The Ultimate Techno-Watch Review

Francis Vale


They say a man is known by what he wears.  I say a man is better known by the time he keeps on his wrist. A wristwatch is a far better indicator of what makes a guy tick than his $200 jeans or his $2,000 Zegna suit. Time, next to sex, is the most intimate connection you have with life.  And you thought it was just a wristwatch. Hah!

Your wristwatch tells people loud and clear how your head works. Do you think time is for being laughed at, or like to spit in its unforgiving eye?  Then you probably wear a Mickey Mouse or other silly novelty watch.  Do you long to announce to people you are so rich and powerful that your valuable time carries a very high price?  Then it's probable you have ten pounds of solid gold Cartier hung off your wrist. Or is time a perfunctory thing that must be attended to in the most utilitarian way, just like you do with the rest of your clockwork life? If so, you likely, and grudgingly, sprang for a $20 Timex.

Or are you a geek, and time for you is to be sliced, diced, alarmed, played with, and monitored around the world down to the last atomic clock second lest you miss anything, anywhere?  Then a techno-watch is what you have, or want to have on your wrist and you definitely want to check out this review of four of some of the coolest wrist candy on the market today. We will be looking at the new Wrist Net Smart Watch from Fossil; Casio's new Atomic Solar G-Shock timepiece; Citizen's Blue Angels Edition Skyhawk Titanium watch; and finally, Seiko's Arctura Kinetic Chronograph.

Fossil Wrist Net Smart Watch

We will cover these four techno-watches in ascending order of price, and first up is the great mother of all Dr. Gonzo wristwatches, the new $199.00 (MSRP) Wrist Net Smart Watch from Fossil that runs on Microsoft's MSN Direct wireless service. This maximo geeko, all-LCD wunderkind displays personalized news, weather updates, sports scores, stock quotes, horoscopes, lottery results, personal messages and entertainment news, and, oh yeah, even keeps great time thanks to thanks to automatic atomic time server updates. An antenna is embedded in the Smart Watch wristband that receives broadcasts from MSN Direct. 

Because Microsoft is congenitally restricted from ever doing things the simple way, the Smart Watch doesn't just simply display time. Instead, it displays "channels". Want to check the time? You change channels. But it gets better, because each Smart Watch channel has one or more modes. So, for example, the Time channel includes the Face mode, the Chrono mode, and the Settings mode.  There is also an Alarm mode. To view the current mode, you press the Channel button once (there are five buttons on the watch), and to view the next mode within the selected channel, you press the Next button. All that's missing is a fifty button remote.

One cool feature is the watch automatically changes time as you move from time zone to zone, as well as automatically sets daylight savings time.   If all fails, though, you can set the time and time zone manually, like when you are out of reach of the MSN Direct service.  But no self-respecting geek would ever be caught doing manual time keeping in public. You can also display two time zones at once. A count down timer is also featured, as are 2 daily alarms.

And should a geek put down his sweaty mouse long enough to go get a Big Mac, the watch's Chrono channel can keep track of up to 99 waddling lap times to Mickey D's.


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