The watch is dead. Long live the watch.

Categories: equipment   gear   random   watch
Let’s step back in time a little bit:  Summer, 1988, a good two or three weeks into Army basic training, Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Thinking ahead (which for a teenager is impressive in itself), I bought a watch to take when I left for the Army. It was a pretty Timex, with both analog and digital. Looked good and told me the time. However, as I found out once I got there, it wasn’t built for “combat training.” Within two weeks, the face had shattered, leaving me without a watch. So, on our first opportunity to get to the PX, I perused the selection, and seeing the Casio G-Shock, decided it looked rugged and claimed to be indestructible, so I got it.

It lasted for the rest of basic and through advanced training with no problem, as you can see it all pretty in this picture.

Army Advanced Training, 1988.

My next stop was Korea, where I spent a year doing my duty. Often during my duties, in the middle of the night and bored, I’d fiddle with my watch. Eh, more correctly, I took it off and tried to destroy it. I’d smash it on the table and kick it around. Apparently, there is a bit of wimp in me, because the only thing I could accomplish was a couple scratches on the band.  And trust me, I worked pretty hard at hitting it, after all, I was bored and had to see if the advertising of it being indestructible was true. So far, the GShock could handle the shocks.

Looking back, the only thing I didn’t try was running it over with an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier).  If I had one now, I’d try it just to see what 14 tons would do.

Here’s a picture from a roadmarch in 1989, where you can see the watch is handling the humidity fine, unlike me.  

DMZ-Korea - 1989

After surviving the 4 years in the army, my watch and I ended up in Seattle. During college, I took up SCUBA diving as a hobby. Now, when you dive, watching the time underwater is pretty important. (No, really it is. I’m not being sarcastic.) Being convenient, the good ol’ G-Shock became my timer. Into the water it went with no problems.  I’ve hit depths of 90 feet, which is approximately 3 atmospheres of pressure, and it held up well.

(Sorry, I couldn’t find a picture of it underwater.)

And jumping forward to today, I’d been debating getting a new watch for running. I’ve been eying a few different ones, and even went so far as holding them. However, in the end, I decided to stick with old reliable. Its last outing was a couple weeks ago at the ING marathon.  And with a difference of watch time to chip time being about 15 seconds, I’d say it worked fine. (The error more being due to me starting and stopping it at the wrong point.)

The last Hurrah! ING Georgia Marathon, 2009

Well, last night I reached in my bag to get something out, and I saw a piece of plastic in the bottom of the pocket. Pulling it out, it says “G-sh” on it, so I figured I should pull the watch out. Lo-and-behold, the whole front bezel has broken off.

Wow, after all these years, it finally broke from casually being thrown in a backpack.  Talk about the straw that broke the back.

Sniff. Sniff.

So very, very sad. After 21 years, I’ll miss ya.

Written on April 16, 2009