It’s really hard to resist the temptation of the wristwatch aisle at Walmart. The cheap watches on display often offer creative style and sometimes mimic the styles of high-end watches that cost thousands of dollars more. On a recent trip to Walmart, I spotted a great looking Ana-Digital Watch for only $12.88 that turned out to be imported from a company called Advance Watch Company, Ltd. The watch has a base metal case with the classic patina of aged bronze, a stainless steel back, and a very comfortable, brown, simulated leather band with white stitching along the borders. The band flares to ride beneath the wristwatch and insulate the wearer’s wrist from the watch itself. Of course, words can’t really do this watch justice and you’ll have to click on some of the pictures. The beauty of this watch rivals the great look of my Timex Expedition Metal Tech watch.
The measurements of this Walmart watch from the Advance Watch Company work well. In an era of oversized watches, this watch seems well proportioned. The crystal is 1 1/4-inches in diameter, the base metal case is 5/8-inch thick, the simulated leather band is 7/8-inches wide and measures over 9-inches long. Unlike my favorite Mossimo watch from Target which is a bit tight, I found that this watch fit my 8 1/2-inch wrist size with one extra hole to spare and a generous amount of band left to punch an extra hole in if needed. For Walmart and Target wristwatches, these measurements were a relief as I have returned several over the years for simply being way to small.
The watch has plain hands with white tips for visibility, reflective mirror-like hashes at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, tick marks every second and tiny numbers for each hour position. The black face of the watch has windows (or apertures) to reveal the underlying LCD. At the 9 o’clock position, the window reveals the hour, at the six o’clock position the window reveals the minute, and at the 3 o’clock position the window reveals the seconds. But the cool LCD feature is a larger LCD window that spans from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock and has subdivided (like pie pieces) by the days of the week. The LCD is darkened in a pie piece that corresponds to the day of the week. A small LCD circle surrounding the watch hand axle reveals whether alarms and hourly beeps are set.
Of course, not every watch is perfect and the Advance Watch Company ana-digital watch is no exception. As on so many cheap Walmart watches, it is a little difficult to manage the alarm and hourly chime on this watch. The alarm time is easy to set and it is easy to turn off when it sounds. However, I find it difficult to turn the alarm off completely. The directions accompanying the watch are awkwardly worded. I suspect they were translated from Chinese. However, the chime is relatively quiet and I feel confident that I will master deactivating the alarm. Otherwise, the stop watch and date functions on this watch work well and are controlled via the four buttons found on almost every digital watch.
Overall, I really like this Advance Watch Company, Ltd., Ana-Digital Watch. The Model Number is MDC 74567W. The retro styling evokes the 1930s, 40s or 50s and also evokes the sensibilities of the steampunk movement. The band fits well and the watch is comfortable. At the Walmart price of $12.88, this watch is nearly unbeatable. This innovative watch should have Casio, Timex, and Armitron shaking in their boots.