“ Brand: Swatch „
I had to replace my everyday wrist watch. (I've got another one for 'better' occasions). I had forgotten it in a hotel room and although I noticed this already in the taxi back to the station and called at once, it couldn't be found. Liars! Thieves! For an ersatz wrist watch I decided to give in to an infantile streak lurking inside me. I thought a plastic SWATCH watch would be funny for an elderly lady. These watches come from Switzerland, that means they're of good quality, they aren't too expensive and come in many colourful designs. For 'not too expensive' read 'cheap' in my case because I bought my watch in a SWATCH outlet store in Germany which is located in a so-called Outletcity near the town where I live in the south of Germany.
I've never had a 'ladies' watch'. I hate the tiny clock-faces. Why are women made to peer closely at their watches to find out what time it is whereas men can see that at a glance and from afar? Furthermore, I think a tiny watch just looks silly on a person of a certain height. No such problem with a watch from SWATCH, the clock-face has a diameter of 3.2 cm (1.26'').
I didn't have a certain style or colour in mind. It didn't take long, however, until my eyes zoomed in on a unisex watch with a bright white clock-face with big, clearly discernible numbers. The numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 are 5 mm high and bright red, the others are 3 mm high and black. The hour and minute hands are black, the second hand is red. There are no bars or dots to indicate the minutes, but I don't need that anyway. I liked this part of the watch at once. It's quiet, the ticking can't be heard. It's water resistant down to 30 m (for whom it may concern).
Now a word on the strap (width 2 cm). Well. This is so ridiculous that it defies words. It's made of the same off-white, unclear plastic that also surrounds the clock-face. The part above the 12 has the words 'swatch voodoo love' and the symbols for male and female in red and black on it. The part below the 6 shows a 2.7 cm long red figurine with white lines and circles for mouth and eyes and a white heart into which three black needles are poked ending in tiny red hearts. Underneath are the words, "feel my love" and again the symbols for male and female in red and black. The loop to keep the lower part of the strap in place is red. The name of this watch is 'Voodoo SWATCH - Feel my Love'. It's the Valentine edition from the spring/summer collection of the year 2007.
Who'd want to be seen with something like that? I'm happy to say that I don't suffer from spotlight syndrome which means that I'm not convinced that every passer-by stares at me and sees at once the spot on the tip of my nose. I know from experience that most people - and especially men - notice nothing at all. (Hubby hasn't commented on the new blouse or the new hairstyle? He hasn't seen it!) People just take in the general outward experience or even see things that aren't there at all. If that weren't the case, the police wouldn't get such differing descriptions from witnesses. So I assumed that people would only notice the colours on the strap with which I could live happily. They're bright and friendly. I wouldn't like strangers to get so near to me anyway that they could read what's written on it.
So far, so good. When I put on the watch and fastened the plastic strap, I noticed that it was quite stiff. I didn't pay much heed to this and the shop-assistant didn't comment on it. All the leather watchbands I'd had in my life were stiff at the beginning. After some time they became softer and fit my wrist. Ha! I should have paid heed! The darned thing is as stiff after one and a half months as on Day One. What does that mean? The closed strap has an oval shape and the watch proper doesn't lie on the broad side of my wrist but on the small one. If I move it in the right position, it moves back on its own. I can see what time it is in this way, too, but it looks silly and I'm not used to it.
I found a bottle of vinegar in my kitchen with the same girth as my wrist and put the watch round it for two nights. Nothing doing. Then I put it in the shape I want it to have, placed a heavy box on it and left it there for two nights. Nothing doing. What now? I went to a SWATCH shop in our town and told the shop-assistant about my problem. She'd never heard anyone complain about this before. Either she was lying or she's never sold watches with this stiff plastic strap or she has customers whose arms are screwed in in a different way from mine so that the watch lies on the wrist as it should. Not all SWATCH watches have a stiff plastic strap, there's also a soft variety. She didn't have extra straps that could be used for my watch, but we found one in a catalogue which she's ordered now. I saw and touched it on another watch and liked it. It's matte black and will hopefully save my watch from being stored away or thrown into the bin. It costs 24 Euro which is quite some price considering that I paid only 35 Euro (~ 28.50 GBP) for the whole watch.
I've mentioned before that I bought it in an outlet store in Germany, so I can't give you the regular price you'd have to pay in a British store. I've found my Voodoo Watch on German ebay for the price of 75 Euro. I've also found it on a site for Pakistani men for the price of Rs 11.990 (a Pakistani with a Voodoo Love watch? The mind boggles). Amazon.com sell it for 85 $. Don't bother, don't buy it, no matter how much it costs.
I don't say, "Swat all SWATCH wrist watches but swat the ones with the stiff plastic straps."