Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cheapest Watch I've Ever Owned

My romance with Timex is over for now.

I've owned a series of Timex Indiglo water-resistant (WR) watches. I like the way the watch face lights up (the Indiglo feature), and I like a watch that survives an occasional shower or a little dishwater (the WR feature).

My first watch of the series was great. It withstood a lot of dousing, and it ran for several years. I probably could have revived it with a new battery, but (in my experience) water-resistant watches often leak after their case is opened, so I didn't bother.

I bought a second Timex Indiglo WR watch that was very similar to the first one. A few weeks after I got it, it developed a few tiny water droplets inside its crystal. The watch stayed wet inside for most of the next two years, but it kept good time.

A Timex that wouldn't tick

I was glad when the second Timex finally quit running last month. Finally, I had an excuse to buy a new watch. I purchased a third Timex Indiglo WR watch, expecting to be very pleased with it.

Instead, I'm disappointed. Water appeared under the watch crystal after two weeks of wear. Right after that, the watch quit running. I'm going to look up the receipt and send it back to Timex. (That's on my to-do list, right under completing the bathroom paint job, moving everything back in there, and restoring some order to the rest of the house.)

An M.Z.Berger Watch

Meanwhile, I needed a watch. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and bought a cheap, water-resistant watch with easy-to-read numbers on the dial.

The box said "White Stag", but the watch face has no name on it. The name M.Z.Berger is incised on the back of the watch in tiny letters. When I looked up M.Z.Berger, I was surprised.

We're the owners of such classic American brands as Gruen®, Elgin®, Waltham®, and Sharp®, in addition to licensing some of the most recognizable brands and character licenses today, including Nickelodeon®, CareBears®, Bratz®, Hello Kitty®, NASCAR® , ©Disney. (Source: M.Z.Berger & Company: Watch Collection)

I hope it will be a trusty little soldier of a watch, though I'll miss the Indiglo.
The watchband has the word "China" on the first link. I'm not sure if that applies to the entire watch or just the band. (Probably the entire watch!)

The watch has a three-year warranty, but if it quits before then, I won't bother sending it in. M.Z.Berger wants $5.95 for shipping and handling, and the watch cost only $11.88.

It's the cheapest watch I've ever owned. It's an amazing bit of technology for such a small price.

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Update 9/20/08

Oops. At work last night, I tore up the M.Z. Berger's Chinese watchband beyond repair. When I got home, I took the band off the dead Timex and put it on the Berger. Otherwise, the little watch is doing just fine.


ptg said...

I bought an imitation Rolex in a little shop in Tijuana for less than two dollars. I jokingly asked how long it was guaranteed. The shop cat smiled and said "Until you get out the door, sir."

Genevieve said...

In Bolivia, I bought a Citizens watch in the market. I got it from a watch dealer in a booth who was recommended to me by a local. (He was a cut above the guys who were selling watches from blankets spread on the ground.)

I gave 100 pesos (about $40) for it which was very cheap for a Citizens watch at that time. It was water-resistant and had a calendar feature. I always wondered if it was a real Citizens or not. Maybe they can be sold that cheap if they're smuggled and there are no import duties?

Fake, smuggled, or whatever it was, it ran well for a couple of years. During those years, I scratched the crystal terribly against a concrete post, reaching through the outer gate at our house to unlock the padlock. When I got back to the U.S., I had the crystal replaced and after that, it leaked water.

Genevieve said...

9/27/09 -- The $10 watch is still doing fine. It's keeping perfect time and its waterproof seal is still holding, despite the regular dunkings it gets.

Genevieve said...

The little M.Z.Berger watch started losing time a few weeks ago and then completely stopped. So, two years of service for $10 -- what a good little watch it was. You might think that I bought another? No, I went back to Timex. I really like the Indiglo feature that lets me read my watch in the dark.

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