Recently, I received an email from a representative of the Fastrack marketing team asking me would I like to receive a free watch or sun-glasses from one of their latest lines so that I could write about it in my blog, social network, etc.?
Would I! Are you kidding me :)? I opted for a watch, and I got this beaut only a couple of weeks ago.
My Fastrack. How many you have?
The idea (setting up a network of bloggers writing about their products, that is) is an excellent one, because of what the brand Fastrack stands for: fashion accessories for almost grown-up and recently grown-up kids. Select a few popular bloggers (not that I claim to be one, but if somebody gives you a 2000-buck watch to pretend to be one, I don’t really care 🙂 ) in this segment, send them free watches or shades, and voila, you have accurately targeted your narrow market segment for cheap. Fastrack even has a Facebook page.
And, of course, I am going to be wearing it, and talking about it to my friends. They wouldn’t really care for my watch, but they are going to remember they didn’t get one :P. Envy/jealousy is an excellent way to register top-of-the-mind recall, which Onida tried to shove down our throats a decade ago, with their cheesy tagline.
Now down to what I am supposed to be doing. As for me, I am really the rugged-watch guy. I got the goosebumps in the 6th standard when Casio’s G-Shock came out in the market, I drooled all over my friend’s Tag-Heuer, and I got myself a Timex Expedition, you know the one on which the bug crawls all over, in the ad. My latest fancy is a diving or sailing watch: one of those watches which dive 7 times deeper than a human can, go into space and back, act as a lethal weapon when you want it to, and still remain scratch-free and gives you the time with an accuracy of an atomic clock. Of course, you don’t have any of those in the sub-Rs. 2000 range, which is more or less my budget.
But the Fastrack watch I got seems to be a decent substitute to that. It can dive upto 50m, not that I am going to test it; I am just going to take their word for it. Every part of the watch has been claimed to be rigourously tested, which is a good enough replacement for the rugged factor if you are looking at watches in my budget range. And it has an accuracy of +-30 seconds in a month.
This is good, but this watch isn’t meant to do all that anyway. Atleast the dial would have been more readable. When the watch came to the house, everybody in the house got around the watch trying to figure out, how to tell the time, because the hands of the watch are basicially two edges of two different part-circles. It still takes me 1.5 seconds more than it should to tell the time in this watch after a couple of weeks, but I am willing to live with it for now. Since it is not so readable, the only reason that I would wear the watch on me is if I wanted a fashion accessory on my wrist. God forbid the wearer is drunk and he really needs to tell the time, because it’s not going to happen. Readability is not so much of a problem because most of my friends anyway tell the time on their cell-phones.
Grey leather straps
But leather straps are a problem, especially if you wear them in the Delhi heat. Because of which again I infer, the watch isn’t meant for the Delhi heat, even if the machinery would work fine in those temperatures (and it claims to). Because if you are sweaty as I am, which anybody is wont to in the sizzling oven that is Delhi, the glue that holds the strap together comes off. This has happened to so many of my watches with leather straps. Even the supposedly water-proof leather straps on my Timex Expedition. (I got it fitted with a metallic strap. A singed wrist is better than a missing watch.) Moreover, the loops on the leather strap inevitably and unfortunately break-off on the day after the warranty runs out. You want a rugged watch, please don’t buy one with leather straps.
My Timex watch.
So this is a party watch. It has a backlight a-la Timex Indiglo, but what I miss in this watch are the phosphorescent-glowing hands which I have in my Timex. It coms in real handy when you are watching a movie or you are in the car at night. It’s convenient as well, because you don’t have to use the backlight as much, which can be quite a drain on your battery as compared to the normal functioning of your watch.
Now that I have pointed out my grouses, I must say it is not a bad-looking watch at all. I like the colour combination, and it goes whatever I wear, which is mostly jeans and t-shirts. So what according to me is the real purpose of the watch (being a fashion accessory), it manages very well. It’s very comfortable to wear as well, and most importantly doesn’t give you an instant wax on your wrists every time you take it off, a-la metallic straps.
And it has something for the eco-friendly consumer as well, albeit you will find that out only if you are an instruction-manual junkie like I am. If you are not going to use your watch for a long time, then you can activate a “power-save” mode, by just pulling out the crown of the watch.
“You are going to be neck-deep in trouble if you don’t…”: The instruction manual has been written in fun language, which is easy to understand.
Speaking of the instruction-manual, it has been nicely tackled with English and colours, instead of the gobbeldygook that usually repels the lay-person or the average dumb kid. The entire package comes in a neat tinbox, something like the milk-powder tins, but only smaller :). I like.
The tin in which my watch came in.
This is nice, essential even, because it is the first time I have seen a marketing team also look into something as mundane as the instruction manual because even till now in phones or other devices targetted at kids, you have instruction-manuals as thick as the one for my scientific calculators. In fact, now that I think about it, I think it was the same one… aah who cares.
Of course, I always had nothing but respect for the marketing team at Titan. Now that I have said that, will you give me more watches? 😛