Wearing a regular watch instead of a smartwatch is still a nice thing

Smartwatches are obviously the new darling among the nerdy tech crowd. It started picking up pace during 2013, continued through CES – and at Mobile Nations with the launch of an initially dedicated site – at the start of this year and now we've got many an Android fan literally screaming in delight at the seemingly imminent arrival of the Moto 360. I'm part of that crowd, I wear a Pebble pretty much every day, especially when I travel and it's become an accessory I enjoy wearing.

What the Pebble has also done, perhaps strangely, is increase how often I wear a regular watch. I'm no watch fanatic, not by any means, but far from replacing regular watches wearing a Pebble has actually led me to wearing them more.

Before jumping in with a smartwatch it'd been over 10 years since I last regularly wore a timepiece on my wrist. The last time was probably while doing my "A" Levels at age 18, back in the days when my mobile phone was more often in my bag than my pocket. Between then and 2013, pretty much nothing. Not even on my wedding day when I didn't have a phone in my pocket. Then came Pebble, and then came getting back into wearing a watch on a regular basis.

I think it's at least partly down to getting used to having something on my wrist again, all day, every day. Like we're now used to carrying a phone in our pockets – and quickly feel empty when one isn't there – something doesn't feel the same anymore when I'm not wearing a watch. During the week, it remains Pebble. It's part of my work flow now. My phone just stays on my desk and as emails, messages, calls come in they're all triaged without having to touch the phone. Since I've usually got some headphones plugged in to it, it works, and of course there's the music controls right there, too.


But when I go out for dinner with my wife, or at the weekend when I'm trying to have a little time away from work, the Pebble without fail comes off and on goes a regular, plain old just tells the time watch. They're not particularly expensive watches, but I think they look nice – certainly more so than the likes of the Pebble or LG G Watch when you're out somewhere fancy – and importantly they don't vibrate when I get an email. It's part of that detachment. And I like that. I like that a lot.

With the ever more connected world we live in we're so connected, so much of the time, it's easy to just roll with it and accept it as the new normal. Android Wear is extremely exciting – even if none of the first wave of watches really entices me – and I'm eager to see where it goes. Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't really care if a smartwatch looks as nice as the Moto 360 does. It's still a tool to me and if I want to make an effort and dress up nice, I will. With a nice watch. I'm curious to know if I'm crazy and alone on this one, or if anyone else found themselves doing the same.

We're also now a couple of weeks out from the big show of the fall season, IFA 2014. I'll be going with Alex and Derek Kessler, and it'll be interesting to see if smartwatches are hitting the booths with the same, if not more verve than at CES back in January. LG's already been rumored to be bringing another Android Wear device. It'll be fun finding out.

Richard Devine