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Thread: The hospital watch

  1. #1
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Kent - UK

    The hospital watch

    It's a bit maudlin, but what the hell?

    And actually, it's just a means of focusing on 'utility'.

    Never mind the right watch for travel and falling off bicycles, what about the right watch for hospital? I've spent a lot of time in hospitals, both as an employee and a visitor, and time is important. With average luck, I'll probably spend a fair bit of time in hospitals as a patient. I'd want a watch, so as a watch enthusiast with many watches, which one?

    Style won't matter, not when you're in a backless gown with a catheter bag clipped to the bed rail, but you'll rarely have a greater need to be securely orientated in time. There'll be a clock, but it's likely to be round the corner or blocked by bed curtains, and it probably takes a formal request to Facilities Management to replace the battery or adjust it when the clocks go forward or back. You need a watch.

    Time gets vague in hospital. It soon gets reduced to night and day, with interval markers of meal trays and shift changes. The staff have a schedule but the patients don't. Patients are in a drifting boat on an unfamiliar sea, events and people appearing and receding. There's no weather, no getting up and going to bed, no 'News at Six', no accustomed activity. Given time, there's a risk of there being no you, in the sense of an independently functioning person. A watch can keep you tethered.

    It needs to be cheap and quartz. It could vanish while you're wheeled off for a scan, it could be knocked off your bedside locker (which won't have a key) when a nurse is putting up a drip, it could fail to follow you in the plastic property bag when you're being moved from ward to ward. You won't move around enough to keep it wound. A day display would be handy, because in no time at all you'll be as vague about the day as the time.

    Yes, you could get the time from your phone. But that will go flat in a couple of days and your relatives will bring the wrong charger. And do you want your expensive phone in hospital?

    Maybe hospital shops should sell watches in bubble-packs, along with the toothbrushes and combs.

    The hospital watch might be the ultimate utilitarian watch.
    Last edited by tribe125; Sep 8, 2015 at 11:41 PM.

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  3. #2
    I used this before, but I guess I should get a Casio like yours.

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    And you do have a point: "time gets vague in hospital". It does. Fortunately, I only have a 24h (continuous) experience, but that was enough to convince me that a watch is really needed. A stable and autonomous reference is a must (at least, it is to me) and that is one of the functions of a watch.

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  5. #3
    i would go with my cheapest iconic watch casio F-91 or my timex ironman since it is super comfy..

    it look like a kid's watch due to it classic slim and small style but i wear it very often since it is weight like nothing and leave no mark on the skin..
    the ironman, even though quite large, have a smooth backside strap..and it just blend on the wrist.. yeah, for me, comfort is an important factor especially for this kind of purpose watch..

    (some might post Rolex or Omega since i know some people would like to go to hospital with style =)

    oh.. the pictures.. sorry for your eyes everybody..
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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  7. #4
    I always keep a basic digital in my purse, whether around town or travelling. You just never know. Usually it's a 90's era Timex Triathlon, but sometimes I swap that for one of my G-Shocks, usually a plain one. Given that I've been in an uncertain situation health-wise for a number of years, this is a topic that's not far from mind.

    Eterna | Tudor | Seiko | Casio | G-Shock | Orient | Swatch | Mondaine | Zodiac (pre-Fossil) | Rolex | Wenger | Pulsar Time Computer | Omega | Timex | Bucherer | Citizen | Bulova | Glycine

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  9. #5
    Missing manual. BlackNomad's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Ottawa, ON, Canada.
    My Timex Expedition for me.

    "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling." Margaret Lee Runbeck.

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  11. #6
    When I'm popping into hospital to have a hole made in my arm, I wear my rubber-strapped Swatch. If I were going in to hospital with the expectation of lying there for a while I would also take a cheap manual, just to sit beside me, ticking away in health-encouraging way

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  13. #7
    With the thefts that went on the last two times I went in for surgery, I'm glad I didn't take my watch or other valuables. The bedside table they give you is not secure. No locks!

  14. #8
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    The hospital watch

    Doesn't 'need to be cheap and quartz' - why not cheerful and vintage?
    I've had a few hospital appointments and stays over the last few years, I amused myself with

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    Each under 25, and far more fun :-)
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  15. #9
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Jan 2015
    The Valley of Heart's Delight
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    It's true that the little plastic bag they put everything in doesn't always find its way back to you. Mine did, luckily, when I had a bad accident 10 years ago. I was wearing my old Seiko quartz moon watch, and it ended up in my jeans' pocket, which then went into the laundry later on, watch and all. We found it in the dryer, battery dead and seconds hand loose. Watchmaker fixed it for $10 and it still runs like a champ. I'm still alive too!

    If I had a choice of watch while stuck in hospital at length, it might be a cheap little hand-wind to keep me busy in the dark hours. HMT comes to mind.

    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

  16. #10

    and, it should be easy to read...

    This would have been most appropriate for my heart surgery. "Takes a licking, and keeps on ticking!" Quartz, inexpensive...perhaps take off the mesh and put it on a double-wrap nylon single strap?

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    La lutte elle-mme vers les sommets suffit remplir un cur d'homme; il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux.

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