From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
wristwatch, once one of the valuable accessories people could not do without, is being taken over by other things like beads wristbands and handsets. Most residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, now see wristwatch as waste of resources since they can check time with their phones.
Investigation by Daily Sun shows that eight out of 10 persons on the streets of Abuja do not wear wristwatch. They either wear beads or wristbands. Even the few that put it on still rely on their phones for time as most of the watches are not functional.
Some of residents said they do not see any reason for wearing wristwatch when they have phones to check times and beautiful beads to wear as accessories. Others insisted that they cannot do without wristwatch whether functional or not.
Friday, a resident of Mpape, said he cannot remember when last he bought or used wristwatch: “With the coming of technology, wristwatch is gradually becoming a thing of the past. For me, it is just about timepiece and almost everyone owns a phone, so, we use it to check time.”
Henry Adewala from Jabi said whatever comes with an advantage to some may be a disadvantage to others: “Such is the case of GSM technology as most people no longer patronize wristwatch because they see it as ordinary timepiece which their phones can also do for them.
“I don’t wear wristwatch. I don’t even have any again because I can’t remember when last I priced one talk alone buying. It is gradually getting out of date because with our phones we can check time which is its main duty. I can no longer waste my money on a wristwatch since what I need is on my phone.”
David Terra a resident of Wuse said: “There is no need to wear wristwatch. Buying a wristwatch is a waste of resources. What will I be doing with wristwatch when my phone is with me? It is not that I don’t have wristwatches but I can’t remember when last I bought any or used the ones I have.”
Wristwatch dealers confirmed that sales had dropped since the introduction of cell phones in 2001 by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Ken who sells wristwatches in Wuse 2 said: “I have been in to this business for more than 30 years now.
“Before the inception of cell phones, I sold more than 15 wristwatches a day. Now I can hardly sell three. As a result, I have diverted into selling chains, beads and rings. “The only type of wristwatch selling now is gold-plated wristwatch because most customers believe that their value appreciates with time.”
Johnny, is a wristwatch repairer in Utako Market. He said he learnt to repair phones since very few people now use wristwatch. He is making more money repairing phones than selling wristwatches. He urged his colleagues to learn how to repair handsets as an alternative source of income.
Matthew Adah from Kubwa, however, disagreed. He said sales dropped because some of his colleagues decided to remain with wristwatches that only tells time:
“Nowadays, wristwatches are more for fashion than for just telling time. If you have to sell wristwatches, you have to sell the fashionable ones. After all, I still have friends with five to eight wristwatches, and they are expensive ones.”
Samson, a banker, resides in Maitama: “We today have wristwatch phones. So, what are we talking about? Cell phones have by no means in my opinion affected wristwatches.”
Helen a civil servant, said wristwatch is part of accessories she cannot do without: “Yes! I know that market for wristwatches have declined because most people now patronize beads. I used to think that beads are for rough people or children. These days, I have come to realize that even aged men and women use it. These beautiful beads have taken over the place of wristwatch, as most people prefer it since they hàve phones for timepiece.
“But for me, I cannot step out without wristwatch. It is part of accessories and it is used to compliment what one is wearing. I still shop for it, though most of my watches are not functioning but I must put them on.”
Another resident of Asokoro extension who did not want his name mentioned also said: “Wristwatches are far from being regarded as ordinary timepiece, like mine I use them also as calculator. Apart from the services they provide, wristwatch is now part of me and must wear wristwatch whether am at home. I have different wristwatches for different times and occasions.”