I like to run. I've learned that it really isn't about where you're going, it's about the getting there - the how, the why, the who with. This blog is just a little repository for my thoughts along the way; the setbacks, the lessons learned, and the occasional triumph.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Ironman Returneth

Back in December, I wrote about the death of my Timex Ironman running watch. The timepiece itself was still in superb condition, but, after no extraordinary abuse, the resin-formed band had torn in half. Because the band is molded into the structure of the timepiece, it is not replaceable, and the watch becomes useless. It’s a problem I’ve now had with 2 different Timex watches, and it was no less frustrating the second time around.

However, Timex does offer a mail-in “repair” service. It couldn’t be replaced outright because I’d owned it for more than two years. (I forget if their warrantee is 6 or 12 months.) But for only $10, you can mail in your watch – this goes for any watch that Timex makes – and they will give you a new watchband and put it on the timepiece for you. A watch like my old Ironman falls into the “unrepairable” category, but in those cases they send you back a replacement model, or at least a model with similar capabilities.

In effect, you get a new watch for $10.

So, back on January 20th, I sent in my old watch along with a check for $10. Yesterday, five and a half weeks later, I got my new watch in the mail. The old watch model, apparently, is no longer in production. (It seems no Timex stays on the market more than a year.) What I got back isn’t quite as sleek as my old one, but it is identical in every functional way.

The only disappointment is the new watch also has a resin band. I called customer service beforehand and they told me that I could request a Velcro band. But I paid a lot of money for the old watch because of all the functions and features it had, so I was clear that getting something back that matched all those expensive features was more important. I guess they didn’t have anything available with a Velcro band. (Better for that to be true than my request ignored.)

All told – as disgruntled as I still am about the unreliable resin band – it is a nifty little service that Timex offers. I did get a new watch for just $10. I shouldn’t have had to buy a new watch at all, but since I did, better that it cost just $10 instead $100 to replace it.


Chuck G said...

Greg, So now I'll have to do the same with my 2 Ironman-broken resin band watches that are sitting on my dresser. Thanks for the info as I, too, am a disgruntled Timex (x2) owner. Why can't Rolex make a multi-sport watch?

GTI said...

Hiya, Chuck!
The thing that disappoints me the most is I'm perfectly content with the function & performance of the timepiece, but it comes attatched to the el cheapo resin strap. It's like buying a Mazerati with 4 bicycle tires on it.

Wouldn't be as big a problem if they would just design the bands to be replaceable, instead of molding them into the structure of the piece.

I guess the bands look pretty, but they're just britle in the (not so) long run. Timex has chosen form over function, I guess. I'm sure the guys in the suits with the business charts are just a little more concerned with the point of sale.