Monday, August 10, 2015

"Bro, Weak Wrist Game"

This has actually been something that I've wanted to talk about for a long time, especially when I hear so many stories about watches from time to time.

The last real watch that I had was a $100 Seiko watch that my parents bought me for my 20th birthday. It was a nice, clean and simple design and I wore it to school on days I dressed up or had a presentation, or if I was going out for a nice occasion. I've had many people compliment me about it and some genuinely inquiring more about it because they were actually looking for a simple but elegant watch to buy. Unfortunately when I was about 23, the watch died on me. It was worn, beat up and scratched up from the short few years of casual usage. Since then, I've never had a "dress" watch.

Today I have 2 digital watches. One is a GPS watch which I use when I go out and exercise to help log all my run data. I can't run with a phone on me, I find it very uncomfortable, but that's just me. This watch can be annoying sometimes because I'd want to go for a run and I realized that it's not charged, but I have to admit that I find having my run data and history pretty useful.

My other watch is one of the basic standard Casio watches. Yeah, this one. The one with the "10 year battery". I believe I got this watch sometime during NS because I lost my other Casio watch outfield. When I bought the watch from the auntie down at the watch shop, she told me, "Okay boy, I see you in 10 years time to change battery!". Damn funny, haha. I use this watch when I exercise and I don't need the GPS function, but also for when I go travelling. I'm a bit of a paranoid traveller, so I hate to pull out my smartphone in public, but how else would I know the time? Well, with this watch of course.

And that brings me to the reason why I don't own a dress watch and I don't wear a watch everyday anymore.

Today, everyone carries their phone around with them every second of the day. Perhaps the time where your phone is the furthest distance and away from you the longest is when you take a shower or do some sports. If you have your phone with you all the time, I really don't see the functional need to have a watch. Time? Date? Alarm? World time? Stopwatch? Countdown? A phone does all of that, and more.

I must admit that some watches do have some cool functionalities, like altimeter and compass, but then again you don't have to pay thousands of dollars to get a watch that can do that.

Some people will say, but hey, what happens if your phone runs out of battery? You won't know the time! Well, there are watches and clocks everywhere. And there is also the old school way of how we used to handle these sort of situations in the past, which is to poke a stranger and ask, "Excuse me, do you know what time is it?".

In terms of aesthetics, I must admit that a watch which is well matched to an outfit can improve a look. I've seen decent watches under $200 that are sharp looking and easy to match with a variety of styles. If I was going for form over function, I'd rather have a small arsenal of watches to wear on different occasions than a single obscenely expensive piece to be pulled out for everything. That is to directly say that wearing a Patek Philippe while wearing old army singlets and shorts when you go to the market is not going to make you look like a million bucks, but rather an idiot instead. I think it's a pretty huge misconception that the watch is the most important dress piece and says everything about you. Yeah maybe it does, that you are a big douche?

One of the most obnoxious situations that I have ever experienced in my life was overhearing 2 friends around my age talk about watches for 30 minutes while trying to convince me that I should totally buy a luxury watch. It made me sick listening. "You've never truly lived until you slap down $20,000 in cold hard cash to buy a watch". Are you freaking kidding me? That's the definition of truly living life? I questioned my friendship with them after that. Smart fellows, no doubt. Superficial? To the max.

What is a watch? A symbol of how much money you have? That you have so much money you can buy a $50,000 watch in your mid-20s? Of course, buying it on an installment plan kind of ruins that sexy luxe lifestyle image one might be trying to achieve.

To me a watch was and still is an instrument to tell time. However, in this modern day and age, it can also be a telltale sign to how obnoxious and superficial some people might be (note: not are, but might be). I've heard stories of girls meeting guys and then searching how much their watch cost to see how rich they are. Sounds crazy, but I swear it happened.

I don't see anything wrong with owning a nice and expensive watch if you're rich. What the hell are you going to do with all that money anyway? The point of money isn't to accumulate a huge pile then die on it. But I think that there is a problem when a person buys an expensive watch so that other people will think they are rich. A true watch aficionado at 25? Dude, you need a new, realistic hobby. That's like me saying that I only date Victoria Secret Angels.

I know that there are Facebook groups of watch fanatics where people take "wrist selfies" of everything they do. On the train to work, selfie of wrist while holding overhead hand rail. At work, selfie of wrist with desk in the background. Going to eat at lunch, selfie of wrist while in the food court. Going to watch movie, selfie of wrist with movie tickets. Seriously? I don't think that there is anything wrong, especially since it's a group of people doing what they like and sharing their interests, but it just blew my mind that people do that. I guess if you really do freaking love watches, getting a nice watch is worth it to you. Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop.

Being rich should not cheapen the happiness and experiences of simple things, but sadly that seems to be the mindset that I see quite a few of my friends shifting towards. "Not expensive = not good". I don't prescribe to that kind of logic.

But then again, what do I know? I'm probably just some poor 25 year old loser that is sour he can't afford a luxury watch.


  1. Hi GMGH,

    I like watches not because of a symbol of luxury but an instrument of art, engineering and fashion. I enjoy the feeling of winding my watches and the 'tick tock' sound that only mechanical and automatic watches can produce.

    I don't own any high end luxury watch like a PP or Rolex yet. The most expensive is a Hamilton. Seiko is a good watch brand - quality, affordable and a rich history. I already own one as my daily beater and I'm eyeing another ( but I don't have many occasions to wear them. I like to wear my watches rather than keep them lock up in a box or safe. And in case anyone thinks Seiko only produces 'cheap' watches, take a look at their Grand Seiko.

    1. Hey Derek,

      A Seiko guy! I really liked my old watch, heh. Your daily beater is a mechanical one? I'm worried that if I get a mechanical one, I'll keep forgetting to wind it and it'll slowly become a chore rather than a therapeutic activity.

      I find it very hard to appreciate the branding, history and especially the exclusivity and uniqueness of high end watches that I can't even imagine that I would own one. When the day comes when I finally have too much money, I shall splurge on one and find out first-hand what it feels like! Muahaha!

    2. Hi GMGH,

      Mine is an automatic. Can last 48hrs before going flat. Check out the Seiko 5 series. I bought one from a watch repair shop in Tanjong Katong. Much cheaper than those sold in retail stores.

  2. Hi GMGH,

    I remembered receiving an expensive watch as a gift but I wasn't happy as my dog had just passed away suddenly and all I could think about was him rather than the watch so imagine me crying at the watch shop...not out of joy but thinking of how I would give this up to get him back...

    1. Hi Joyce,

      Oh, that's a sad story. What happened in the end? There's just some things that money can't buy :(

  3. Hi GMGH,

    I second you!

    I love watches too and actually, instead of an engagement ring, I proposed to the Mrs with a Baume & Mercier watch. It was >100 times my income as I was still a student then.

    However, I have since valued function over form. I love my $30 Casio wrist watch. No fear of scratches or need to change batteries for the past 2 years.

    It's interesting to note that two years ago, my subordinates were puzzled by my choice of watch. They simply couldn't understand why they were wearing watches >100 times the price of mine.

    I should be able to afford better, they say.

    "My watch tells the time more accurately and has more functions than yours".

    1. Hi Mr 15HWW,

      Second me, haha I got your pun!

      Luckily for me there are clocks everywhere in the office so I don't really need a watch. I will look out for the rest of this week at people's wrists for watches. I don't recall ever seeing anyone with a digital watch at work before!

      I have been considering getting a better digital Casio watch since I do a lot more interesting types of travelling these days. The Pro Trek series has a mind boggling number of features. Maybe the iWatch can do more things, but at least you don't need to plug in and charge a Casio once a day, haha!

  4. Casio over others anyday buddy !


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