Swatch Original


Bargain personal timekeeper

I recently conducted a survey asking readers what technologies they have relinquished. Much to my surprise, watches topped the list (replaced in most cases by the clock in a cell phone). Personally, my watch is my most used mobile equipment. Always on, featherweight, quick to read. Every couple of years I check out what’s available for watches as tools and I come back to the model I have worn 24/7 for 20 years: a classic Swatch Original. I wear it in the shower, swimming, and while I sleep. It’s what a watch should be: waterproof, nearly indestructible, accurate, and radically legible. Clear, black-on-white glow-in-the-dark numbers (no hour ticks) in an analog face. Day/date optional. And best of all, at $40 the Swatch is probably the cheapest rugged watch you can buy. Luxury watches perplex me: what are you getting extra? Sure, the plastic wristbands of the Swatch wear out and are cheaply replaced every five years, but you’ll lose a Swatch before it crashes. There are other models for making a fashion statement; for a straightforward design worthy of Apple, look for the Original (or Classic) Gents or Ladies. It is still the best bargain going for a personal timekeeping tool.

-- KK 04/18/05