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WRISTWATCHES

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 2, 2013

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Are they still status symbols?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My wristwatch recently broke and I had it taken in for repair. At first I kind of felt like a dog who had lost his collar, like an important part of me was missing. After awhile though, I got used to it and felt somewhat unshackled. I think the last time I was without a watch was back when I was in high school. Surprisingly, I discovered I didn’t miss the watch that much and may go on without wearing one. I have no problem knowing the time as I can find it just about everywhere, including my PC, in my automobiles, on television and radio, and general wall clocks. Cell phones and other personal electronic devices also maintain the time. So much so, young people imbued with the new technologies are less likely to wear a watch than their elders.

One of the reasons we wear wristwatches is as a status symbol, a sort of “coming of age” thing and is an expression of our personality. Gaudy and gold watches are worn by wannabe power brokers. Sleek watches are worn by people who want to appear hip and contemporary. The super-gadget watches are worn by the techno-geeks, and the basic sports watches are worn by the jocks and naturalists.

As watch wearing declines, watch makers are scrambling to make new models that will appeal to the younger generation and include such things as temperature readings, GPS, Internet access, multimedia or whatever. In a way, it will be reminiscent of Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio/TV.

I think the days of wristwatches as a status symbol are winding down (pun not intentional). Young people do not seem to look upon the prestige of watches like my generation did or my predecessors. Basically, the watch has been replaced by the smart phone with its many different features, everything from simple phones to sophisticated devices that can be used for just about anything, e.g., camera, recording device, radio/television, dictation machine, etc. As for me, I’m waiting for a model that comes with either an electric razor or a phaser.

I see many friends and business contacts constantly trying to do one-upmanship over their smart phones. This doesn’t impress me, but then again neither did an expensive watch. Nonetheless, the transfer of status from watches to cell phones is a phenomenon that should not go unnoticed, as it is marking the end of an era, the start of another, and a change in our culture.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHEN “UP” IS NOT THE ONLY WAY – What direction are we headed, “Up” or “Down”?

LAST TIME:  PERFORMING A JOB YOU HATE – Things to consider before tackling that ugly job you despise.

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6 Responses to “WRISTWATCHES”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A B.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “I normally wear a wristwatch – and right now, having forgotten it at home while I’m on a short vacation in Montana with my eldest daughter, I feel naked.

    I have perhaps three wrist watches to choose from (I also have a pocket watch, but that’s another story altogether). One of the watches is a Masonic symbol watch, given to me by a good friend, now deceased, who lived in Nova Scotia. I wear it on special Masonic occasions but rarely routinely.

    I have an Omega Seamaster watch that my father, an engraver and jeweler, gave to me on my graduation from high school in 1965. It still works, still keeps very good time, and I’ve only had to have it serviced a couple of times in the last 20 years.

    I also have HIS Omega Seamaster DeVille watch, also in working condition, also keeping very good time, and only serviced a couple of times in the last 20 years.

    Why two? Well, MY graduation watch is white gold and his watch is yellow gold. It depends on what I’m wearing and where I’m going as to which watch I will wear.

    They are not gaudy, and they were made at a time when watches were utilitarian, not trying to be multi-functional like some of the watches out there today.

    Perhaps they will indeed pass into history like most pocket watches today. In the meantime, I still feel naked without a watch, whether I have my smart cell phone with me or not.”

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  2. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote…

    “Tim, I wear a wristwatch for a different reason. TIME is the rarest & most valuable thing we have. Once used, it is gone forever. We cannot save it, earn more, give it away or buy more. We are ALL given the same amount to use each day; the key thing is that we do not know how long we will have it. For THIS REASON ALONE, I want to use the time that I do have to the fullest. A wristwatch is a visual reminder of this LIMITED RESOURCE.”

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  3. Alton Walston said

    Hi Tim, yep, you are correct, wristwatches are on the way out. I thought so almost 30 years ago as I have not worn a watch for that long. I did learn a little spiel that I could give when some one asked me what time it was: “Dear sir/madam. I am greatly embarrassed and deeply humiliated due to unforeseen circumstances over which I have no control. The inner workings and tiny mechanisms of my hidden chronometer are in such an accord with the great sidereal movement on which all time is constantly recorded, that I can not accurately state the correct time.” It was about that time long ago that I discovered that there was no such thing as time. Just something man invented so that he could put things in little boxes. Goodbye watches, Hello gadgets!

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  4. sirchristiantheheck@reagan.com said

    Yeah, the times they are achanging. NO, wait; They HAVE changed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  5. […] WRISTWATCHES […]

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