My Sunday Watch

A small change to help disconnect for a day.

Paul Alvarez
Mar 20 · 5 min read

I love my Apple Watch, but sometimes the damn thing can be too much. I have reduced the notifications to only Messages, Things, SimpliSafe, and Activity notifications from friends.

Still, even with this small amount, it can be a lot of tap tap tapping on my wrist.

Plus, it isn’t just the notification that I need a break from. Always looking at my activity rings, and the weather is an unnecessary twitch that I do all the time now. Not that these are bad habits, but when trying to relax on a Sunday, it can help to not have the availability of these features to avoid the urge.

I have a couple of analog watches that I keep for special occasions or nostalgia reasons. But I hardly wear any of them since the Apple Watch provides what they do, time, and so much more.

I cherish the convenience of having the time on my wrist. It may seem a bit ironic in talking about disconnecting and fighting urges. But I really do love having a watch on my wrist, giving me that specific piece of information that I value so much.

Whether I was getting it analog or digital it didn’t really matter until I got a digital watch. The Casio F-91W is a cheap, old-school looking, and classic watch that provides an easy to read display of digital time and the comfort of feeling like nothing is even there.

At around or under $10, this watch feels even more valuable then it is. Since I can wear it as much as I want, doing whatever I want, and replacing it is no issue. I don’t intend to break the watch purposely, but the peace of mind knowing it won’t break the bank if I need to replace it is enormous.

My Apple Watch has a home on my wrist, usually from around 4 AM to 8 PM Monday through Saturday. Sunday, my wrist is home to the Casio F-91W. I have been following this routine now for about four weeks and have to say my Sundays feel lighter, freer, and more relaxed.

The F-91W is made of plastic and comes in a dark gray color. You can get it’s big brother the Casio A158WA-1DF, for about double the price at $18, that gets you almost the same watch but in a more premium stainless steel casing. Even at the lower price, I felt the watch was a bit too “pretty” to wear as an Apple Watch vacation day replacement.

I wanted something with less flash and more subtly. Something that no one notices and that I forget is there until I look at the time and get that small sensation of freedom knowing all I get is the time when I look at it.

The watch is covered in a soft rubbery plastic casing and strap that feels very comfortable when wearing for an extended period. The straps are almost too small for my large wrist but can put it in the third to last hole with no issue.

The screen can be hard to see at certain angles and requires you to look at it straight on depending on the light. Speaking of light, it can light up the screen with a retro green light illuminating from the left side of the screen. Since it only lights from the left side, it is not that great in lighting up the whole screen most times. In really dark settings, though, since it provides the only light around, you can see most of the screen when turning it on.

To turn on the light, you have to hold down the top right button. The bottom left button, which I like to call the “configuration button”, when pressed once, takes you to the alarm, pressing it a second time, and you get a stopwatch. If you continue pressing this bottom left button a third time, you get to the actual configuration mode on the watch.

From here, you can exit the configuration mode by clicking the button once again, or if you want to change the time, date, or reset the seconds, you will need to use the other two buttons. The top-left button, or light button, can now be used to navigate through each element and then using the bottom right button to actually change these values. Starting on seconds, then hours, then minutes, to the month (as a number), the day (also as a number), and then last the day of the week (like Sunday).

Once your watch is set and you are out the configuration mode, you can use the bottom right button to change the time to 12-hour or 24-hour. You can also hold down this button and get the “secret” Casio displayed on the screen. I read somewhere that this is used to verify that you indeed have a legitimate Casio watch.

So that is pretty much the watch, it has a battery that should last about ten years, and it can withstand 100 feet of water, but isn’t recommended for swimming. It is comfortable, reliable, cheap, and honestly…really cool looking.

The best part of the watch, though, is the freedom that I do get from wearing it. I usually have my phone on silent, and no vibration, so when I don’t remember to turn it off silent mode on Sundays, I forget about it. This has bitten me a few times; missing phone calls from family members or friends, but nothing horrible happened in those moments.

I realized that I let my self be disconnected without realizing it. Putting the Casio on instead of my Apple Watch was already some kind of an attempt to disconnect, but not having the leash of a watch connected to my phone anymore allowed me to let go of my phone for at least a few hours.

I built a raised garden bed, cleaned the house, grocery shopped, and had ribs and bourbon at my parent’s house the last few Sundays, and it has been great. I felt more present and in the moment with loved ones and forgot all about the slab of glass in my pocket, especially without its sidekick on my wrist reminding me it was there.

The easiest thing to do is just to have a screenless Sunday. No phones, tablets, TV, or my laptop to give me a really good digital detox. But instead that extreme, I’d rather opt for smaller changes like putting on a classic throwback watch and getting some fresh air for a while.


Where techonology and society come together.

Paul Alvarez

Written by

Full-time IT Project Analyst, all the time husband, and cat Dad. I also write.


Where techonology and society come together.

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