Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 15 January 2010

Batteries, watches and other matters

Am I very unusual? I happen to have four or five 'good' watches (most powered by batteries, a couple powered the good old-fashioned 'clockwork' way), plus roughly a dozen or so other watches of the Swatch brand (mostly powered by battery, but several are self-winding, powered by the motion of the body whilst they are being worn). I tend to wear my 'best' watch only very occasionally, partly because it is a little 'flash', but mainly because whilst the case and strap is largely gold there are a few stainless steel alloy links in the strap which contain nickel (apparently) and as a sufferer from eczema (*), I prefer to limit skin-contact with this metal.

One of the principal reasons I like Swatch watches is that most have plastic straps and bodies and I started to wear them around 25-30 years ago when I lived in the Middle East because the plastic straps were more comfortable in extremely hot and humid climates than metal straps (whether precious or base metal) or leather straps. The other main reason for liking Swatch watches is that I can match the colour/style of watch to the outfit I'm wearing on a particular day.

It's amazing, though, how many different sizes of cell batteries various gadgets use - watches, remote controls for hi-fi, car or garage openers etc. Ony a few seem to be available in local stores. A few of my Swatch watches have been out of action for several years because I couldn't seem to get a hold of the correct replacement batteries and local jewellery stores didn't stock the correct batteries either. My current car (as did the last few) has automatic door-unlocking and no-key engine start, based on a battery-powered remote-operator and one of the remote-operators (you get given two with the new car) needed a new battery, which I was unable to find locally. On Wednesday afternoon I went into the local franchised dealer in Inverness, but they did not have one immediately available either - but they said they would have in 30 minutes (presumably from someplace else in Inverness); I couldn't wait because in this weather I wanted to be back in Nairn before dark. So when I got home I thought to myself, I've got at least a half dozen watches which don't work any more because I need several different kinds of batteries and haven't been able to find them locally either and now I've got this car remote control which uses a less-common cell battery (it's easy enough to find CR2025 or CR2032 batteries, which I need for several different gadgets). Could I solve all these problems in a '1er'? Indeed I could - a little research on Amazon (aided by the magical Google) resolved all my difficulties. Amazing! I ordered everything I wanted, 7 different kinds of cell battery (mostly single units, a couple where two were required and one for which I required four batteries), late on Wednesday night through Amazon and 5 types of those batteries arrived today (Friday) from three different suppliers. Pretty amazing, I'd say! I await the two remaining types of battery, plus a larger RAM card for one of my laptops - and Amazon have advised that these are already despatched too, so no doubt they'll be here either tomorrow or early next week. The moral of this story is that I will never waste time hunting around locally for unusual cell batteries in future - I'll cut through all that nonsense and go straight to Amazon. And it works out much cheaper too - the batteries themselves are a lot cheaper than local outlets sell them for, for the few kinds one can find here, and at present Amazon seem to be sending everything post-free for 'normal' delivery - and I think barely 36 hours from the South of England and the English Midlands (Enfield, Birmingham, and Lincoln respectively for the three deliveries so far) is not bad at all!

(*) I first began to suffer from eczema about 18 years ago when I lived in Vietnam and for the first 15 months there lived in an hotel which was basically very good, but I suspect they used Russian or Vietnamese detergent to launder bed-linen and all my clothes and after about 6 months there I began to notice the problem - luckily a locally-based French doctor I was told to go to by the medical insurance company we used (and from whom the company I worked for obtained a 'doctor bag' for me containing all sorts of drugs and medications not easily-sourced in Vietnam, for use in emergencies) told me which item from the 'doctor bag' I should use until my next trip to Singapore or Thailand where I could get additional supplies. Since then eczema has been a recurrent problem for me which requires topical treatment whenever it flares up.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I've never read a post by a lover of watches before. Most enlightening.


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