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In Defense of Feature Watches

also known as a "dumb watch," ever since the cell phone became commonplace, many a millennial have ditched the wrist-bound timepiece in favor of the perennially accurate clock displayed on the nearest screen they have access to.

Such a screen may not be easily or readily available. When the phone is in your pocket, the number of places to check the time can be few and far between. This is especially true at stores, restaurants and movie theaters.

A $12 watch from the bargain shelf at Walmart.

Furthermore, if it looks like you're trying to get the time from a TV, people eventually catch on. We all know that expression, the look of when someone in a hurry is trying to figure out the time but don't know where to find it, so they have to ask someone or fumble through their pockets.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather not fumble through my pockets or rely on someone else's screen to try and figure out something as simple as what time it is. It is far more convenient to have it on my wrist whenever I need it.

Some have suggested getting a smartwatch to fill this mighty need and more. Smartwatches can not only tell time, but display text messages, have a pedometer and can make NFC payments. Those are all cool features, but having texts or a step count on public display is not really desirable, and my phone can already do all of those things when I need to take it out. The only information I really need at all times is knowing what time it is.

The worst thing about smartwatches is their battery life. They have to be charged at least once a week; some have to be charged as often as twice a day. It's stressful enough having to wait with my phone on a cord or a pad. What utility do I gain from having a second device with the same thirst for power?

A feature watch doesn't have to be charged, though it would be nice to have rechargeable ones. The lithium battery comes with the watch and only needs to be replaced every 3-10 years. If you have the proper tools you can even do it yourself.

It's not like a feature watch is without its features. One can buy feature watches with solar cells that extend the battery life, multi-band atomic timekeeping, or both. Some have world time and perpetual calendars, others have a chonograph and alarms. There are even feature watches that have a built=in compass and thermometer.

For under $100, and indeed for as little as $12 you can buy a specialized timepiece that will tell you the time. One that you can depend on whenever you need it, that you won't have to worry about recharging when you need to go out, or even go on a trip. One that will let you keep your phone in your pocked a little while longer and won't have the potential to distract you when all you need is time.

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