Earlier this week, Hodge sent me a listing for a deal he found on Slickdeals.net for an incredibly cheap Citizen Eco-Drive watch, the glorious timepiece pictured to the right. Hodge knows that I love watches and he probably also knows that as much as I love watches, I have neither the means, nor the inclination to drop a tremendous amount of money on them. Hodge is married, with children, so he is well aware of the economics of the happy household. Any way, the deal was for a site called ChronoShark which basically has a different deal on either watches or jewelry every day. The current day's deal was for the pictured watch for $119 bucks. Given that the watch retails for about 500 bucks, it was a pretty good deal.
As soon as I saw the damn thing I fell in love with it, however I felt the need to do some basic research and the general consensus was that it was a good watch. Apparently it's last year's model, hence the price discount, but seeing how the cheapest I could find it for online was just south of 300, at less than 120, it was an incredible deal. Me being the saving maven that I am, I found a coupon for two dollars off, meaning that I got the watch for $117. Shipping was five bucks, bringing the entire total to $122. Not too shabby.
The watch arrived today and hot damn, it is absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous! My time with it has not been without problems though, which is to be expected given that this is me.
First of all, I couldn't put the damn thing on. Unbeknownst to me, even though the watch has a leather band, it has the same clasp that you would find on a metal band. It took me about 20 minutes of fucking with the thing to figure out how it works. Chances are, if you can't put your watch on, you have no business wearing, or using it, but I persevered.
Second, this thing is loaded with all sorts of wacky features, but to get them working you had to set all of the hands to some sort of reference point and that wasn't working correctly, so I had to do that from scratch all while listening to the kids to make sure they weren't killing each other. Eventually I got it working, and man, this watch has some serious skills.
First off it can tell time, obviously. It has a dedicated second hand, the small dial on the lower right. It also keeps track of the day of the month via the large second hand and can even tell you the month and year via the small hands on the lower left. It does this via some sort of perpetual calendar where it keeps track of the year relative to when the last leap year is. Granted, this means that in order to know what year you're in, you have to know what year the last leap year was, but if you can't remember that, chances are this watch is far beyond your meager time telling skills. It also has an AM/PM meter, that orange and black pie wedge thingy, to tell you if the time is in the AM or PM. The hand also moves through the two stages relative to the time, so not only do you know if you're in the morning or the afternoon, but how far into each. Awesome, right?
It also has an alarm, which I haven't set yet, as well as the ability to keep time in another time zone. It does this by picking the new time based on how many 30 minute intervals the local time is off of your "normal" time. Complicated? Sure! Awesome? Undoubtedly! It can also keep an alarm for the local time. Lord knows how you set that. Probably with chickens.
Finally, and most awesomely, you can press a button and the watch will play a series of tones to tell you the time. First high pitched tones count off the hour, then a combination of high and low tell you how many 15 minute intervals have gone by since the top of the hour, finally low pitched tones tell you how many minutes since the last 15 minute interval. Not sure why you would need this, perhaps in cases of temporary blindness, but it is cool.
As the watch is an Eco-Drive, it recharges via sunlight, and when fully charged can run for nine months without ever needing a charge. You can fully charge the thing by giving it 10 hours of outside sunlight or give it a full day's worth of juice by toiling in an office for four hours. Given that I rotate through my watches regularly, I'll have to make sure I give this thing plenty of sun so that it's always at the ready, just how I used to shake my grandfather's Bulova every day that I didn't wear it so that it kept the time. Speaking of that watch, I need to get it fixed, provided it can be fixed. That's a story for another time though.
In the meantime, I'm really digging this new watch and can't wait to wear it out where I'll undoubtedly scratch it all to hell. As long as the tones keep working, I'll still be able to tell the time though, even if the face gets all scratched up. Score one for the tones baby!