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Broken Watch

Well, after a year and a half I did it. I fumbled my Watch onto the tile floor in my dining room. Do you know what an idiosecond is? That’s a segment of time measured from the instant you drop your glass-laden Apple device to the instant it hits the floor/ground. It is right around one-second-long, but due to the time-dilation that takes place, it feels like much longer. Although your entire life doesn’t flash before your eyes, a significant portion does. You think, “Oh shit!”, “Is it in my Lifeproof case?”, “Can I break its fall with my foot?”, “Is my AppleCare up-to-date?”, and you swear profusely against whichever god suits you. All this in the span of a single idiosecond. If you’re like me, you spend the next couple of seconds asking forgiveness from whichever god you just profaned while asking him/her to please let your device be OK. My poor Watch wasn’t. The screen was completely shattered. I could tell immediately which corner it landed on. The scratch-proof sapphire turned to dust on the upper right-hand corner and the rest of it completely spider-webbed. It was so bad that when I did the “slide to power off” thing, my thumb came back bloody.

After all the swearing and asking forgiveness I collected my wits and went to Apple’s support site. I made a Genius appointment for my first available time. I would be going out of town for the long 4th of July weekend, so I made an appointment for the following Tuesday, the 5th.

I’m a watch guy. My age places me well before the Gen-X gang, right at the tail end of the baby-boomers, so I wasn’t raised with a cell phone as my primary time-keeper. In fact, my kids have always teased me about my wristwatch tan. I’ve worn a watch on my left wrist for as long as I can remember. Long before the Watch, I became a Citizen fan about 20 years ago when they introduced their first “Eco Drive” line. Eco Drive watches are battery powered, but re-charge via solar cells built into their watch face. What makes them so great (aside from their great looks and superb build quality) is they never need their battery replaced. Well, mine never has and I’ve worn it for 20 years. It’s one of their diver series, water resistant to 300 meters with a classic chronograph face and rubber wristband. Three years ago my wife bought me a dressier gold and stainless Eco Drive chronograph with built-in radio time sync. Every night at 2 AM it receives a signal from the closest government or university atomic clock and adjusts itself accordingly. Needless to say, it is amazingly accurate. So accurate that when I notice offsets with other clocks, computers or cell phones, I immediately assume they are in error. To the second, my assumptions have never been disproven. I only wear the gold Citizen when attending dress code events, like weddings, funerals, the theater, symphony or dining at a very over-priced restaurant. While not crazy expensive at $900, it is quite beautiful and I want it to keep its pristine, un-scratched appearance for many years to come.

So, I’ve been without my Watch for three days now and I have to say, “I MISS IT TERRIBLY!” Being a watch guy, I put on my Citizen Diver within minutes of wrecking my Watch and the difference was dramatic. I had gotten really accustomed to glancing at my wrist for current stock prices, my heartrate, my activity track and upcoming events. I was also really spoiled receiving news notifications, texts and the Astros scores without having to get my iPhone out of my pocket. Additionally, the Watch turned me into a real Siri aficionado. I use Siri to ask when the next baseball game starts, to set timers and reminders and set wake up alarms. Also, I frequently use dictation to reply messages and email. It was really embarrassing the first few times I said, “Hey Siri…” to my Citizen. In fact, after wearing an Watch for over a year, my beautiful Citizen seems nearly useless by comparison.  I mean, almost $600 for a device that only tells time? Silly.

I really want my Watch back. I hope my Genius appointment culminates with a replacement Watch on my wrist. I’ve read Apple’s support site. I know they don’t repair watches with shattered screens in-store, but I also know they provide replacements for $329. I’m guessing it’s one they’ve refurbished or re-manufactured. At this point, I don’t care. My Watch has become such a part of my life that living without it is completely unacceptable. I don’t think I can continue with my Citizen watches any more than I could revert to my old Motorola StarTac. (That’s an early model flip phone for you youngsters.)

I will follow-up after my Genius appointment Tuesday afternoon. Hope the news is good.

Update July 5th 2016

Made my appointment at my local Apple Store this afternoon. (BTW, I highly recommend making an appointment. I had to hide my smile as the Genius called my name just a couple of minutes after I arrived and I strolled past a queue of a dozen walk-ins.) After showing him my poor Watch, the Genius explained I had the option of an immediate replacement of my stainless steel model for $329, purchase a new sport model for $349 or send the watch off to a repair center for $79. As badly as I wanted a replacement, I chose the $79 option since I was told the process would only take 3 – 5 business days. I’ve been wearing my Citizen for 4 days already. Another 4 or 5 days won’t kill me. In all, I spent less than 10 minutes in the Apple Store. When I got back home, I logged into Apple's support site and confirmed my Watch repair was indeed in the system so I can track its progress. This is a terrific Apple benefit that doesn't get enough laud. I've sent other non-Apple products in for repair and it's like shipping something into a black hole. The only indication you get is when your item shows up with the UPS or FedEx guy. I'll probably click the bookmark for tracking my Watch repair a couple times per day for a while.

More to come…

Update July 7th 2016

Holy cow! Just got a notice from my FedEx app that I have a delivery today. The FedEx guy usually hits my neighborhood around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. If that holds true today, that means around a 50 hour turnaround! And people ask me why I'm such an Apple freak. Try getting that type of service from an Android reseller. Just saying...

Final Update July 7th 2016 (Late afternoon)

Well, my Watch arrived at 14:15. It wasn't repaired. From all indications IT'S BRAND NEW! It's certainly a different serial number, but upon close inspection, there's not a scratch or blemish on it. It came in a white box with the WATCH relief on the front and the device itself was wrapped in the normal peel-away mylar. It looks to be untouched by human hands. I'll spend the next couple of hours getting it setup the way I want it. I did have the option of restoring it from my latest backup of a week ago, but I've decided to start fresh and only install the things I actually use... watchOS 3.

...happily ever after.

I love Apple.

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