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Author: tmeri Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1498  
Subject: Re: Solve This Problem For Me Date: 7/3/2004 12:05 PM
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Thank you for all the suggestions! Here's a little feedback.

I can't indemnify the store against damage to the watch. The people at the jewelry counter really wanted to help me, but even when I showed them that I had already put multiple scratches on the watch from trying myself and assured them that I didn't care if they scratched it too, they said they couldn't do it for me, that they would be fired for doing that. I understand not being empowered. People in large corporations rarely are.

The eyeglass screwdriver tip was a great idea, and I happen to have one of those. It was indeed smaller than the tools the people at the store had, but it was still too large to get into the groove. Heck, I can't get my knife blade into the groove. It is tiny.

The watch back may well screw off, but the profile is so low that there is no way I'm going to be able to exert any kind of rotating force on it. No way. If it screws off, it clearly requires a special tool that I haven't seen. The website that someone posted with the "howto" was interesting, but that watch is HUGE and they did have special tools. My watch is much smaller.

I suppose I could call around and find some place that would change the battery for me, but it doesn't look promising. I think most of them are saying you have to take it back to the place you bought it. I bought it at some mall kiosk. I honestly don't remember where, and they could be out of business, anyway. I guess the problem I have with it is that policies are clearly changing after, what, 20-30 years of battery-powered watches. I used to be able to take my battery-powered watch ANYWHERE and get the battery replaced. Now it seems that I have to go on a big mystery hunt when I want the battery changed. I don't wear a watch that often. I'd spend almost as much time getting the battery replaced as wearing the watch. That sounds like way too much maintenance for something I'm not using that much. Frankly, it's just not worth it. I don't need a watch that badly.

I could go back to the stem-winding watch and I am considering that. But you know what? I've been telling people for years that I considered the battery-powered watch to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century because you could finally have accurate time for years at a time without calibrating.

An interesting story along those lines....when I was working, the company used to let employees who had 25 years with the company select a gift from a catalog. Almost all of the men got the Rolex watch. But then I would never see them wear it. So I asked a couple of them why they didn't wear their Rolex watches to work. "Well, it just doesn't keep good time like my Casio..."

I like the cell phone idea, although I have a hard time reading the display on the phone. But perhaps I can make that work. It just isn't as fast as looking at a watch on my wrist. First I have to dig it out of my pocketbook, then I have to figure out how to turn it on.... ;-)

Somewhere I have an older smaller watch that I quit wearing because it was so small and had gold marks on a white background, and I started having trouble telling what time it was. But I believe I've changed the battery in that one, myself, so maybe I'll go back to that one. At least if I have a watch, I can always get someone else to look at it and tell me what time it is. ;-)

So I think here are alternatives that appeal to me:

1. Go back to the old watch.
2. Try to buy a watch whose battery I can easily get to and replace myself.
3. Buy a stem-winding watch.
4. Get used to using the cell phone as a clock.
5. Just do what others do--ask strangers what time it is.

I sort of lean towards the stem-winding watch for this purpose--if enough people get fed up with the difficulty of having the batteries replaced, watch makers will find they can't sell battery-powered watches, and they'll fix the problem. Making a watch case that can be taken apart easily is a low-tech problem; I don't know why watch makers are doing something this stupid.

Sounds like the current watch is a non-starter for a solution. Now how do I get rid of it? Yard sale? Goodwill? Trash can? Let's have some suggestions on that one!

Thanks, you guys. I appreciate all of your feedback.

- tmeri
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