That One Day When I Got Bored and Just Started Ordering Watches off Amazon

This is a true story.

The Contenders

Suunto Core All Black ($129.99)

Pros

  • It’s all black!
  • Supposedly if you calibrate either the altimeter or the barometer, the other one sorts itself out automatically.
  • Has a cool “second hand” that cruises around the circumference of the dial.
  • Very cool band.

Cons

  • Kind of hard to read. It has a “negative display” so the numbers appear lighter than the black watch dial — but they’re not lighter enough for easy reading.
  • Looked pretty big on (compared to the similar, non-Suunto Core watch that came on that fateful Wednesday).
  • I couldn’t figure out how to get the interface to show me much.

Timex Ironman Classic 30 ($35.75)

Pros

  • Cheap enough that we can almost call it disposable.
  • Indiglo!
  • Made in Philippines.

Cons

  • No altimeter.

Casio Pro Trek 600 ($230.40)

Pros

  • The hands get out of the way when you select a display setting that kind of requires you to see the digital display located above the 6.
  • Seriously, that was really cool. Almost emotional for me.
  • Despite having the largest case of any of that Wednesday’s watches, it didn’t look that bizarre on my wrist.
  • Normal hands made it seem like it could be a reasonable every-day, business casual watch. Plus I like normal hands.
  • Has full set of ABC features, but still kind of looks like a normal watch.

Cons

  • Its ABC features are all kind of stowed away in that little rectangle above the 6.
  • Not cheap.

Suunto Core Regular Black ($146.41)

This one was basically the same as the first watch, only the display was black-on-gray rather than gray-on-black. Here, I’ll show you.

Pros

  • Maybe a little easier to read than the all black?

Cons

  • Still looked huge. I think for as cool as the band is, having it so wide where it connects up with the case kind of gives the impression of long lugs. No one wants long lugs.
  • Oh also: the battery supposedly only lasts for a year, at which point you have to replace it. Which I know’s not the end of the world, just that the Casios were solar-powered and supposedly will still be running long after you’re sick of the watch (a decade or two?).

Casio G-Shock M100 ($91.99)

Pros

  • Has hands.
  • Doesn’t try to do too much.
  • It’s “good down to 200 meters”, which I think translates out to I can get away with wearing it in the shower — probably.

Cons

  • Looks like a lot of bezel without much face.
  • Those small porthole digital displays are really too small to be of much use.
  • I know it doesn’t look so bad in the photo, but IRL it just looked like all bezel.
  • No barometer.

Casio Pro Trek 3000 ($205.13)

Pros

  • It’s an ABC watch (altimeter, barometer, compass). Have I mentioned ABC in this post somewhere yet? Weird.
  • Eminently readable.
  • Could find stuff just by messing around with the buttons.
  • Pretty reasonable-sized case for an ABC watch.
  • Periodically syncs over-the-air with an atomic clock transponder in Colorado for some reason.

Cons

  • Also seems like a ton of bezel, especially when compared to the Suuntos.
  • Came preset with an alarm that went off at midnight (or 0:00 as it was called).

The Outcome

I don’t know why I started buying the watches. Yes I do: I was bored at work and unable to motivate myself to do “academic research” and somehow this killed time (ha!) in an appealing way.

At some point I was cognizant of feeling like I needed another quartz watch besides my CWC and I wanted it to be decent, like $100-200 somewhere, and then everyone on The One Watch-Enthusiast Website was all about the Casio G-Shocks, which then took me into the world of ABC watches somehow, which then meant I ordered these six watches, four of which were ABC watches.

Anyway: I kept the 3000 and the Ironman.

I really wanted to like the Suuntos (they’re from Finland! — that should’ve been listed as a pro), but I kind of didn’t. I think, mostly, the case just looked huge and felt heavy or something, plus pushing the buttons wasn’t immediately gratifying. Loved the wide band though.

I regret not keeping the 600. When I made the decision to keep only the 3000 and the Ironman, I did so while cognizant of the fact that I would always regret not keeping the 600. It’s hard to describe how exciting it was watching the hands scramble out of the way when I pushed the button to see the barometer reading the first time. Maybe some day.

The 3000 seemed like it did its job correctly, looked fine on, and it was easy to justify it to myself (it really would be nice to be aware of elevation status while hiking). The 600 had all the same features, but they were always going to be less prominent.

And then the Ironman was cheap enough that if the dog buries it in the backyard, hey, who cares?

What I Learned

  • Watch cases over 40mm look okay on me. Whole new worlds opened up.
  • I can spend $1,000 in one day on watches.
  • Fine, I can spend $800 in one day on watches.
  • Apparently I have no shame about using Amazon’s return policy just to satisfy my consumerist curiosity.
  • I like the shirt I was wearing that day.

Epilogue

bkd

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