Time For a New Toy

My absolute favorite device is not the PDA, cell phone, or MP3 player. It’s watches. I’ve always loved them. In fact, if I were a villain in Batman’s word, I’d probably be Mr. Time or something. I used to work for Seiko in Japan, and I always hoped I would have the opportunity to work for Casio, as well (though that never materialized). Currently in my watch drawer are eight different specimens, and one on my wrist (I’ve actually been wondering if I might be able to get away with wearing one on each wrist, but I haven’t yet tried). I have no idea how many watches I’ve discarded over the years either because they have gotten ruined or hopelessly obsolete. My favorite watches are my Timex Messenger (one of the coolest watches ever made, but tragically nearing extinction), my Seiko Chronograph (not technically very fancy, but a great looking timepiece), my Casio Twincept Databank watch I bought in Japan (sort of obsolete at this point, but a classic), and my brand new Casio Solar Waveceptor G-Shock.

I have always considered G-Shocks to be good watches, but not very technically impressive until I came upon this one. It’s an atomic watch (Casio calls this feature Waveceptor) which means it synchronizes wirelessly with the atomic clock in Colorado, which, in and of itself, is not all that unusual anymore, however it is also solar powered, which is an interesting combination. Not only do you never have to set it, but you also never have to change the battery. Five minutes in direct sunlight is enough for 6 months of “normal” usage. And since it doesn’t have to worry about conserving battery life, it synchronizes four times a day, which is once more than my old stainless steel Waveceptor (a beautiful watch that’s been discontinued). It also has nice large numbers for easy reading, an interesting time recording function which allows you to store 30 date/timestamps (something I’ve never had on a watch before), and will automatically illuminate when held perfectly parallel to the ground and tilted at a specific angle toward your face so you don’t have to actually go to all the trouble of pressing a button. Of course it has several standard features: 5 alarms (including a snooze alarm, which will keep bugging you every five minutes until you get out of bed), world time, and a stopwatch. It’s water resistant to 200 meters, and is extremely shock resistant, as well, which I’ve already confirmed after only a few days of ownership. It’s conspicuously missing a countdown timer, however, which is its only drawback, so I still need to fall back on my cell phone occasionally, but overall, it’s very functional and practical.

Any other watch fanatics out there? What kinds of watches do you like, and why? I’m mostly interested in practical and functional designs as opposed to pure technical wizardry. For instance, I had a Casio camera watch for a short time, but returned it because it was too bulky and the picture quality was too low. And what good is an MP3 watch that isn’t expandable?

And finally, what would you consider to be the ultimate watch? Mine? Glad you asked. A Solar Waveceptor Pathfinder Tripple-Sensor G-Shock with a count-down timer, SD slot for expansion, and a GPS receiver. It doesn’t exist yet (all in one watch), but when it does, I’ll buy one for each wrist.