Archive for November 18, 2011

Watch ya gonna do?

The wristwatch I’ve had for a number of years now was a Casio “G Shock,” a brand of watch that was sold to me on the grounds that it was extremely durable, firefighters swore by it, etc.  (Although the instruction book said not to get it wet, as it turned out.)  I’m not a firefighter or a particularly rough-and-tumble person, but I was sick of watches that invariably broke at the points where the band connected to the watch, so I got it for the much sturdier construction at that point.

However, the wristband itself was made of a resin that wasn’t nearly as durable.  I’d long since had to replace the little cuff thingy that kept the longer part of the band from flapping around with an elastic hairband, and the material between the peg holes was tearing through so that the watch kept getting looser on my wrist.  I tried going to the place I bought it to see if I could get it repaired, and they said they’d have to send it to the manufacturer.  I tried a jewelry store, the one that successfully managed to disassemble it to put a new battery in (which turned out to be far more difficult than the jeweler anticipated), and they said they couldn’t do it.

Then I decided to see if I could find a replacement wristband online and maybe do the replacement myself.  And as I began examining how the band connected to the watch, I realized it was familiar.  I remembered that I’d replaced the band once before.  The original band had broken too, but in a different way — I remember now that it cracked laterally, across the width of the band.  And I’d replaced it with the band that was coming apart now.  I don’t even remember how long ago it was, but I bought the watch in July 2002, so I’ve been through two wristbands in nine years.

So I found the replacement band online, but I couldn’t order it yet, because I was missing something I needed: a precision screwdriver, a Phillips head small enough to undo the screws on the watch.  The last time I changed the band, I realized, I must’ve used the set of precision screwdrivers my father had — a set of steel-handled screwdrivers of various sizes, all in a plastic box with a clear lid.  I always figured they must’ve been fairly expensive tools, and I was hoping I could find something reasonably similar for a more modest price.  As a long shot, when I was at the grocery store, I decided to check the hardware aisle — and there I found a set of precision screwdrivers just like my father’s, costing a grand total of… $3.99.  Oh.  Okay.  You learn something new every day.

So with the screwdrivers obtained, I ordered the watchband, and it came yesterday.  I began trying to take apart the watch this morning.  It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get one of the band halves free… but then other pieces of the watch’s casing started to break off.  I guess they’d grown brittle with age and were being held in place by the adjoining bits, so when I loosened those bits, they fell off.  There was no way of putting them back together.  They didn’t impair the watch’s function any, but I figured losing bits of the casing might let moisture and stuff get in.  And there was just so much accumulated gunk inside the pieces where the band connected…

Anyway, I figured I should just go ahead and buy a new watch.  So I went to the department store and did so.  I wasn’t sure what kind of band I wanted; I don’t trust resin anymore and metal is uncomfortable.  The clerk at the jewelry counter offered me a watch that had a fabric band with a Velcro closure.  I was skeptical at first, but it was pretty comfortable, and I realized it would be infinitely adjustable — and there’s no little cuff thingy that could break off.  So I went for it.  Although now it’s not feeling so comfortable.  I belatedly realized the fabric of the band is a little rough, and I hope it doesn’t irritate my skin too much.  I’d hate to have to return it and try to make another decision about what watch to buy.  It’s not easy to do.

But I should be able to return the replacement watch band I turned out not to need.  At least, the receipt says “Returns are easy!”  Hopefully that will turn out to be true.

By the way, I’ve just tried the backlight feature, and instead of lighting up the background behind the digits, it lights up the digits themselves.  Maybe that saves power?  Anyway, it’s kind of weird seeing the digits in negative like that.

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