Sunday, October 21, 2018

Real Store is Still a Good Place to Shop for a Watch

Recently I was in Singapore and decided to buy a watch. My decades old hand-me-down watch was making odd beeping noises, stopping occasionally and the batteries were getting hard to find. Also I wanted something smaller, and simpler.

Timex T41101 Expedition WatchThe watch I inherited has analog hands as well as a digital display, alarm, and calendar. Unfortunately the current fashion is for either simple analog dress watches, or complex, large chunky diver's style watches. The former lack the alarm function and the latter are large with lots of dials and numbers. I am not a diver or pilot and just wanted something small and simple: hands and one digital display.

At the less extreme end of the diver's style watch is the  Timex T41101 Expedition. This has a very readable analog clock-face and one small digital display. But it still has a bezel with markings around the outside, which has no practical function. This unit goes some way to integrating the digital display on the round clock-face, by making it curved.

Pulsar PBK03 WatchThere appear to be few simpler watches with a round format, perhaps because of the difficulty of integrating a  a digital display. More common a rectangular watches. This gives them a slight antique look. A good example is the Pulsar PBK03. There is the similar, less expensive Armitron 20/5124BKSV, but this does not look quite as elegant and I am not familiar with the brand.

Casio AQ-230A WatchBoth the Pulsar and Armitron have a crown for adjusting the watch hands. This makes them very quick to set, and is useful if you change time zones often. If you are willing to forego the crown and the sweep second hand, there are less expensive watches. The analog hands in these are set using a push button, which is much slower to use. An examples is the Casio AQ-230A. This watch is unusual, in that the case is plastic, but plated to look like stainless steel or gold in some models, with the back of the case and the band really are stainless steel. The Skmei by Autulet looks similar, but with a steel case. These watches are much cheaper than the Pulsar and Armitron and don't have luminous hands (the CASIO doesn't have a light for the digital display either).

Timechant 1267 Talking Watch
Another option I looked at were talking watches. These are intended for those with limited eyesight and use synthetic speech in place of the digital display. Unfortunately many of the more advanced models are designed to automatically set the time by a radio signal not available in Australia. The simpler Timechant 1267, doesn't need a radio signal. 

However, a watch is difficult to choose, unless you have placed it on your wrist.  So in Singapore I looked at the watches available. The first store I looked at in Orchard Road had prices displayed about four times those I had seen online, and after some haggling this came down to twice as much. I then found the 3D Watch Shop Singapore. They had a large range of stock and prices displayed about the same as online and I purchased the Casio AQ-230A.

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