Watch or Apple Watch

Ben Brooks's grandmother gifted him his late grandfather's watch. He stopped using his Apple Watch shortly after.

Pick up my wrist, and I see a fine timepiece which is never in a hurry to tell me what to do but always there no matter how I pick up my wrist or glance at the screen.

It turns out; the best watch is an actual watch.

Who knew…The Wrist

I wanted an Apple Watch. But I found myself contriving reasons I need it. I would use it to get notifications from CGMS via my iPhone. I would use it to track my activity. But ... those reasons never felt compelling. There was something missing.

I remember telling my wife "No" when she asked if I wanted an Apple Watch for my 50th birthday. To me, a watch is more than just a timepiece. It's a family heirloom. A watch doesn't have to be expensive to fit that nostalgic image. It just has to be something that reminds you of that person.

When I was a boy, my father wore a Seiko 5 Automatic. It wasn't expensive. At least, I don’t think it was. As a boy, I loved trying on that watch. I loved the heft of it. It was solid. It did not have a battery but was wound by movement my Dad made as he moved. I was fascinated by the way that works. A watch that stored kinetic energy. I always hoped that one day my Dad would give me his watch, but he chose to give it to my younger brother. I am ok with that. Dad gave me the Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II he used to take photos on our family vacations and many explorations around Bequia, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Vincent.

That camera has sentimental value to me. It is associated with memories of my youth and my Dad and the happy childhood spent on the beach. To set the record straight, my Dad is very much alive and will be for many years to come.

For me, what the Apple Watch lacks is that intimate connection to people and memories. It feels like electronics. Electronics, unless they are old shortwave radios, don't have that same feeling to me. Electronics outgrow their usefulness, especially electronics that must be updated via software. I don't see anyone passing on an Apple Watch in the same way as Ben describes in his post.

Dumb “stuff”

My affinity for analog watches doesn’t mean I dislike the concept of the smartwatch. My iPhone is one of the most incredible items I have ever owned and used. But my experience with it has also taught me that the promise of convenient notifications and relevant information is almost always paired with the reality of constant distractions, tugs for attention, and perhaps even an addiction to the “just checks”.

When I look down at my watch I know exactly what it will show me: the time.Shawn Blanc

This article reminds me of how I feel about my Dad's old Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II. The camera is almost 40 years old. The lens and pentaprism have some mould and the battery cover screw is fused to the body from repeated use. It no longer works. So why do I still have it?

The camera reminds me of a time when life was more carefree. I have vague but fond memories of my Dad taking us to the beach and snapping photos with that Pentax. When I pick it up and feel and see its worn knobs and dials all those memories come rushing back.

My Nikon D5100 and even my iPhone have more features than this old Pentax but they lack a soul. When I see my Dad's Pentax I see my Dad.