About a Cheap Watch Funny, I thought when I finally posted in here about buying a new watch, it would be for me, and something with a little more "TWAT-cred". But first, this. My son is fourteen years old. He's a good boy and I'm proud of him. He's not especially interested in watches (then again, neither was I until a year ago..damn you, TWAT!) However, he was intrigued by the idea of my father's old Omega, that I repaired last year, and have worn since (and, fatally, shared here...damn you, TWAT!). A few months ago, I gave him an old quartz watch that I'd had years ago, when I wasn't much older than him. He liked the idea of being handed down something, however simple. But that watch has seen it's last days as a functioning timepiece, and although it might follow him around for the rest of his days as a rusting curio (if he's anything like me), it turns out that it's no longer fit for wearing. Now, I've been thinking for a while that I should replace that with something he can actually wear. I have been away for a long time without seeing him or his sisters, and will get back to them in the next couple of days for some long-anticipated time together - perfect time for a surprise gift. I did consider giving him my existing beater/back-up quartz, or even my bizarre dictator-kitsch Saddam Hussein Rodania. But the former isn't very special, and the latter not very wearable. So, I thought I'd buy one. To be honest, it's been a shitty year for business, I've not had the cash for many treats (mine or theirs!), and the green shoots of recovery are only just appearing. Also, he got a tiny birthday present compared to his sisters', without a hint of complaint. So, with modest income restored and positive signs appearing for the future, it was time for a little gift that's been overdue to him, and today I went shopping. The brief was pretty simple: I wanted a mechanical watch - his first "proper" watch, that was cheap enough for a young boy to wear regularly (i.e. potentially scratch and break!), but not Chinese. Enter the ubiquitous ETA. I wanted a bracelet for practicality, a simple, manly design that would still be wearable years from now (no novelty bright-coloured Sub imitiations etc), and a price that reflected the generic nature of the movement rather than some inflated sense of brand value. One obvious answer would have been Swatch's automatic range, which are very cheap. But I also wanted it to come in a proper box that looked like it was worth keeping, encouraging him to value the maintenance of the whole package for posterity - and perhaps add to it later on. The Swatch wasn't "proper" enough, somehow - though I did pick up a couple of quartz ones for the girls so they don't feel left out! I have to say it felt pleasingly solid in the hand for that price, and the design, modest-but-real brand and overall presentation seemed just the thing to whet his interest and let him feel this was something worth taking care of - without breaking the bank. Any sage advice / callous cries of "fool"? Give it to me straight! I can't help but wonder after reading the last couple of pages, if I should have got him a G-Shock and I'm instead imposing my conservative tastes! But then again he did like his suede brogues...and this, I hope, he won't outgrow.