Today I felt pretty good about myself. I kept myself from spending more money. I did this by simply repairing what I intended to replace. This story goes back a little ways. It’s about my watch.
I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned my watches before, but I have a small collection – a collection I recently am trying to build up a little. I don’t really like heavy things on my wrist, so I have been attracted to Skagen watches because they are so thin. When you get them in titanium, they’re even lighter. As an aside, the current trend of huge watches offends me greatly.
I’ve been wearing Skagen watches for probably over 15 years. One of the first watches I had, I loved. Then the battery went dead. So I filled out an RMA form and mailed the watch off to Skagen for battery replacement. I never saw the watch again. Worse, I never saw that model again, so I was never able to replace it. I think I didn’t wear a watch for a period of time after that incident out of grief and protest.
Years go by and I’ve got a few more watches, a couple Skagen and a Wenger. One day, I snag the mesh band on something and it pulls a link out, causing a sharp spur. So I go to Skagen’s repair site and find that a replacement band is about $25. That’s $25 on a $70 watch, quite a decent percentage of value. So I balked at replacing the band. Instead, I spent $100 on a new, nicer Skagen. It made sense, and that watch has served me very well for years.
But the watch with the broken band has been sitting in my watch case ever since. I really do like it – the lightest one I have and it has numbers on the face, instead of just ticks. So recently, I went back to the Skagen website to order the band. Now all of a sudden, you can’t buy replacement parts. You have to send your watch to a service center for repair. Yeah, I’ve been through that one before. No thanks. I search around online and the supply of replacement bands is very small and more expensive. What the heck is going on?
I found my answer: Fossil bought out Skagen. And with that purchase, they completely changed the way service is done. I have little love for Fossil. I owned one watch by them and it never “worked” for me, then it stopped working, literally. So it was a huge disappointment to hear the news of the sale.
Now, I was going back and forth between buying a replacement watch ($70), or actually paying the now $30+ just for the band. Oh, and the battery needs replaced ($12). Then it hit me. The Dremel! I have tools! I can grind this spur down, and if I fail at doing that, what have I lost? I was prepared to chuck the watch anyway.
So, with the precision of an amateur dentist, I chose a grinding bit and went to town. Totally anti-climatic, it took like 3 seconds and I had a flawless result. Why I didn’t think of that earlier, I don’t know. No, I kinda do know. I’m a wasteful, consumerist American. Everything is disposable.
But, I’m compelled to look for a deeper meaning here. Why didn’t I just toss the watch and buy another? After all, I did buy a replacement model and still didn’t throw it out. Maybe I have a deeper connection with that watch than I realize. I’ll get the battery changed this weekend, and I have a new watch in the mail, and I have a plan to buy another watch (maybe even two) on my upcoming vacation, so we’ll have to see which watch gets the most face time in the end.