What can I wear on my wrist besides a watch?
September 3, 2010 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I am a man who wears a wristwatch. What can I wear on the other wrist? Preferably something that serves some function.

So when I was a little boy, I would play pretend space adventurer, aided by two old cheap wristwatches. One wrist would be the comlink to base and the other would be my teleporter controls; or one would project a forcefield and the other would be a laser blaster - Pew!Pew! Imaginative fun.

But now I'm old and no longer have fun or an imagination. But I do still wear a wristwatch. On ONE wrist. This seems lopsided. I don't think I'm capable of becoming one of those people who doesn't wear a watch; I don't need to wear a 2nd watch for another time zone; and I'm not the kind of guy who can pull off some 70's disco heavy ID bracelet or other balancing jewelry.

So I'm looking for something to wear on the non-watch wrist. Preferably something at least if not more functional than a timepiece. I'm turning to the AskMe hive mind.

1) What already exists in terms of wristband-form-factor gadgetry? Flashlight? Cigarette lighter? Dartgun?

2) What should I/we invent? For instance, if one went hiking wearing one of those fancy trail computer watches with a digital compass and altimiter, etc - wouldn't it be nice to have some emergency kit on the other wrist, like a signal mirror/whistle/firestarter/whatnot mounted around some kind of band? Or maybe the "Warranty Voider" - the strap is a bandolier of various screwdriver bits and the watch part is a snap-off bit driver and LED light?

P.S. Why don't I have a bracelet-form-factor mobile phone yet? One of those, with a detachable bluetooth headset (and acting as a 3G/4G hotspot for bonus points) would actually get me pretty close to the 2010 of my boyhood imagination.
posted by bartleby to Technology (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Some things here.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:41 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Paracord bracelet? You never know when you need a few feet of line.
posted by Etrigan at 1:41 PM on September 3, 2010 [7 favorites]

I used to own a wrist-compass. It was a regular magnetic compass with a strap, nothing fancy. Depending on how much time you spend in the wilderness that could be pretty handy.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2010

The new touchscreen iPod Nanos are around the size of a large watch face; 41mm x 38mm x 9mm (this randomly selected chunky watch is 43mm x 11 mm thick).
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2010

Wrist compass.
posted by tommasz at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2010

Allergic to anything? Diabetic? How about a Medic Alert bracelet?
You could also "support" a cause by wearing your favorite flavor of Livestrong bracelet.
You could wear a magnetic healing bracelet, if you believe in that kind of hokum.
You could wear a wrist GPS/heart rate monitor/calorie monitor.

But I would seriously reconsider this if I were you. Just speaking personally here, when I see people with enough gadgets that they have to break out the other arm to support them, they might as well be wearing a sign that says "hi, I'm a tool." Just something to keep in mind.
posted by phunniemee at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2010

2nd the new Nano. Clips right onto a simple webbing bracelet. Can do a fun slideshow of photos you put on it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2010

Well, they do make a wrist mounted GPS, which would actually serve some purpose beyond just being geeky, but if you really want to get cool, you could easily take one of the modern smart phones like the Samsung Galaxy S (very thin and light weight which is a big plus here) and get one of the arm-straps that they make for jogging cases, and mount it to your forearm. With some of the Apps which make use of the different sensory inputs in the phone, you could have something like a functioning analysis computer right there on your wrist.

As for flashlights, you'd have to make some sort of wrist band, but I'd suggest the Photon Proton Pro. It's got a strong clip, so it'd stay put, it has multiple light modes (white and red, fully dimmable, and strobes for both.) and the whole thing isn't much bigger than the AA battery that powers it. It's kind of pricey, but bar none the best small flashlight I've ever used.
posted by quin at 1:48 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was also going to suggest a paracord bracelet. You could also make a paracord band for the watch, thereby killing two birds with one stone...
posted by vorfeed at 2:06 PM on September 3, 2010

P.S. Why don't I have a bracelet-form-factor mobile phone yet?
Got $200?
posted by juv3nal at 2:31 PM on September 3, 2010

Livestrong Bracelet?
posted by Rad_Boy at 2:51 PM on September 3, 2010

Oh, I should have read harder first
posted by Rad_Boy at 2:53 PM on September 3, 2010

Wriststrong Bracelet?
posted by 2oh1 at 3:16 PM on September 3, 2010

Oh, I should have... oh, never mind :)
posted by 2oh1 at 3:17 PM on September 3, 2010

Thanks folks, keep 'em coming. And don't be shy about sending in any "I wish there was a..." Half the idea is to see what's already there I didn't know about; the other half is to see if fabricating a new item might be something I'd make a hobby out of and share it with others (see Make: , Instructables, etc.).

@phunniemee: I totally get what you're saying about the overgadgeted tool look. But since boys don't get to carry a purse, we have to carry everything we might need in our pockets, which are already bulging anyway. I'm trying to head off looking like I'm wearing jodhpurs or ending up with a NerdMan utility belt - I'll probably look odd in any case, but I'd rather be the weirdo with a bracelet.

@gatsby died: I did have a few ideas in my OP, but the vast AskMe community certainly has more of them, and has seen stuff I haven't come across yet. Maybe you didn't read the whole post. Or maybe you don't have any ideas to contribute? That's OK too.
posted by bartleby at 3:29 PM on September 3, 2010

Do you run/bike or ride a motorcycle? RoadID!
posted by jquinby at 3:37 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hey, why not embrace your geekiness and walk around town with a grounding bracelet on?
posted by springload at 3:38 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding RoadID (I just wrote about that in another AskMe Question thread. Weird.)
posted by Megami at 3:45 PM on September 3, 2010

Mundane, maybe, but I find that when I wear a single rubber band around my wrist, I always end up needing it for something. I like the paracord idea, too.
posted by ctmf at 3:49 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Perhaps something with a little locket that opens that carries a pill or two? Or some sort of tricky wrist wrap that turns into a scarf/tourniquet?

Personally, I'd ditch the watch, and go naked. Your cell phone tells you the time.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:46 PM on September 3, 2010

Livewrong Bracelet
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:11 PM on September 3, 2010

I have a bracelet made from an old hollow link pin bicycle chain, it's cool but a PITA to put on as it needs a chain tool.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:14 PM on September 3, 2010

I was trapped on an airplane for 3 hours yesterday and perused the SkyMall magazine. They have lots of things you can put on your wrist: cell phone, GPS, fish finder, personal trainer, wallet, etc. Here's a link to the search term "wrist" and another link to the search term "watch".
posted by CathyG at 6:47 AM on September 8, 2010

I just caught this on thinkgeek; bluetooth caller-ID bracelet that buzzes when your phone rings.

Alternatively they also have a universal wrist charger.
posted by quin at 8:55 PM on September 8, 2010

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