Timex digital watches.  I think I started out with a large digital Ironman watch, and I just loved the functionality.  Of course, the alarm is great, but some of my favorite features are the stopwatch and the countdown time.  I actually use the countdown timer every week to remind me that my load of laundry needs to be changed every week.  Also, you can keep track of the time in another time zone, so if you're traveling around a bit, you can remember what time it is at home.  These are the features that make the digital functionality a must-have.  Plus, the Timex watches are all laid out the same, so once you know how to change settings and o things on one, you know them all, and they're very intuitive, such that I've almost never referred to a manual.

For the last seven or eight years I've had Timex's analog-digital hybrid watches, which I've also loved.  These feature a great analog display on a metal armband and case that has a digital display inside the bottom of the face.  It looks really stylish, but also is very functional.  I got the metal armband because the cloth armbands would, after time, start to get damp and smelly from sweat, but the metal, I've found, just starts getting deposits of dead skin cells and gunk in the cracks of the band, so I guess it's a little better.  I also love the Indiglo nightlight technology that lights up the entire watch face for great viewing at night, which is another thing that Timex seems to have perfected in the watch space.

So what's the problem?  Well, I think I take pretty good care of my watches.  They say they're "water resistant", but I've found that's not the case as much as I'd like.  All the analog watches have the dial on the side that you use to adjust the time on the watch and that dial has rusted out on every single watch I've had.  It's not like I'm wearing them while swimming or showering, but I do wear it while doing dishes or in places where my arm might get a bit wet, and taking off the watch and stowing it away from water would be a big nuisance.  Somehow, on the watch I had 4 or 5 years ago, clouds of water formed underneath the watch's clear covering and then the watched stopped completely shortly after.  On this current watch, it's been working like a champ for almost four years, although the buttons have been getting a bit rusty and it's been reacting a bit to my skin.  But, just last night, one of the buttons has completely stopped working such that I cannot use any of the digital features of the watch besides the current time.  (I can't even turn off the alarm that most likely goes off every morning at 5:27 am.)  I did have the battery on this watch replaced once within the last year, and it has worked really well.

What I would like to find is a watch that lasts for much longer.  I'd rather not have the buttons and face get tarnished or rusty.  Also, I want something simple and stylish, not complicated-looking.  I want to know if there are better digital watches out there.  I'd even be willing to forsake the stylish analog part in the place of a professional-looking digital watch.  Anyone have a watch you use and like that has these features?  What's your experience like?

While looking around, I was intrigued by the Casio Wave Ceptor digital watch.  It's got a square design and a big time display, plus all the usual options.  But, at the hefty price of $160, there's a bunch of extra cool features.  The watch gets its time updated from the atomic clock in Colorado automatically and it also includes a battery that recharges via light from the sun.  These are both interesting developments, especially the second, because I expect that's where the price increase is.

My problem is that these features leave a lot of questions, and I tried to look around on the 'Net a bit, but I couldn't find any good answers or places to get these questions answered.  First, if at some point I had to replace the battery, how much does a rechargeable battery cost?  Second, if the battery will last for a long time, is the construction of the watch good enough that the buttons and case won't wear out before the really nice functions?  I've only paid $50 or $60 for my earlier watches, so if I'm going to pay much more, it's going to have to last for most of a decade.  There are other similar models without the recharging capability that I might look into, but I'd love to hear input that anyone has.



I use my cell phone. It displays the local time, and has an alarm.

The only watch I've ever used is that Timex Ironman you have pictured above. I think it may be the women's model because it's a smaller version. I've seen the standard-size ones, but mine is more about the size of the one you have pictured.

I love the number of features that I get for the low-profile, but mostly it's been "just good enough". Watches aren't terribly important to me, and actually right around when I finished undergrad, I swore off wearing watches for the most part. Trying to simplify.

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