I’ve been getting interested more and more about wristwatches, beginning with the LL. Bean field watch I got for Christmas 25 years ago to the Ollech & Wacjs diver I rescued from the Mildew House and repaired last year. I’m pretty finicky with the look and feel of my watches, like everything else, but I tend to favor military field-type watches and some basic diver models, but nothing too overdone or oversized for my relatively small wrist. Mostly by accident, the two “expensive” watches I own are mechanical–I wind them every day. At first I found this annoying but over time I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate the idiosyncrasies of each individual watch through their care and feeding. My Hamilton likes 12 full winds. The O&W likes about 20, but loses 4 minutes every 24 hours. Each has a date display, but the O&W only has a single adjustment on the post, which means I have to advance the watch through 24 hours to advance the date one day. It’s a pain in the ass, but it has character. I love the way they both look and feel, and I’ll never stop wearing them.
Meanwhile, I’ve kept an eye on the Apple Watch, wondering if I’d ever need something like it, and if it would ever get to the size where it didn’t look like a plasma TV strapped to my arm. I’ve been told they are life-changing when actually worn, and I’m sure they’re nifty but I haven’t been able to justify the cost to this point. I’ve had a FitBit on my Amazon list for months but haven’t made the leap to that technology yet either–even though the price to entry is much lower.
When I was up in Syracuse the first weekend, Renie offered me the FitBit she’d bought my father for Christmas, still in its original packaging. With a little apprehension I opened the box and strapped it on my wrist the morning I helped my Mom clean Dad’s clothes out the closets and move stuff around the basement. Imagine my surprise that evening when it told me I’d done 8,000 steps and 12 flights of stairs that day. Meanwhile, it was buzzing on my wrist as I got texts from the family. I started getting detailed reports as to my sleep habits (conclusion: I’m not getting enough) and it’s interesting to see what my heart rate is after different activities. For a fledgling data nerd like me, it’s fascinating to be tracking and comparing this stuff.
Overall I like it a lot, even though I miss my mechanical watches for everyday use. I’m going to cycle through them more as I’ve been doing–January was a heavy O&W month, while December was mostly Hamilton–and mix the FitBit in more.
And, even though he never wore it, I’ll think of my Dad when I check my steps–and make sure I stay healthy.