I was having dinner with my partner at La Cantine, one of our favorite restaurants, when I spotted it on the wrist of our server—the tiniest little watch with just the right shape and proportions. Other factors played a role in its allure, sure; our server’s bob haircut and sick vintage Nascar T-shirt definitely helped. Peripheral coolness notwithstanding, an unstoppable urge came over me: “Wow, I love your watch,” I asked shamelessly. “Where’d you get it?” They said it was a women’s model, a Casio they bought on Amazon for next to nothing. Conveniently/annoyingly, I have the Amazon app on my phone, and before our drinks had arrived, the watch was in my cart. But I stopped short of actually purchasing it—a compulsive cop before assessing the dinner bill seemed unwise. Still, with every dish and every refill, I caught myself eyeing our server’s ticker. I ended the night with a full stomach and a slightly fuller cart.
Rule of thumb: If you walk away from a purchase and find yourself still thinking about it a week later, you should probably buy it. So after seven days of ruminating, daydreaming, and returning to the watch’s product page throughout the day, I finally did just that.
Casio LA670W watch
Casio Vintage LA670WGA-1DF watch
The Casio LA670W is part of the brand’s vintage-inspired line, which explains why the rounded square case sort of resembles an old CRT TV (though the 25mm size is better suited to a mouse hole than your living room). It has the usual alarm, stop watch, and date functions, and the steel bracelet is a slinky little thing about as wide as my pinky. I’m not a watch guy, but I know what I like—the LA670W is basically a toy, like a Lego or Japanese gashapon. It’s certainly about as fun and cute as one, anyway. Despite its minuscule stature, it feels proportional to my wrist and hand. And as jackets, shirts, and pants have exploded in size, I find that wearing it somehow emphasizes both its wee nature and the forgiving silhouettes of my outfits.
I’ve only asked one other stranger about their watch. That one turned out to be a vintage Cartier Santos Galbee, a timepiece that happens to be very similar in size and silhouette to the Casio LA670W—and a hundred times more expensive. Reach a certain price point, and the aforementioned rule of thumb sorta breaks down, which is why that Cartier joint has been on my mind—and not on my wrist—for about a year now. I’ll need a few more zeroes in my bank account before I pull the trigger on a gently-loved Cartier grail, but for now, Casio’s cutesy ticker more than scratches the itch.
The bill for that fateful dinner? Negligible in the long run. The thrill of glancing down at my wrist and seeing a pint-sized approximation of my dream watch? Priceless.