on September 23, 2007
My wife's first reaction when opening the box in which my SKAGEN TITANIUM BLACK MESH WATCH was delivered was, "Why does something so small come in such a large shipper?" I don't know - to meet a lumber company's quota of slaughtered defenseless baby trees, I suppose. Her next reaction, on seeing the timepiece itself, was, "What a gorgeous watch! But I don't need one." Um, it's for me, actually, I answered. "You mean, you wouldn't buy me a watch?" Sigh. And this after I'd reluctantly forked over fifteen bucks to have her ancient wrist ticker cleaned to a lustrous shine.
The 3 cm diameter face of MY new watch is a rich steel blue that appears to radiate brilliant cerulean rays as you turn it in the light. I immediately noticed that it has no second hand, a fact that made it impossible to quickly discern if time was standing still or not, especially as it emits no ticking sound FX. After contemplating the minute hand for awhile, I was satisfied that I wouldn't have to take it to the watch repair shop for a battery. In any case, the absence of a second hand doesn't distress me unduly, though I won't be able to time the chugs at the next beer guzzling contest that I blunder into.
The face is mounted in a shiny, jet black casing which is, at its thickest, one-half centimeter thin. The watch weighs in at 43 grams, or 1.51678 ounces if you haven't yet gone metric. The classy, black mesh band is approximately 1.75 cm (0.6889764 inches) wide and 23.5 cm (9.251969 inches) in length including the clasp.
According to the engraving on the back of the case, the timepiece is water resistant up to 3 atmospheres (.02204392 ton/square inch). Cool.
Speaking of clasp, the most daunting task is to figure out the band's latching mechanism, especially if you're mechanically obtuse like me. Over dinner at a local kebab house, I spent about 10 minutes struggling with the problem before the solution dawned. I hadn't thought to bring along the instructions, which explains it all quite clearly, including diagrams:
"Pull the hook over the pin.
Close clasp (it should snap).
Close security clasp."
The only problem I foresee will be strapping the watch to my wrist in the morning, especially if the tremors of advancing age and senile dementia are particularly severe that day. And if it's still dark out and I can't turn on the light because the wife is still getting her beauty sleep, the watch will have to go into my pocket for a more illuminated opportunity. If you'd rather have the convenience of an expanding flex band, this Skagen isn't for you.
In case you're wondering, the band's length is adjustable, a project that was itself, minus the user's booklet, pretty much self-defeating in my case. After several minutes of finger nail inserting, tugging, and general cussing over the chicken kebab and rice, I gave up until I got home and read:
"Simply insert a small screwdriver or similar tool into the clasp as shown above (in another handy diagram). Lift up the clasp and move to desired position. Snap closed securely. Make sure the clasp is set in one of indentations on the back of the band."
My disconcerting experiences with the (non-existent) second hand and the band closure aside, the SKAGEN TITANIUM BLACK MESH WATCH is all I'd hoped for and expected it to be when I transmitted the credit card number to order the thing. It's pretty spiffy, if you ask me. Just so long as the wife keeps her covetous hands off it.
5/4/08 Note: The specs listed on the current product page for this watch indicate a "fold-over-clasp", which is not the one on the watch I purchased. Perhaps the former is a better clasp that was added to meet customer reservations concerning the latter.
2/13/10 Note: A problem that has surfaced over time, and which reduces my rating of this watch to 4 stars, is with the mesh band. About a year after I originally purchased the time piece, one of the fine metal threads that forms the weave of the mesh broke, resulting in a pointy-rough spot that would catch on clothes, particularly my pants, and pull out a pile in the fabric. I took it to a watch shop to have the band replaced with a plain leather strap, or some other that wasn't a mesh, but I was told the band could only be replaced by an identical one, which cost me about $40. This second band has now begun to unravel like the first. Even though the time piece itself has performed flawlessly, the repeated problem with the mesh band has caused me to buy a new watch, the FOSSIL AM4159 ANALOG MEN'S WATCH, which has a flexible band made of links.