Are digital watches STILL a pretty neat idea?
December 2, 2010 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Seeking recommendations for an inexpensive watch or clock (or other thing) with a low-volume hourly chime.

Here are the specifics:

I'd like an inexpensive watch or clock with an hourly chime for my cube at work. Say, $10 or less? I'd go higher if it were really cool for some reason other than the alarm.

Since I'm in a cube farm, the chime should be very short and quiet. I don't plan on actually wearing this timepiece (I like my analog watch) and I won't always be in my cube, so a continuous alarm won't do.

I know that every drug store and WalMart has a plethora of cheap, digital watches with hourly chimes. It's been a while since I used digital watches--will just any of them do this? They're usually completely enclosed in plastic and I can't sample the chimes to make sure they're short and quiet.

I'm open to other ideas. I just want regular reminders to move around a bit every hour. I don't have a smartphone, though, nor can I install anything on my work PC.

Many thanks!
posted by Anephim to Technology (6 answers total)
Watch alarms are all a pretty standard volume and tone: annoying. I suspect that your cubemates will dislike your hourly chime idea. However, if it's just going to sit at your desk all the time, you could take steps to muffle it to make it quieter. Do you need to be able to tell the time with the clock?

What about getting an email or SMS every hour? You could try these services: 1 and 2.
posted by reddot at 9:39 AM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: Reddot: No, I don't need to be able to tell time on the clock. In fact, I'll probably have it set 15-20 minutes fast so it will go off before the top of the hour.

I like the idea of the SMS, but it looks like it would be a hassle to set up an SMS alert for every hour on workdays.

The reason I like the clock/watch idea because I can set it and forget it. I'd probably leave it in my bag so I'd always have it at work and carry it home at night.

Perhaps I should just use an hourglass. :)
posted by Anephim at 10:27 AM on December 2, 2010

I'd get a watch with a vibrating alarm. I'm not sure which ones will vibrate for hourly chime, but I'm sure there's at least a watch for the hearing-impaired that can do this.
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on December 2, 2010

Do you mind if I ask what problem you are trying to solve? That might help us figure out something good for you.

I like the vibrating watch idea, but I haven't heard of anything like that. I just did a google search. check this out or this.
posted by reddot at 1:25 PM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: I'm not good at noticing how much time has passed while I'm working on projects. At my previous employment, I used a program like Stretch Break to remind me to take breaks, but I can't install Stretch Break (or anything else) on the PC at my current job. I'm thinking an hourly alarm or countdown timer would do the trick, but I don't want to bother my fellow cube farmers.

The easiest thing to do, I know, would be to get any digital watch with an hourly chime and be done with it. But:

1) I like wearing my analog watch.

2) For a variety of reasons, I'd prefer to take breaks at 45 after the hour. So if the alarm is on a clock or watch, I'll have to set it fast/slow to chime then.

3) I'd also prefer to keep the alarm in my bag or leave it in my cube rather than carrying it in my pocket. So, in case I'm not near it when it goes off, the alarm needs to be no more than a quick, quiet chirp/buzz/ding rather than a continuous alarm.

An odd combination of preferences, to be sure. But I've seen wall and mantle clocks with simple, single note hourly chimes. I want something like that, but smaller and quieter. I've also seen smartphone apps with customizable hourly chimes, but I don't have a smartphone.

If I can't find something that meets all these criteria, I suppose I could carry one of those vibrating watches in my pocket. Or get an hourglass, perhaps.

Thanks again for trying to help. I feel a little silly being so specific about it. But I didn't think it'd be hard to find.
posted by Anephim at 2:32 PM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: I might take a chance on the cheapest Armitron I can find. They all have hourly chimes. I'd just have to see how loud it is.
posted by Anephim at 2:43 PM on December 2, 2010

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