A new feature on Chuck’s watch

Who all in our little coop here will admit to wearing a pilot watch? There is nothing wrong with it I believe and I think they are cool. But they are not really my thing. First off, I have very thin wrists comparatively and they just don’t look right on me. Chuck obviously wears the biggest one made for his wrist. Actually, when you look at him even closer, it may be even way bigger than what his wrist permits.

The main reason for me though is that I got into the habit of wearing watches that are mostly plastic or rubber material. They are cheaper, but more importantly, they are NOT conductive when it comes to heat or electricity. In my young mechanic days I watched a guy reach underneath an instrument panel to “wiggle a few wires” for an intermittent gauge when he bridged a battery hot wire to ground with his gold watch. He almost welded himself to the battery wire right there, but was somehow able to yank his hand out. The watch was glowing red hot and it took a survival knife to cut it off his wrist because the clasp as welded shut. Underneath there were third degree burns.

After all this I looked at my scratched metal watch (I continuously scratched all my watches especially while working on Cessna Skymasters. If I were smarter, I might have taken it off before but I kept forgetting) and decided to retire metal and go with plastic from now on. Another life lesson was learned for me and I just never went back to even entertaining buying one of those cool looking watches. I am still in the habit of never taking my watch off, and even though I don’t work on aircraft as much as I used to anymore, I have accidentally airbrushed a few of these watches which doesn’t sting as much on a Casio compared to a Breitling …

Since Chuck tries to get out of working as much as he can, he might not have the same problem however. It will be a lot easier for him to keep wearing his fancy watch while at work (notice I said “while at work” and not “while working”). And if he does end up welding himself to a battery after all, at least we’ll get some comic strips and a few laughs out of it 😉

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5 comments on “A new feature on Chuck’s watch
  1. Bernd says:

    I also have a mostly plastic watch, but for different reasons (I am not a mechanic and all I do on an aircraft is refuel and check and refill oil).

    When I started my cross-country flights for my PPL I bought the cheapest digital watch I could find. All plastic (now a leather band after the plastic had broken) and looks exactly like the ones I wore in my youth in the 1980s when “people thought digital watches were a pretty neat idea” (Douglas Adams). My reasoning was that when writing down times in flight, it is one less thing to occupy the mind compared to an analogue watch. Just copy the minute digits (and if time is really tight, fill in the hours later.)

    I have a thing for reducing mental workload during hazardous operations, which is why I despise background music during news and traffic information on the radio. The brain filters it out without any trouble in almost all situations, but when workload is high, it is one more unnecessary thing the mind has to do, and it has finite processing power.

  2. Fbs says:

    I hardly ever wore a watch. I bought a few low cost digital ones for flying, but I have to admit that they are on the bottom of the bag and they miss a working battery. The smartphone already gives me the time, and is always with me, so I tend to think watches are a thing of the past…

    And sure, for doing mechanics (especially in a skymaster), a watch is useless at best…

  3. Joshua says:

    An expensive watch is counter productive for me. I just need to know when to start charging and when to stop. I guarantee the $20 watch almost doubles my income because I can actually write a fair assessment of how much of my time the student actually used. And because it is light weight it doesn’t get taken off for comfort.

  4. jan olieslagers says:

    Wrist-watches are not functional in the 21st century – they are jewelry. For those who care, and can and will afford.

  5. Tobias says:

    @jan you are 312% right. I have a few watches (Oris, mostly and one hamilton), all of which are automatic movements. I don’t want batteries in my watches. I do, however, have some requirements when buying a watch:
    1st: I don’t want something every other pilot has
    2nd: price. More than $3000 is a no-no. And if I spend that amount of money it’s going to be with me for a looooong time.

    To me, a watch is jewelry. That’s the main reason nit to buy a “smart” “watch” from the fruit company…

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