Monday, July 15, 2013

Is my wristwatch destined to go the way of Indian Telegraph?

Last week I had my battery replaced on my 10-year-old Swiss-army wristwatch and within a few days, it stopped working. Since then I have been walking around watchless. I continue to instinctively look at my bare wrist when I have the urge to tell time only to resort to pulling out my smartphone or look around to see if there are wall clocks nearby and sometimes resort to sneaking a peek at a passerby’s wrist watch.

(image: BBC)

I should perhaps take a lesson from the strategists in India who finally decided to pull the plug on Telegraphs (wsj blog). Just a few similarities between wrist-watches and Telegraphs:
  • Wrist watches and telegraphs are just things we grew up with, accepting them as an integral part of our lives 
  • Both have been subsumed by other technologies. Cellphones/smartphones which we all carry can also tell time. Technologies like SMS, cellphones and ubiquitous emails have long superseded most if not all the need for telegraphs. 
  • Just as in case of telegraphs where habits or nostalgia kept the system alive thus far, most (if not all) men who grew up with wrist watches continue to wear one. 
  • ROI on watches are not justifiable, just as they aren’t for Telegraphs. For instance, I go through new battery every year or couple of years. A $10/$15 “investment” to keep the lights on for a $200+ technology that has probably depreciated to 0 in the past 10 years since I got it
I have been meaning to go back to the mall and confront guy at the watch repair kiosk, assuming it is just a defective battery not a watch whose time had come. In the meantime, I continue to sit on the fence debating whether to pull the plug on my wrist watch.

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