Whoa, that fitness tracker is a really expensive watch


My mom saw that her friend was wearing a new watch.

Her friend said, "It also counts how many steps I took today, keeps track of my exercise, even monitors my sleep."

My mom replied, "I used to have a watch, but its battery died after only two years! It's such a hassle replacing the battery."

Her friend answered, "Oh, you just recharge it every few days. It's called a FitBit."

My mom said, "Wow, it recharges. So you never need to replace the watch battery. How much did it cost?"

"Around $150."

My mom said, "Whoa, that's a really expensive watch. Mine was only $15."

Hey mom, you know what else is an even more expensive watch?

A BMW.

Comments (22)
  1. Don Reba says:

    A watch is a portable timepiece. Can you really call a timepiece portable if it weights a ton but is self-propelled?

    1. Yuri Khan says:

      A physicists’ joke defines “portable” as “equipped with a handle for transportation”, and “semi-portable” as “equipped with two handles”. Does the steering wheel qualify as a handle?

      1. Erik F says:

        Probably not, but the bumper sure does! :-)

        1. Yuri Khan says:

          But, but, but! There are two bumpers. So a car is semi-portable timepiece at most.

      2. Alex Cohn says:

        Please check the sources. It’s semi-portable with one handle, full portable with two handles.

        1. Yuri Khan says:

          I assumed it might be a mistranslation (but did not find the original from which it was translated into Russian). To me, a device that can be ported by one person seems more portable than one requiring two people.

  2. cheong00 says:

    Yeah. Who needs a smartphone when you can get a non-smart one with 1/10 of the listed price? :P

  3. Vijay says:

    I received a citizen eco-drive watch for $70 (the store was closing) and I got it as a gift. 13 years and still going great! I have worn it practically every single day. No batteries to change ever! (did change the strap once)

  4. Boris says:

    The friend’s error here seems to be in accepting the term ‘watch’ for the purposes of this conversation, instead of laying down some ground rules and insisting on ‘fitbit’ or ‘smartwatch’ from the start.

  5. Schbaem says:

    At least a BMW is a better watch than a GMC or a Ford.

  6. Gwen says:

    There are watch+fitness trackers for around $15 as well, so compared to that the $150 one is still expensive.

  7. Simon says:

    It’s a fair point though… is it really that useful, having a watch that counts the number of steps you take? I mean, I know I live a couple of km from work, and so basic math tells me that’s a few thousand steps each way… what’s the big deal?

    1. Rick C says:

      Just step counting, no, that’s not very useful. Most of them link to your smartphone and can use the latter’s GPS to map a workout route for you, and integrate with third-party apps that do things like tell you elevation, instantaneous and average pace, maybe heart rate, and so on.

      1. DWalker07 says:

        Different things interest different people. I really don’t CARE what my instantaneous and average paces are.

  8. Neil says:

    I’m sure my watch cost $150 if you included the price of all the battery replacements…

    1. cheong00 says:

      At where I live, the replacement of button battery is HKD 25 (around USD3.2). Assuming 30 out of 150 is battery cost, it take about 9 years to catch up.

      1. smf says:

        Where I live, once you have a battery replaced once you can take it back and have it replaced again for free for the life of the watch.

        I assume they expect you to forget to go back, break the watch or they’ll go out of business in the mean time.

  9. Ivan K says:

    I have a friend with a TAG Heuer he received as a birthday gift. After some years (after the battery warranty expired, I assume) it needed a new battery. All the watch repair shops / jewellers he called told him they would have to send it on to TAG for proper servicing… $300 AUD and 5 weeks later he got his watch back.

  10. Tanveer Badar says:

    The company which is also a fruit has even expensive “watches”, going up to 10 K bucks.

  11. DWalker07 says:

    I saw comedian/banjo player Steve Martin at a performance a couple of years ago. He told the audience that he got a new tablet to hold his set list; the tablet was a bargain at $150. Then he asks his band members where they keep their set lists. One band member replied “on this piece of paper”.

  12. Dan says:

    One very clockey feature that should interest your mother is silent alarms, which can be recurring (nice) and are silent (“mine make sounds, for only $15”?). It can also make the military very loudly alarmed by disclosing the location of secret bases (link on my nick).

    It seems you can get up to a week of battery time if you disable all the non-clockey bits. Just like you get a lot of timekeeping with just one full tank if you don’t use your BMW for getting from one place to another.

  13. Stephan says:

    Sounds like someone from Microsoft is a little bitter their watch failed.

    (I thought it was funny, that the display for the Microsoft watch used an Android tablet as part of the display. )

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