Anti-smartwatch buyer's guide

Anti-smartwatch buyer's guide

Summary: My number one prediction about smartwatches? They won't offer good value for money. Buy a nice, expensive, normal watch with an automatic movement and you'll be much happier.

TOPICS: Smartphones

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  • (Image: Rolex)

    Cheaper than you think...

    If you go out and buy a nice, normal watch, you can keep it for years and you'll get great value for money. Yes, it won't show you your emails or know your position on the planet to within a few centimetres accuracy, but it will tell the time.

    Say you spend $3,000 on a watch. Yes, that's a lot of money, but it's an investment, not a tool. The right sort of watch will hold its value or even appreciate. And it'll last for decades.

    No smartwatch you'll ever buy will last that long. You'll have to keep buying new ones every couple of years. And they won't ever appreciate in value. (OK, so first-gen Apple ones might.)

    More to the point, they won't look good, and have a timeless (no pun) style to them.

    My advice: Don't buy a smartwatch — buy an anti-smartwatch.

    This is what I did eight years ago. I bought a nice watch, and I love it as much today as I did when I bought it. I could keep this watch until I die of (hopefully) old age and leave it to one of my kids. Try doing that with a Pebble smartwatch!

    And it's geek cool, as well. Technology isn't just about how many gigahashes your Bitcoin ASIC supercomputer can crunch in an second. It's about how we as a society got to where we are, technologically speaking. Go back not very far at all in human history, and we couldn't even reliably tell the time! A nice watch with a proper automatic movement can ground technologists to their shared history past in a most pleasing way.

    Here are a few I found at Amazon's "luxury watch store" to whet your appetite.

    You may think Rolexes are expensive, but at $3,200, this classy Rolex Air King is a good way of owning a classy-looking timepiece that'll stay looking classy looking for decades.

  • (Image: TAG Heuer)

    For science!

    Fancy something with more science? This TAG Heuer Men's CV2A10.FC6235 Carerra will run you $3,500, but it'll make geeks stop and look just as much as they did upon seeing your iPhone v1.

Topic: Smartphones

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  • A watch is an investment?

    That is news to me.

    Buy a cheap digital watch or an expensive piece of watch jewelry or no watch at all (just use your cell phone), whatever you prefer. Just don't consider it an investment, cause it ait't.
    • Correction

      • "Just don't consider it an investment..."

        So why are my two Omega watches worth more now that when I purchased them? One in 1969, and the other in 1973.

        My 1969 Omega Speedmaster Professional (a.k.a. as "The Moon Watch"...and the one issued to all NASA astronauts) I bought for $200.00 in 1969, today it's retail price is $4,500.00.

        My 1973 Omega Flightmaster I purchased for $173.00 (in St. Thomas, V.I.), and today sells for between $3,000.00 & $4,000.00 in the vintage watch market.

        Not an investment? Really?

        Sorry D.T. You're WRONG...once again.
        • And...

          if you drop one of them tomorrow and it smashes? ;-)

          I think that is D.T.Long's point.

          I have a Seiko Titanium (with gold inlay) Kinetic watch, which I bought in 1998. It is still going strong, I have no idea how much it is worth today and it doesn't bother me, because I use it every day as a watch.

          It cost a bit more than a Pebble, but I bet that the Pebble won't still be doing daily service after a decade and a half of continual wear. And it probably won't run for 7 years without needing to be recharged.
          • I wear them both...just not at the same time.

            I have dropped both of them, and they have continued to work just fine. You see, they are better made than cheap watches, and can take the pinishment.

            They were not purchased as investments, they were purchased because I liked them, and I wear one of them every day. But the fact still remains that they both have been good investments for the last 40+ years.

            And how many cheap watches have you or D.T. purchased since 1969...provided either of you were even born in time to purchase a watch then?
          • I wouldn't

            call the Seiko cheap, mid range more like.

            I had an Ingesol as a kid, then a couple of Casios. As an adult, a Citizen for 15 years and npw the Seiko for 15 years and still going strong.
          • Seiko

            Google "Grand Seiko", they make some watches that make that Rolex Air King seem cheap.

            They also have some excellent movements. One of Seiko's automatic chronograph movements was licensed by Tag Heuer as the basis of their (very impressive) Calibre 1887 movement.
          • That's the nature of valuables.

            If you drop your first edition Dickens into water, it will be ruined. If your house burns down, you might lose your original Waterhouse. If your diamond earring falls off and winds up going down a gutter unnoticed, so long diamond.

            I think the point is not so much that you buy a watch as an investment. The fact that it appreciates in value is a reflection of its quality and lasting appeal. If it doesn't appreciate in value, it might just be a $10 plastic watch. Or if it costs $500 and provides no special short-term utility that justifies that cost, you'll feel foolish when it does depreciate and you realise you could have bought a good watch that would have done the opposite.
        • Wow

          Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)

        • Omega

          I have my father's Omega Constellation, purchased new in 1956 for $150. While Omega no longer makes the same Constellation, the current version sells in the $5000+ class and has many styling elements in common with my 1956 version.

          I wear that 57-year-old watch occasionally, along with the Tag Heuer I bought new in 1986 and a few others. My most recent are a Tag Heuer Carrera Caliber 1 handwind (yes, hand wound in the morning, not even automatic) and an automatic Bell & Ross. Any of these is much more expensive than a smart watch, most will not go up in value, but each and every one of them, with proper care and an overall every decade or so will still keep excellent time when my 18-year-old daughter gives them to her grandkids someday.
    • Invesment.

      By the way, I wear only Timex'
    • You might wear a cheap digital watch

      But that doesn't detract from Baxter-Reynold's argument. the correct watch, with the correct finish and calibre (the insides) will appreciate faster than the market. It also looks nice when you go to the Opera with your wife.

      Also another reason I wear or carry a decent watch is that its instant currency. If you are travelling somewhere like Kazakstan and you don't have casual access to an ATM, and you don't in Kazak, and you are in need of some money quickly - a Rolex is instant currency - same value world wide.

      It all depends on your world of experiences
    • Sorry, but

      if you are going to buy an expensive watch, it might as well be one that appreciates in value like expensive watches normally do. Why pay expensive watch prices for a gimmick that will depreciate instead? Cheap throwaway watches aren't investments, but that's why they are so damn cheap.
  • Your first idiot post

    All the previous have been good.

    I buy CASIO watches. They cost $10 ish.

    I've had 3 in 25 years. Maybe 5 batteries. Dunno - it's such a rare event a battery change.
    I stood on one and it didn't work after that.
    The other is my alarm clock; lost its strap years ago. the repair man wanted more to replace the strap than the watch cost! He didn't get it.
    The 3rd I wear now and then ... about 10% of the time when I'm not near another timepiece (e.g. computer with atomic clock sync.) or time is critical.

    $3,000 a piece is for posers, sales and marketing people and MAC owners.
    I like computing, engineering and value for money.
    Remind me not to let you select my PC, datacentre or cloud provider :-(
    • PS was that 'anti' enough for ya?

    • "Value for money..."

      I'd suggest that a watch that lasts decades and increases in value over time is a much better value for money than a cheap disposable watch. If you can buy a watch, wear it for years, pass it on to your children, or sell it for a multiple of what you paid for it, well, I think that's a good definition of 'value for money.'

      As for 'posers,' etc, I suppose you've never seen people wear jewelry before. A good watch is practical jewelry.
      • And, hey,

        if you can get Christopher Walken to pass the watch on to your kids for you? PURE GOLD.
        • You may be gold...

          But the watch might be brown. ;)
          Third of Five
    • Hey, if you gots the money

      spend it on whatever you want. You mean to tell me, johnfenjackson, that even if you could afford a nice home, sexy car, etc, you would chose to live in a hovel and ride a cheap moped everywhere because to do otherwise would be soooo poserish? I, too, buy cheap watches, not because I can't afford better, but because I feel no need for a fancy watch, but I certainly do not begrudge others for spending money on nice things that make they happy. I probably spend money on things for my own happiness that people who buy expensive watches would consider a waste.
  • analog watches

    Some just don't get it.
    My first "good" watch was a 1958 Rolex. In 3 years I took it in for service, and tripled my money.
    I wear cheap watches ($100-$200) for everyday use.
    I have a couple of Rolex watches that have increased over 8 times the original purchase price.

    Some of us work in secure areas where no phones etc. are allowed. A watch is still useful.
    Terry L. Walters