I don't often buy cheap watches. If I do, it's for specific functions, i.e. a tough digital for spending the weekend at a music festival or a waterproof one for gym use. Either way, I expect them to have a hard, but short life.
Whilst browsing eBay for another cheap watch, this one caught my eye.
It looked interesting. Nice design, dual time and a multi-coloured LCD display...for 99p.
I bid and won, then saw the £12.99 shipping, but thought hey ho, £14 all in isn't expensive.
I honestly expected this to be a piece of junk, and whilst it has some flaws, I can honestly say that a watch hasn't exceeded my expectations this much in quite a while.
For a start, I was expecting this to be tiny, equivalent size to those "retro" Casio ana-digi combo watches that are around £20. But it isn't...it's huge, and I like that as I'm a big guy. It looks very imposing on the wrist.
Secondly, it looks really good. It looks like it costs a lot more than it did and even though it is more "geeky" than the mass of Diesel / D&G etc "retro" digital watches out there that cost 10x as much as this, when the LCD is turned off it looks almost classy.
Thirdly, it's brimming with functions: Stopwatch, Timer, Hourly Chime, 3 x Alarms, Dual time function...all a breeze to use with that big LCD display.
And finally, that multi-coloured, scrolling, LCD is a lot more contemporary than the digital displays we get on most modern digital watches. It looks great and functions well, but it does "cheapen" the watch a bit. I'd pay double for a yellow on black OLED screen.
Yes, there are a few "quality" issues: The glass is a bit rough round the edges, the strap is a cheap pressed steel affair, but taking into account that after a bit of searching you can get one of these for £10 shipped, this is to be expected but more importantly doesn't detract from the overall impression this watch gives.
I love my watches, I own watches from "the big boys", right down to £8 Casios. I'm not a brand snob, I like watches for what they are.
A watch hasn't impressed me this much for a long time, and as such, I have ordered some more Weide watches and I will also review them, when they turn up.
If you want a functional, cheap watch, then there is now a stunning alternative brand to Casio & Timex...Weide.
Just got this model:
Another lovely watch. Looks good, still nicely made. The LED is a bit more of a gimmick here, as it is obscured, but, it's a nice touch. Still has an alarm on it and the ratcheting bezel is nice.
But this cost £9 shipped...again, these watches are unknown bargains.
Having owned these a couple of years now, I can give an update. And it's this. Buy these to wear until the batteries die, then throw away and buy another. The reason is that there are 2 (cheap) batteries in these watches. The one which powers the analogue part dies first. It is a pain to change as you have to take the digital module out (and little parts and springs can go flying) and then put another battery in. A jeweller quoted me much more than the watch costs to do this (as they always do) and if you try and do it yourself chances are you'll break it, so do bear this in mind when buying.