Monday, July 19, 2010

732 Watch This!

732 Watch This!

Try replacing the dead battery in your watch. This is a dare. In some cases, literally cases, it can't be done by mortal man or woman.

Granted, these batteries last for what seems like forever. But when the thing finally dies, problems (not issues!) abound and solutions (not liquid!) are scarce.

In earlier times, (uh, oh, another pun!) all you did was unscrew the back of the watch, take out the battery, buy a replacement, install it in one easy motion, close the thing up and set it. No longer true. Now, you need special tools, little flexible claw-like things that are supposed to hook into tiny indentations in the back of the watch. Nah. So, okay, you take it back to the store, which tells you one of two things: (1) we no longer sell that brand and can't change batteries in brands we don't sell. Or (2) -- even worse -- we don't sell or install replacement batteries. The second happened at Macy's the other day.

Okay, so off to a jewelry store which will charge you umpteen bucks for a battery worth umpteen cents. But their version of option (1) is usually "We don't replace batteries in brands we never sold." If you know the jeweler, you may be able to bribe or sweet talk him or her into trying. But, of course, since you've worn the watch off and on for five years, the screw-off or pry-off back is likely gummed up and won't budge. Their version of option (2) is "we'll send it back to the factory for you. That'll set you back more than the price of a new watch, which probably is what the manufacturers intended in the first place.

Two obvious solutions: don't buy anything but a wind up watch (they still make 'em, they're just hard to find except in the Cartier/Rolex/Omega/Heuer price range. Or buy a solar powered watch. The batteries last longer and supposedly never need changing. There are drawbacks here, too. Like you have to remember to take the watch off before you put on your tanning lotion or sunscreen. The watch won't tan, and the sunscreen will block recharging.

A third: Don't wear a watch. That'll show 'em at Timex and Fossil and Skagen that you're wise to their tricks.


Shrapnel:

--Driving from Queens into Nassau on the LIE at night is like driving into a black hole because the overhead lamps don't continue over the line. This money saver is catching on elsewhere. Like major highways in major states that twist and turn and freeze and can send you sliding down the mountain, even if you have your brights on.

--The latest "it's good for you it's bad for you" study on coffee? It's good for you, and maybe helps you resist dementia. Okay, but not all of us.

--It's been mighty hot in much of the country this summer. Most of the lawns have burned up. Brown is the new green.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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