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switch to smart watch?

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Heretofore, I have been committed to wearing a conventional, self-winding watch as my main time piece, although I wear a Fit Bit on the other wrist. I mostly just like the look of a conventional watch better, and the self-winding aspect seems pleasing as more organic and traditional. However, given the number of features on the latest smart watches--I use a Samsung phone, so a Samsung watch is probably going to be the choice--and the fact that I like the functionality but do not like the look of wearing something on both wrists, I am thinking of going to a smart watch.

Anyone make the switch from conventional to smart watch? What do you think after some experience? Any thoughts on the Samsung offerings? Are Samsung and Apple neck and neck these days feature-wise? I really do not want to buy an expensive smart watch and end up putting it away in a drawer. I cannot see wearing two full-size watches. I am nerdy, but do not plan to go that far from the norm!

Thanks!
 

haggis

Contributor
I dunno for you. I switched and haven't looked back.

I have a deep appreciation for mechanical and analog watches although I never owned any high end ones. I had a nice glass-topped display box for my rotation of pedestrian and middling Timex, Movado, Tissot, and assorted others. I got an Apple watch for the hell of it and to be honest since that day I have not seen my box of watches since I stashed it away in a drawer. The integration of phone and watch is what did me in. Just glance at my wrist to read an incoming text or tap my wrist to decline a call without having to fish out my phone, etc.

Add in some apps like tracking my bike rides to work ("Hey Siri, start bike ride") etc. Add some complications on my watch face to time naps, precondition my car, track my activity progress and show the outside temp. I'm all in. I'll dig out a mechanical watch come the apocalypse but until then it's smart watch all the way.
 

BigFoot

It was a Stratocaster with a whammy bar!
Moderator
I use a smart watch all of the time. I will wear my Gucci if I am going somewhere nice, otherwise the Apple Watch.
 
I want the health tracking aspects and don't need the notifications or other features so I will be going with a Smart Ring instead. These guys seem to be the best of the pack and just signed a deal with the NBA and the Seattle Mariners. A bit pricy but last year they had a lot of holiday sales.


I still like wearing a traditional mechanical timepiece on my wrist. My opinion only... I don't know how Apple did it but they made a watch that looks clunky and feminine at the same time.
 
I have a few (3) smartwatches. I wear a Suunto daily and have a Gear s3 and a Huwaei smart watches. I still reach for my Hamilton or Seiko when I'm dressed up. I like having information on my wrist like notifications and the health tracking. I just have never found one that I like to wear with a shirt and tie.
 

Isaac

B&B Tease-in-Residence
Moderator Emeritus
ive wanted to do it, but cant justify it.

Here are my takes, and correct me if I am wrong.

I look at the apple watch in stainless. Now, considering it is an Apple product, I expect it to brick at some point. The watch is $800 and change right now. Who knows if it will hold up seven years from now, or if there will still be support for that model. I was talking with a friend who stated "yeah, even if the support isnt there it will still tell time" But will it?

Ive also seen various threads where the glue gives way and the faces pop off etc. Again, if it is old enough will there be parts to support a rebuild?

I get that mechanical watches have the same kind of issues. My Omega was just serviced, which i do every five years, at a cost of $500. So basically almost the price of the apple watch. But the parts are there, and it will always function without needing firmware updates.
 

haggis

Contributor
Not only initial but recurring costs can be a legit factor. I started with an SS version but once I accepted that I will upgrade from time to time (I upgrade phone hardware every other version, more or less) I just get the aluminum versions. (I also prefer the lighter weight.) I don't bother with the cellular versions either, after one trial iteration. I have slender wrists so the smaller (less expensive) size fits me fine. Trading in my previous one I upgrade every other year or so for less than the cost of one servicing (but at probably almost twice the annual cost, comparatively). Worth it to me. Watches are very personal and very YMMV so there are No Wrong Answers. I personally love the small, ultra-thin watches of yesteryear but as a practical matter my smart watch is now simply an appendage I'd not willingly part with.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I don't know how Apple did it but they made a watch that looks clunky and feminine at the same time.
Yeah, I have not loved the way the Apple watch looks either. I assume that Apple's analysis is that some folks will want to wear a watch that is indentifiably Apple. That would not be me. I can think of a whole lot of other watches I would be buying if prestige or trendiness was a goal. I think the Samsung watches look better and certainly more conventional, and, thus, probably traditional enough for me, although I must say I am not excited about the look.

Hey, Isaac! I am with you on costs. I do not consider myself under any illusion that this is not going to be a much more expensive way to go than even buying an excellent conventional watch. This would surely not be an investment piece. It is certainly the nature of modern appliances of all types to be designed to be either obsolete or broken down or both within a few years of purchase. I drive a Toyota not a BMW for similar reasons. I would be paying more and hopefully getting functionality that I will consider worth it. I will say that as much as I think wearing a regular watch on one wrist and a Fitbit on the other seems nerdly to me, I have not given up on having the Fitbit, which does not contribute all that much functionality, really. I am hoping if I go with a smart watch that Haggis has it right. Folks do seem to like having them.

I am hoping that the Samsung watches are as good as the Apple watches.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
The Apple Series 6 watch starts at $399

The Apple Watch SE starts at $279 and the only thing you don’t get is the blood oxygen app and the ECG app. Otherwise it’s the same as the Series 6

Certainly doesn’t have to cost $800 unless you HAVE to have the more expensive models.

Watch OS 7 just came out and is supported all the way back to Series 3, which came out in 2017. So you can expect at least 3 years worth of software updates to work with any new Apple Watch. Beyond that the watch will still function without the latest software update. And considering the sheer volume of used Apple Watches out there you can likely get any physical damage repaired well beyond 5+ years. Maybe not by Apple, but there are plenty of 3rd party repair centers and in my experience they are all cheaper than what Apple would charge anyway. And although, cheaper...it’s still costly. I can’t imagine it being any more costly than service on an expensive dumb watch though.
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
I just bought a refurbished Garmin Fenix 5+to replace my Fenix 3 HR that was swallowed up by the ocean. The data that these watches provide is excellent. I'm a (not good) triathlete, and besides mileage tracking, the ability to count laps or distance in the pool, receive data from my speed and cadence sensors on my bike, and report running metrics aids in my training. When I go on a bike ride my wife gets has access to a live track of my progress for her own peace of mind. I have a job where when call's come in I need to answer the phone, but can't keep it on me all the time so the phone alerts help me to be more productive.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Thanks, Commander Quan. I am far from a triathlete, but what you say supports my general impression that these watches do so much stuff these days, and do them well, that some of those features are bound to be things I will find useful and will feel like I would not want to do without once I have tried them.

Things like the live tracking seem amazing. I assume giving one the yards to a golf green would be child's play for these things. I sure like the idea of the phone alerts.
 
I often wear a series 3 Apple in 38 mm as a fitness tracker on the right side. I wear a watch on the left.
IMHO, the iWatch as a watch, is much more attractive and watch like in the 38 mm size v the 42 mm.

Polymer and leather straps abound on Amazon in a multitude of colors at sub 10.00 all day long

Occasionally, I wear it as a primary watch. I keep it on polymer if I am casual. I put it on a leather strap if I am wearing it as a watch with a jacket, collared shirt etc.

YMMV greatly.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Oh, oh. I can see how I could end up waring a smart watch and a regular watch, if I do not otherwise love the smart watch. I definitely switched out the polymer band on the Fit Bit for a leather band. I think a leather band really helps. I am not James Bond, about to slip off my tux down to my diving suit!
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
Things like the live tracking seem amazing. I assume giving one the yards to a golf green would be child's play for these things. I sure like the idea of the phone alerts.
Incidentally I played my first round of golf in 6 years this summer and did use the golf feature. I'm so bad that knowing how far away the front of the green is is of no use to me, but my cart partner thought it was a great.
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
I assume giving one the yards to a golf green would be child's play for these things.
Many decades ago, before life got in the way and soaked up all my spare time, I was quite the avid golfer. Being able to "eyeball" the distance to the green ... and intuit that visual distance to a particular club and swing-strength ... seemed like a key skill one learned as part of avid golfing. I'd hate to see that be lost through over-reliance on "easy answer machines".
 
Haven't made the switch. Most likely won't. Smart watches always seemed to me like something they'd make you wear in "Logan's Run"...up until you turn 30 and the watch informs you it is time to report to The Carousel for orderly termination and conversion into Soylent Green.

Yes...I know those were two different movies.

The cigar-chomping, eye-patch wearing, motorcyle riding, Sten gun-wielding hombre who brings down that sick dystopia will NOT be wearing a smart watch. Glycine Combat Sub or a Seiko Fieldmaster Tuna at a minimum.
 
My Garmin Fenix 6s is getting more wrist time lately. I got it for sports use but it’s pretty good as a casual option too. It will never replace my mechanicals but it’s nice to mix it up. image.jpg
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I'd hate to see that be lost through over-reliance on "easy answer machines".
You have been away from golf for awhile! Optical range finders and various GPS-based devices--distance measuring devices (DMD, if you will) including apps for cell phones--seem to be everywhere these days. Even the optical scopes, which seem to be very accurate, although a bit time consuming and a bit of a hassle to use, do not seem to work any miracles with my game :), but they are helpful. As I understand it, GPS DMDs are accurate within about a 5 yard radius, which does not seem all that difficult to come close to matching via paying attention to yardage markers and such on the fairway. For the most part I do not bother with either, and it is annoying if other players are taking a lot of time making yardage measurement. But if all I had to do was glance at my wrist I probably would. Golf is difficult enough for me!
 
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