A couple of weeks ago I responded to an ad on FB Marketplace advertising a bunch of old digital watches with dead batteries, and he was offering the lot for $10. I didn't know how many there were, but it looked like seven or eight, and I saw a Timex and what appeared to be a Casio Databank in the mix and I decided to take a chance. After all, even with the cost of batteries, if any of them were functional, it would be worth $10.
I contacted the guy immediately and made arrangements to pick them up the next day on my way home from work. He met me in the lobby of his building and handed me a bag, which I didn't even look into before handing over a crisp new $10 bill. This was partially because I figured the fun of researching and tinkering with watches would be well worth $10 in itself, and partially because I was slightly illegally parked.
When I got home and looked in the bag I almost had a heart attack.
Yes, there were some unrecognized no name cheapos, but all in all there were 14 watches that I broke down into three categories:
A- the good watches, that I was definitely hoping would work
B- the interesting watches that aren't worth much but are kind of neat
C- the stuff that wasn't worth anything when it was new, and isn't really that interesting
As it turned out, five were A watches, five were B watches, and only a four were in the C pile. I started a spreadsheet to keep track of everything, because you just can't have fun without a spreadsheet!
Group Make Model Name Model Number
A Casio Twin Sensor SGW-100B
A Casio G Shock GW-002KA
A Casio Data Memory 350 ED-610
A Casio PHYS STR-101
A Timex Ironman Triathlon 861
B Bijoux Terner Sport
B K Halo 2 K1305
B X-Tek XT120 362
B Coleman 40-373
B Coleman 40-931
C PASNEW PSE-186B
C Sportline 3637
This is what I ended up with, and yes, I know some of the B's really should be C's, but I think you will also agree that the A's still more than make up for it!
I had a few 2016 batteries left over from another battery replacement I did (cheaper to buy batteries in a 5 pack on eBay than to buy a single battery locally) so I decided to open up one of the Coleman watches and see if it worked. That's when I found out that it eats batteries three at a time, which is no surprise since it actually has a flashlight built into it!
At this point I already felt that this lot was worthwhile, as this watch was cool enough to be worthy of the $10 I'd spent.
After doing some research on the rest of the watches it appeared that all of the other watches that mattered took either a 2016 or 2025 battery, with one exception- the G Shock GW-002KA
in the pile took a CTL 1616, a battery I wasn't familiar with, and was worth $20-30. That seemed a bit hefty for a watch I wasn't sure would work or not.... then as I ready why
it cost so much I realized that it was a solar rechargeable battery, so I left it in the sun, and sure enough, it came back to life!
I put the strap back on it (I had taken it off as many G Shocks need to have the strap removed to access the back plate- this one is worse even, because the side armor has to come off as well) and wore it for a day, despite missing one of the rear case screws. I was careful not to get it wet, but I will have to replace the case screw before it really goes on any adventures. Even so, I was thrilled, because now TWO of the watches were working, and I was well beyond my $10 investment!
I decided to risk it, and bought five 2016 batteries and five 2025 batteries on eBay for a whopping $12, bringing my grand investment total so far to $22.
When they arrived I immediately went to the Casio SGW-100B Dual Sensor
model, which was the next one on the list that held the most interest for me. Needless to say, I was thrilled as anything when I put it back together, flipped it over and it was working!
The watch I figured many forum members would be interested in was next- the Casio Databank, model ED-610
which was also the watch that attracted my attention to this lot in the first place. Despite being a bit of a PITA to get the back open and re-seated properly, I was excited to see that it was also working.
At this point, I was thrilled at the haul- four good watches, and all of the ones I had really been looking forward to getting working were working perfectly! But, that was not to last- the next two I tried, the last Casio on the list (and probably cheapest/least interesting), the STR-101 wouldn't fire up with a new battery, and neither would the other Coleman, virtually identical to the first one, but without the flashlight feature.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_arJOVUKmU
But, that's okay, because the next watch on the list, the Timex Ironman Triathlon fired right up as well.
I actually have a soft spot for the Timex Iron Man series, as I had one of the originals when they first came out. My father had bought one, had buyer's remorse (it wasn't a cheap watch at the time), then ended up being so happy with it that my brother and I each got one for Christmas that year. It was similar to this one, but also predated the Indiglow option.
In my family, my brother and I were always competing with each other and with my father, and, around the supper table one night I inadvertently started a running joke that stands to this day when I told my brother he didn't really have an Iron Man watch, his was more like a Rubbermaid one (iron/rubber, man/maid.... get it?) watch. Because of this, I was very glad to see this Ironman working again to carry on the tradition.
That's pretty well where I called it quits. A couple of the other B watches look interesting, but are pretty well uber-crappy, so I don't think I will bother doing much with them. I already scavenged some screws from the C watches to properly re-attach the armor on the G Shock, but overall, I am quite happy with the five wearable, useful and great watches I got out of this. Not bad for a total investment of $22 CDN, which, at today's exchange rate is roughly $16.75 USD or just under thirteen quid. Even at almost $25 Australian Dollary-doos it is still a fantastic bargain!