An Engineer in Wonderland – A watch for all seasons
Those that buy watches with hands, in my opinion, are fashion victims.
If the designer of the first watch had had access to digital technology, I am fairly sure he or she would have gone straight to digits.
And those with too much money buy mechanical watches.
It impresses me that firms still design mechanical watches – and it pleases me that those that buy them support a thriving and innovative niche engineering industry.
So if you have lots of money, please buy an expensive mechanical watch.
For me, a simple digital watch is sufficient, and I have now had three of Casio’s evergreen W-59 design.
And I would still have number one or number two if I have not crushed and lost them respectively.
Why the W-59?
Well, first of all, it is not too big or thick.
There is a similar one in the range with an electroluminescent backlight, but it is 1mm thicker so the simple space-saving incandescent side illumination wins.
Over the years, this light has changed from white to green, and I am surprised the firm has not swapped to an LED to save a little power.
2. Although it seems to have disappeared from the web, Casio was the only company I know of to publish a simple rule-of-thumb guide that said what its water resistance figures meant in practice.
For example ’50m’ meant 50m static water pressure which equated to so-and-so metres with the added dynamic pressure of swimming, and so-and-so other metres if you wanted to press the buttons under water.
I never have one leak.
3. They are cheap – about £12.
4. The batteries last for at least 5 years, I have never replaced one.
5. Replacement original equipment straps are available from some repair shops. Admittedly they cost £8, but they last so much longer than the £2 types.
6. They are rugged, although the glass does scratch and I did break the face on one of my three.
I suppose my dream watch would also have a countdown timer and an altimeter, and probably GPS and a compass in the same.
And a switch to an E Ink electrophoretic display would increase the viewing angle and clarity which would be nice in marginal lighting.
But overall I think the W-59 is a classic good piece of good engineering.
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