When is it? Seeking the best dumb and durable watch
October 23, 2020 10:19 PM   Subscribe

I am on such a quest and it has been exhausting. All I want is TELL THE TIME AND COUNT MY STEPS AND DO SO RELIABLY AND NO I DON'T WANT TO DOWNLOAD THAT APP. I'm overwhelmed by google and shopping options and reviews, though none of them look quite right. Does no one else need a lo-fi, clutz proof, durable pedometer watch?

I don't need anything to connect to my phone, check the web, or recieve any sort of messages. Infact I would prefer that it not.

Requirements: Rugged, works, tells time, tells distance (steps, miles, whatever).
Preferances: Water proof or resistant, professional and casually acceptable.
Budget: $150

Background: over the last two years I've lost (RIP) 5 watches and I'm pretty sick of the waste and hoops to keep finding another one. I've purchased from cheaper stores, custom made small Etsy stores, Amazon, even one from a craft store. All ended with the same fate. The most expensive of which was $70. They ranged from wood, silicone, plastic, and metal and all were all lost by breaking completely or losing time quickly, so it's not for lack of trying varying styles or materials. My biggest pain is the unhinging with the delicate metal bar that connects to the wrist band following simple motions or snagging things. I want something not prone to that in particular. Something for extremely accident bound individuals.

I want to keep it on all the time and look at it in meetings instead of looking at my phone to know the time. I want to take it on hikes and be able to tell how far I went (via steps or miles or whatever proxy is easier). I do not want a giant watch or an apple watch or anything remotely smart.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be so welcome. Thank you!
posted by goodnight moon to Technology (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
How strong is that requirement to count steps? I have found that time makes a decent proxy for steps. I mean sure, it's one less data point. But it sounds like you're ok with fewer data points. It sounds like you probably have a sense at this point of how many steps you average per hour. What if you just went with that? Then you have lots more rugged watch options!
posted by aniola at 11:00 PM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't have anything for no-smartphone.
But I had good luck with the Withings Move for 70 bucks.
Two hands tell time, a third marks percentage of a daily activity goal.
Leave it on overnight and it'll track your sleep.
Takes a drugstore watch battery, which lasts a year.
You can swim in it, and it looks like just a normcore Swatch.
posted by bartleby at 11:09 PM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Maybe Armitron's pedometer watch? Manual.
Other idea - decouple pedometer from wristwatch, clip to belt or carry in pocket.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:32 PM on October 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Timex makes watch pedometers. Here is one. While you CAN connect to a phone, you DO NOT have to to get readings. Timex also makes stand (walk?) alone pedometers and, of course, watches.
posted by AugustWest at 11:38 PM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've been wearing the Garmin Vivofit 3 for about 2.5 years now. Like you, I only care about seeing the time and my step count for the day. There are a few other features (like stopwatch) but it is easy to select the screen that shows you time and steps, and just leave it set to that. There is a very easy to use app you can download if you want to see your progress over time or sync it with a fitness site like WW, but you don't need the app by any means in order to see the time and your steps today.

I've worn it continuously for months at a time, including showering. Pre-covid I used to swim several times a week and the watch would count my swimming strokes as steps. I've been really happy with it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:48 AM on October 24, 2020

aniola makes a great suggestion
> How strong is that requirement to count steps? I have found that time makes a decent proxy for steps.

then you've got the option for a cheap ($10-$20?) Casio F-91W -- apparently 3 million of things are made every year
posted by are-coral-made at 2:07 AM on October 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This Casio G-Shock tracker watch hits every target (except for size, probably) for less than $100. Runs for a year on a battery, and should be virtually indestructible. I don’t know if they make a women’s version but they tend to be a good bit smaller face wise than the men’s version when available.

Before the days of my Apple Watch I wore a Japanese female Casio G-Shock hiking watch for many, many years on my large manly arms and it still looks new and the band isn’t going anywhere. (And that one is solar powered, never needs new batteries either!)

Check out Casio’s site for the country you’re in, and it might be worth visiting their Japanese site through google translate - there maybe better models you can get exported once you know the model number.
posted by rambling wanderlust at 4:33 AM on October 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I can't speak from personal experience to the step tracking part, but if it's durability you want I'll strongly second a Casio G-Shock. I've got one that's at least 8 years old, worn daily in sun, rain, sleet, and snow while moving heavy things and banging things around and sticking my hands into tight spaces at weird angles to fiddle with wires and connections. Changed the battery once.

My biggest pain is the unhinging with the delicate metal bar that connects to the wrist band following simple motions or snagging things.

This in particular is a strong point of the G-Shocks. Most if not all of them have bands designed to sort of wrap around and cover this hinge area, and some have gotten rid of the little spring bar entirely and gone with some kind of bar screwed in on both ends.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:51 AM on October 24, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! Reviewing all of these but I think the G-Shock wins and hits all my needs. Whew.
posted by goodnight moon at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2020

Should you want to go even cheaper, the mi bands (5 linked) are like, pretty awesome, cheap enough you don't worry too much, and have a surprising number of useful features. Maybe too smart for your taste though, but I never wanted a smart watch and I love this one.
posted by ch1x0r at 5:19 PM on October 24, 2020

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