Watchless Weekend

My watch tan. And dry skin.

So a little over a year ago, I decided to give the Apple Series 3 Watch a go. I was able to get it with credit card bonus points, so technically, I didn’t ‘pay’ for it – we won’t mention the hundreds of dollars in interest over time. Initially I was pretty happy with it. I liked the activity monitoring most. Most of what I used it for was tracking steps, exercise activities, timers and alarms, checking the weather and calendar events. I didn’t have the cellular version so I couldn’t use it on it’s own though, so still needed to have the phone nearby.

At first I had it set to notify me of texts and phone calls but after awhile, that got a bit annoying, so in the past couple of months, I turned those off. I had some other issues with it too. Sometimes, particularly during the winter, when wearing gloves or heavier layers and/or tight-fitting neoprene stuff, it would false trigger activity starts and timers. One time, on a bike ride, the gloves/layers somehow combined to perform the magic function of the SOS call to 911 and some nice lady suddenly started talking to me through the watch to make sure I was ok. Had to turn that feature off – probably would have sooner if I’d known about it.

There were other times when it wouldn’t accurately record an activity – I’d go on a 2 hour bike ride and finish to find out for some reason it stopped after 45 minutes or something. Other times, it would auto-start activities like a yoga workout or something when I was only unloading groceries from the car. Sometimes, it wouldn’t ‘wake up’ when I raised my arm to look at it like it’s supposed to – I’d have to smack it with my finger a few times.

Finally I’d pretty much stripped it down and was using it as just a ‘regular old watch’. It would still auto-start or prompt me to start activities I wasn’t doing until I locked all that down. I was starting to wonder why I needed a watch that was so ‘smart’.

The final straw for me was battery life – I pretty much had to charge it every night, and if I went on any sort of extended (3-5 hour) bike ride, I might not make it through the day. Prior to this watch, I had a Garmin VivoActive that I charged once a week, and it had most of the same features as the Apple Watch so it always frustrated me that I had to charge it so often. Still doesn’t make sense to me.

I’d finally had it. I wasn’t really using most of the features of the watch that made it an ‘smart watch’ so decided to just go back to a ‘dumb’ one. I gave the Apple Watch to my kids to try out for the time being.

I went online and found an ‘old school’ watch I liked and had the features I wanted – multiple daily alarms, timer – wouldn’t explode if I fell on it – and ordered it up. While I was waiting for it to arrive, and my kids had the Apple one, I had a weekend with no watch for the first time in a long time, which was weird.

It was an interesting – and not unpleasant – experience not knowing what time it was all the time. I did stuff around the house and didn’t worry too much about it. I found I was more focused, vested – present – in the things I was doing when I wasn’t thinking about what time it was. I’d still have to check once in awhile to make sure kids got where they needed to be when they needed to be there, but other than that, the Universe continued to expand. One problem though was with it being summer and lighter outside later I completely blew past my bedtime.

So after the Lost Watchless Weekend, my replacement ‘dumb’ watch showed up:

The Timex Expedition ‘Shock’. Takes a lickin’ and will presumably keep on tickin’.

So far I’m pretty happy with it. $25USD and a battery that lasts, well, however long it lasts. I don’t have to charge it and it doesn’t accidentally call 911. It tells the time, wakes me up in the morning, sets off an alarm to remind me to get ready for bed and has a timer for when I sit meditation. Unfortunately it does have the rather goofy looking circular 10-second timer thing, which I can’t imagine any use for, but it was created when watch companies were still trying to make watches seem ‘higher-tech’.

So far the only thing I’ve missed about the Apple Watch was the fact that it displayed the current weather on the face. When getting ready to head out the door for a ride, I’d gotten in the habit of giving it a quick glance to see the temperature and conditions to decide how to dress appropriately or what to bring. Since then I’ve had to revert to the archaic means of ‘looking out the window’ or perhaps even checking the weather app on my phone. I know, #firstworldproblems.

I’m happy with it though. One less thing to worry about working/synching/updating/charging. If I don’t respond to your call or text though, don’t blame me – it’s my dumb watch’s fault.

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1 Comment

  1. I have a dumbwatch too. Mine’s a Seiko solar recharging old school watch with hands. When a month doesn’t have 31 days, I have to adjust it to say the correct date. I love it. I wear it when I’m out and at work and take it off pretty much the moment I get home. I use it to check to make sure I’ll get to work on time–that’s the real reason I got it, so I don’t have to check my phone while riding.

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