January 31, 2009
by Ariel Adams
Maybe I cannot actually say that Oprah herself endorses ugly watches; in all likelihood, Oprah has probably never even seen one of these watches. Regardless, her name and image is plastered all over the materials saying that her enterprise endorses these watches. So thus, it is enough for me to say that she herself does in fact endorse these fiendish creations with all her heat. Don’t put your name (or allow it to be put) next to something you won’t stand by.
O, The Oprah Magazine presented its recommendation last month of Tocs watches as part of a story on “the best gifts under $50.” It is a line of not so attractive (in my opinion) women’s watches that aren’t even worth their budget pricing. You also have to check out the Tocs company logo which is laughable. About four minutes on Microsoft Word playing around with the Comic Sans font could have produced something nicer looking.
The watches are perfect for children. Not really for adults. They are much more than likely Chinese made (which are known for some good watches, and some very not good watches) with clear plastic cases, and plastic straps. Oh, and they are colorful, yes that have THAT going for them. The movements are all quartz, with a totally analog, analog and digital, and totally digital movement options. The tonneau shaped cases and those with numeral scattered faces are attempts to remind the likely buyers of watches they have probably never seen before, Franck Muller watches. One of the analog watches humorously has a plastic bezel designed off of a Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch bezel. There you are going from at least $10,000 to $50. That was funny/cute. It really makes me think of the person staring at these watches online or in a showcase (they are at Bloomingdale’s!) who might like the design, having no idea what sources such looks originated, and that Tocs is simple borrowing design accents.
I mentioned that the Tocs watches are perfect for kids. Yeah, because they aren’t going to stand up to a beating, don’t even remotely look professional, and have that kid Crayola kinda look. I can say that the Tocs watches come in a lot of colors, which is fine, considering the fact that plastic color choices have no limits really. There is nothing refined, or particularly endearing about these watches. It is possible that I am jaded being exposed to the highest end watches that exist, but I can appreciate a $20 Casio, and these Tocs watches just leave me blank faced.
The Oprah article used a term that is new for me, “recessionista.” My interpretation of this term refers to the bad economy, and how new budget minded fashionistas are seeking out inexpensive ways to still remain fashionable. I heartily fall into this mindset, and never want to spend too much to look good. But honestly, are these good looking watches? They are exactly the type of things I’d expect to find at a 99 cents store. With prices between $45 – $65, the Tocs watches are probably cost about 2-3 bucks a pieces to manufacture. Like I said, some of these watches would be a thrill for a 12 year old. I can see myself gifting one of these to a grown woman, only to have a follow up question asked – inquiring when the Barbie doll to go with the watch would arrive.
You know what the real recessionista does? That person goes to eBay, because they know that for $50 one can get a lot, with about 25,000 choices alone for women’s watches under $50. You can probably triple that number if you combine men’s, women’s, and unisex watches together that fall into that budget. In fact, you can probably get 5 watches on eBay for $50 that are nicer to look than any of these Tocs watches. If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself. Even Tocs watches can be found for under half retail on eBay.
See WOMEN”S watches on eBay for $50 or under here.