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Archive for March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021 — Return of a formerly-ubiquitous item

The brown packet came in the mail today, with a white box inside. About 30 minutes later, after reading the instructions, I am now doing something I have not done in about three years.

I’m wearing a wristwatch, made by the Wyze company.

I remember the first time I ever bought a watch for myself. It was a Pulsar watch from a nondescript booth at an outdoor flea market in New Jersey. I liked this watch because it was one of those with an analog watch face with a digital display below it. I used this watch for keeping time, running a stopwatch, and running a secondary timer for an alternate time zone.

I saw a watch in not just a utilitarian sense, but an aesthetic one. A distinctive, simple timepiece is a status symbol, even if it’s just for an office worker. Heck, there was a time when I had a cheap off-brand watch with a gold metal band, and I was treated like royalty in restaurants and shops in the better parts of town, including places frequented by public figures.

I owned a number of watches, most of which emphasized form over function. I had an orange watch, a white watch, and one in basic black. I have also had one with a green face and a Swatch with a pink face.

But all this was before the ubiquitousness of the cell phone, and the fact that most people under the age of 25 don’t feel the need to wear watches because they can easily get the time from their phone screen.

Several years ago, my brother bought me a cheap bracelet smartwatch, from China. The item was fraught with problems. It was far too small for my wrist, and it also stopped working the moment I tried to apply a little heat to the silicone band to try to expand its circumference.

Now, I’ve had Casio watches which take your pulse and another which estimates your blood pressure. But this new smartwatch is a combination of form and function. This has the ability to turn off and on lights and smart devices in your home, and also serves as a sleep monitor as long as you wear it while you sleep.

This watch is a pulse-taker and it also is a blood oxygen reader, something which I think is very useful, given my medical history in the last few months.

It’s taken me a while to figure everything out, but I think this may be some of the best money I’ve every spent, considering some of the more expensive alternatives.