One of our birthday goals each year is to give a gift which shows we recognise our children are maturing and have reached a new stage of life. At age four, the gift that came to mind for the Young Engineer was his own watch.
The gift of a watch has two benefits. Firstly, his Dad wears a watch daily, so in our home it’s a nod to being a step closer to grown up. Secondly, in giving an analogue watch, we create a reason to learn a new skill. How to read the time. Which hopefully will lead into keeping track of time and self organisation at some point in the future (at the time of writing this is still some way off!).
So then the research began. Which is the best watch?
- We were looking for relatively durable, although we do believe in teaching children that some things are special and need to be cared for carefully.
- Water resistant, as although it will not be worn to the swimming pool, it has been worn while digging some rather extensive earthworks, and needs regular cleaning.
- It needed to have a comfortable wristband, that would fit a small wrist, but will last for some years.
- The design would ideally be fun and colourful, but not too babyish.
- The cost had to be under $50 including shipping, as we were aware it may not last as long as we hoped.
Timex Gecko Kids' Watch
Value for money
Usability / Readability
The Timex kids watch range are great first watches. Comfortable to wear and easy to clean. It's a great tool for learning to tell time. And make a child feel valued and respected. Suitable for 3+, recommended from the point you can trust your child to recognise the significance of a watch and take care of it. (Probably 4 or 5)
The Timex Kids Analogue Watch met this brief nicely. The design we choose has a green elastic band strap. That is easily adjusted by parents, but can be put on and off by a child without help.
The face of the watch is a nice clear white background, with all the numbers in a font that’s easy to read. Very important for a child who is just learning his numbers.
My favourite feature is that the numbers are in blue and so is the hour hand. The minute hand is orange and the minutes around the perimeter are marked in orange dots, with orange numbers at 5, 10,15… This makes explaining how to read it so simple.
The second hand is made by two colourful geckos who chase each other around the face. Not as easy to accurately read seconds, but, more important for a first watch, is the ability to see the seconds changing. And it’s fun!
So as a first watch we have been very pleased with our choice. It makes our son feel important. But also creates an opportunity to teach him to read an analogue clock fairly easily.
The only negatives are the general wear and tear expected after a year and a half of use. The battery has recently died. But it can be replaced fairly easily, without needing to head into town to find a jeweller. The watch strap is still in pretty good condition as it can be removed to clean. But it does have pills in the elastic in places.
The Young Engineer’s Review:
My favourite thing about my watch is the little silver twirly bit, because you can change the time, if it’s the wrong time. And the lizards. Because one’s yellow and one’s green and I like those colours.
Awesome or Average: Awesome
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