In my experience, nobody in their early 20s or younger ever seems to have a wristwatch. All of my peers seem to be solely dependent upon their cellphones to tell the time when they have to.
The cellphone is the new pocket watch.
It makes me think - the very first guys to use pocket watches were probably young dandies who thought of the pocket watch as a high-tech innovation. “Fuck you,” they’d say to their elders, “you old fogeys who need to use that old grandfather clock to tell time! I can just pull this pocket watch out any time I need to tell the time, no matter where I am!”
Then the next generation came along, and started using wristwatches. “Fuck you and your silly old pocket watch, pops!” they would say. “You need to haul that bloody old thing out of your waistcoat every time you need to tell time - I can just look at my wrist! HA!”
And now…we’re back to pocket watches again.
“What time is it?”
“Uh…let me check my cell phone…uh, let me pull it out here…mmm…uh, let me turn it on…ok, it’s powering up…hold on a sec…just a minute…”
Wearing a wristwatch would actually be rebellious for someone in his early twenties today.
I thought most people just kept their cell phones on all the time. Why would they need to turn it on to check the time.
Anyway, wearing a watch was always sort of uncomfortable for me. Even though I wear bracelets–watches are just so…constricting. Plus I always feel nervous, like I’m checking the time so often. The cell phone–I can just put it away, forget about it till I need it.
Color me guilty- I’m a prime example, and a convert to boot.
College student, formerly an only-take-it-off-to-sleep watch wearer, used every feature on my watch and reset my parent’s digital watches every time change. But freshman year (at my hippie-ass, barefoot, granola-crunching liberal arts college) my watch band broke and I, being broke (well, not really, but I needed that money for pizza and beer!) didn’t try to replace it for a couple days. I found I didn’t miss it, and haven’t owned one for a couple years now. The watch whose band broke I still use, though- it sits on my desk, three inches away from my left hand, and I use it to tell time when I’m playing a computer game and can’t see the clock on my screen.
Who turns their phone off? Mine is nearly always on. That’s not to say I’ll actually pick up, but it’s on.
And your last point is a little extreme (unless it’s just hyperbole, in which case I’ve been whooshed). Maybe one in five of my friends wears a watch regularly, and probably four in five at least own one.
I think that the whole “cell phone as a watch” thing is another symptom of the “cell phone as a techno Swiss Army knife” situation we find ourselves in. People seem to think “Rather than carry a phone, a camera, an MP3 player and a watch, why not carry one device that does a mediocre job of all of them.” I do not subscribe to this view. I’m 22 years old and almost never without my watch.
Much like Darth I only wear a watch when I am reffing a game or if I am in a formal setting. In the formal setting I use my watch as an accessory because it looks nice. At work I use it because it is more convenient than a cellphone.
I have become quite good at losing watches ever since I started lifeguarding in high school. Since then I prefer not to wear watches for extended periods of time.
I’m in my 20s and I’ve never regularly worn a wristwatch. I don’t think it’s because of my age, though.
See, I actually want to wear a wristwatch, but I have this weird thing where I have to feel the same on both sides of my body. That doesn’t quite describe it - it’s rather difficult to put into words - but I don’t think I’m alone; I’ve actually heard a lot of people describe the same condition. A watch just totally throws me off. I can’t stand having something on my left wrist and not on my right.
My dad actually gave me a very nice new Rolex a year or two ago and after a couple months of repeated attempts to get used to it, I finally thanked him and gave it back to him. It took me 2 years to get to the point where I could wear my wedding ring consistently, and it still bothers the hell out of me. I subconsciously fidget with it and pop it on and off my right finger all the time.
I’m 22, and I have a wristwatch that I wear most of the time. I guess I’m one of the exceptions to the rule because while I also have a cell phone I don’t really use it as often as others do, so I’m more inclined to just wear a watch and look at that.
On the other hand, this weekend I was playing frisbee and somebody asked me the time. I went “I’ll check,” pulled out my cell phone, and told them the time. It was only after I had put my cell phone back in my pocket that I realized I had my watch on.
I’ve always worn a watch, but I was a late adopter to the cell phone era. If I stopped now, I’d have a goofy watch-shaped hole in my tan. I also think it makes a sense of symmetry when I wear my brass Triforce bracelet.
Incidentally… the wristwatch didn’t really catch on until WWI, because it was considered women’s jewelry at the time. Practicality won out.
I was actually doing some reading on this today, which is what attracted me to this thread. I watched There Will Be Blood last night and it showed a deaf guy in 1927 point to his left wrist for “time”. I thought that seemed a little early. Still not sure.
What I gathered (and my reading was not nearly exhaustive), was that they were an unpopular women’s novelty item in the late 19th century, then caught on with pilots in WWI, then caught on with everyone else in WWII.
I’m 21 and I wear a watch. I’m a little obsessive about always knowing what time it is, and pulling my cell phone out of whatever part of my bag it’s made its way to is more difficult and time-consuming than just looking at my wrist. I also don’t use my phone often, and it’s usually off for at least part of the day (while I’m in class etc., and then I usually forget to turn it back on).
I’m 32, I freaking hate wearing a wristwatch, I have always hated wearing them, and I’m delighted that my phone can do that now. And in every season but winter when I don’t bother, my pedometer has a wee clock on it too. Why would I wear a watch and have a third device that only has telling time as its purpose, when I’m already carrying/wearing two that do the job just fine?
Also, before pedometer/phone/other device, I often went years at a stretch without having a watch, and somehow managed to maintain sterling punctuality. There are almost always plenty of clocks around.
I stopped wearing a watch for a few reasons: 1) I work from home and always know what time it is by glancing at my computer or the other computer or one of two clocks on my desk, 2) it’s a bit snug these days, and 3) it’s a very “jewelry-y” watch and my arms aren’t long enough to bring the face into focus.
Some day I will buy another watch. It will need a face the size of Big Ben, but I think they’re out there.
I’m 25, and haven’t worn a watch in about 10 years. Even before cell phones became popular, I hated watch tans and that sweaty feeling on the back of my wrist - and knowing the time was rarely a problem because clocks are everywhere.