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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Have you ever tried to get a watch repaired or a batter changed?

Have you ever tried to get a new battery for your wristwatch? Our local shopping mall is Brent Cross in North London and as my watch had ceased to function I took a trip there to get a new battery.

I popped into one of the jewellers there and they pointed out that my Seiko watch face was chipped and if water got in I would be wasting my money replacing the battery. So I asked how much for a new glass and a new battery.

“Oh, the watch must go for servicing in case any of the glass chippings had got into the works.” The assistant explained. I agreed and asked how much would it cost. I couldn’t believe it when I was quoted £70; nearly half that of the watch a few years previously. And this was in 2005, imagine what it would cost today!
I had an old catalogue watch with me and asked how much would it cost to replace that battery. “Ten pounds” was the reply, and the assistant was still able to look me straight in the eyes. I felt very much like giving him something straight between his eyes!

I said I’d think about it and wandered into a few other jewellers in the mall, but they all said roughly the same to me.

£70 to repair a £170 watch. Time to buy a new watch I thought. A friend suggested I looked at the latest Casio watches. “But they’re rubbish” I complained. No, they are a lot better my friend explained so I looked on the Internet and found a company who seemed to know their onions or, in this case, their watches. I can't give you a link as they have subsequently gone out of business.

I browsed through their catalogue, and e-mailed them. The owner, Ian, although not answering his phone during weekends, was happy to bandy words with me on the Internet.

I looked through his list of watches and chose the Casio MTG-930DE-8VER

Here are some details of the watch from his website. I have emphasised the items which I found of more interest to me. RRP £129.99. Their price £98.82 (Including VAT And free delivery) Saved £31.17. Once again, remember this was in 2005.

Full Auto EL Backlight: Automatically deactivates the Auto EL backlight function when surrounding light is sufficient, and activates it under dim light or dark conditions.

Shock Resistant: Shock-resistant construction protects against impact and vibration.

Solar Power: A solar cell provides power for operation.

Radio Receiver Watch: This watch receives time calibration radio signals that keep the displayed time accurate.

World Time: Displays the current time in major cities and specific areas around the world.

Time Stamp: Press a button to save the current display along with the time and date. Up to eight digits possible per data record.

Stopwatch: Accurate measurement of elapsed time with the touch of a button. The fraction indicates the unit of measurement, while the time figure indicates the maximum time measurement.

Daily and Hourly Time Signals: The daily alarm sounds each day at the time you set. The value indicates how many daily alarms are available. The hourly time signal causes the watch to beep every hour on the hour.  Snooze Feature Each time you stop the alarm, it sounds again after a few minutes.

Battery Level Indicator: Indicator shows the current battery level.

Full Auto Calendar: Allowances are made automatically for months of different lengths, in case date corrections for leap years are required.

12/24-hour Timekeeping: Times can be displayed in either a 12-hour or 24-hour format.

Mineral Glass: Hard glass resists scratching.

Stainless Steel Band: One-touch 3-fold Buckle Water Resistant. The M value indicates the number of depth meters to which water resistance is ensured. 200m means water resistance to 20 atmospheres.

Some of the items not emphasised are also useful.

Although I don’t intend to go diving with the watch, 200 metres does mean it is very waterproof!

A battery level indicator? That is useful. I mean, how many times has your watch given up the ghost at a critical moment?

So I was pretty sold on that, and it is only £28.82 more than the repair job quote!

I shan’t buy it straight away. First I will wander into central London and see if I can find one in the shops, so I can make sure the quality is as good as my friend says it is.

It was.

I bought it.

The question I hear you ask is, will it last and how much would a rechargeable batter cost.

The simple answer is, I don't know, I purchased this at the end of February 2005 and it is still totally accurate and the battery still works. The only downside is, in the winter I need to remember to put the watch on a window sill to rechareage it as the battery gets less opportunity to recharge in the winter with jacket sleeves hiding it.

And, I just love the watch and wouldn't ever part with it.


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