The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


Unfortunately,” I replied, “£5.62 + £2.56 (postage and packing) = £8.18 – which is still more expensive than buying a completely new watch from Amazon, discarding the watch and just using the strap for my existing one.

Since I was teenager, the kind of watch I have worn, more than any other, has been a fairly basic Casio digital watch. Reasonably hard wearing, it has a good battery life, is water resistant, tells me at a glance what day and date it is, has a stopwatch, an alarm, a little light I can press so I can see the display in the dark, and isn’t expensive. On top of all that, it even tells me the time reasonably accurately.

Over the years I’ve periodically had different watches, which have looked a bit more modern or professional, but they’ve not had the functionality, or they’ve broken easily, or have even been lost. Each time I’ve found myself watchless, I’ve ended up buying another Casio digital. They do everything I need them to and if they are lost or broken, then it doesn’t break the bank to replace it.

This one is my 4th or 5th.

The only weak point is the strap, and this latest lasted only 15 months before it tore off at the point at which I connect the buckle.

I wandered down to the local cobblers, which also does key cutting and watch straps, only to find their straps started at £7.99. Considering I could buy a brand new watch from Amazon for 2p less, and the P&P would be free, I couldn’t bring myself to pay more for a strap than I had for the watch.

And yet, the idea of buying a new watch, just because of the strap, when the actual watch part still has a few years of life left in it, made me wince. My inner anti-consumer-society, green-aware, recycling-conscious conscience started prodding me.

I checked out the other shops in town, but nowhere else sold watch straps without watches attached to them. Back home I went online where they seemed to start at £12 and go upwards.

Finally, in frustration, I sent an email to Casio explaining my dilemma. 2 days later I received a reply telling me the part I needed was only £5.62 + £2.56 P&P.

I started typing my response, which is where you joined the tale. I also added in a bit about how this bizarre situation was likely to end up as a blog post for my 950 followers and it would be nice to write that Casio had come up with a solution.

By this time, the weekend was upon us so when we had to go into Dumfries for a few other bits and pieces, I wandered off to try and find a watchstrap. Once again, only cobblers seemed to sell them without watches pre-attached. The first I visited had them starting from £7.99, but I managed to find another which sold them for £7. Hardly a huge saving, but it felt like some kind of principle was at stake, and by now I was fed up with constantly looking at a bare wrist before remembering to fish my watch out of my pocket each time I wanted to check the hour.

Yesterday I received a reply from Casio, which included the line, “my manger has given me a one off special price for you and we will waive the postage charge.” All I had to do was phone with my credit card details to get a new strap for £3.30.

I hummed and hawed for quite some time, but decided today to go ahead and buy one. I have no doubt I will need it in the future, but I’m unlikely to be able to pull of a stunt like that a second time.

Perhaps I should have bought 2...



Jacqui said...

Glad to one of the 950 that helped get you a special deal!

Carole said...

It would have been nice if they would have just given you the band but on the other hand it did make for a delightful post.

It is so hard these days to find a company that just does good work all the way around.

And yes, you should have ordered two.

Sandy's witterings said...

I can't say I ever wear a watch in normal life now a days, I've got the time on my phone as a rule, But when I'm at work the one I have one almost identical to yours. It's cheap and does everything I want it to do perfectly and it's not a great disaster if it gets scratched or walloped with a scaffolding pole (although in the case of the later, it wouldn't be good due to the fact it's usually strapped round my wrist so the scaffolding pole would likely get me as well)

hope said...

I'm just glad to know someone besides ME is still wearing a watch instead of depending on their cell phone for the time!

Ah Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking. At which point it quits, I get another one. Not even the "fancy digital" model, just an old fashion, plain face I can read..without glasses. :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Was it a proper, true, real Casio band?

You can get a made in China, cheap-o, not proper, real Casio band here for 1 pound, 50 p. that fits on a Casio watch.

I haven't worn a watch in years though.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Before the Casio people think it's an imitation / pirated Casio band I'm talking's a no-name, generic thing.

savannah said...

i totally understand what you mean! i have 6 watches given to me over the years that only need batteries. today, i realized that because of the work i do, i need to start wearing a watch again, just so i know what day and time it is when i'm not sitting at my MAC. good luck and yes, it was a very engaging post! xoxoxox

Attila The Mom said...

My hubby needs to hang out with you more. He's a total watch ho.

angryparsnip said...

What a great story. When you have something that works keep it.

Years ago when I lived in California I bought my rice maker at a Japanese store and a few year later the lid cracked I called the store to see if they had a replacement lid. They didn't but gave me a number to call that was their supplier.
I called and I ask if I could buy one glass lid. They said no problem and they would send one out that day. When I asked the price he said no charge. It was his pleasure to send me a replacement.
They did, I still have the rice cooker, it is 15 years old and still works great.

cheers, parsnip

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to have been one of the 950 followers that helped you get a should have bought two though!

Timex used to be my watch of choice, years ago I was mesmerized by John Cameron Swayze saying, "takes a lick'n and keeps on tick'n." I needed the sweep hand to check the pulse and respirations of patients.

When my last Timex died, I started using the time on my cellphone. Works fine unless I forget to recharge the phone...LOL

Great post!

Pat said...

Free post, a delightful post and a reduction on price. That's a result.
I suppose it's in the air you breathe:)

Eryl said...

I believe watches are going the way of antimacassars, you have to be a certain age, or over, to see the point. So, yeah, you should have bought as many as you could, goodness knows how much they'll cost next time you need one.

Eric said...

"A frugal Scotsman is worth his weight in gold"

Kim Ayres said...

Jacqui - my thanks to you and the 957 others (currently 958 now showing) :)

Carole - if they made straps that lasted as long as their batteries, I'd be a happy man. Well, for a few minutes anyway :)

Sandy - my watch is apparenly waterproof to a depth of 50 metres. Unfortunately I'm not...

Hope - The signal for my phone is so bad, I have to leave it on the windowsill at the front of the house. So that kind of kills the convenience factor of having the time on my phone.

Guyana Gal - by the sound of it, it would be cheaper to send you the money to buy me a made-in-china band and post it out to me :)

Savannah - I hope the batteries are not more expensive than the watches :)

Attila - a collector or hoarder?

Parsnip - wow, fancy getting a replacement for free!

Theanne & Baron - I used to have a Timex watch when I was a kid, but when I was at Uni in Dundee, there was a bitter dispute between workers and the owners of the Timex factory in Dundee, which ended with massive lay-offs, so we've not bought Timex since

Pat - :)

Eryl - I had to look up antimacassars - the name was unfamiliar, however, I did recognise them once I saw them

Eric - but you'll never get the gold out of him...

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