Better watch out . . .

December 09, 1993|By Vida Roberts

They're hard to resist, those cheapo watches with so much fun in their works. You can find them covered with "jewels," rotating golf balls, twinkling Christmas trees and just abut any face design that keys in to a hobby, sport or season.

How can anything that works be so inexpensive? Bob Kittrell, who sells all watches at $14.99 from the Time Zone cart in Harborplace Light Street pavilion, says the quartz movements in these watches are just as accurate as those in more expensive watches. The lower price is in the case itself.

The cases from China and Hong Kong are not assembled with the strict quality control exercised by famous brand manufacturers, so the chances of getting a lemon are greater. The crystal may pop out or a hand may stick.

But as long as they run, they are as accurate as any other watch, says Mr. Kittrel, who guarantees Time Zone watches for one year.

However, there are those street vendors and traveling dealers who come and go, so buying a cheapie is not a sure thing.

On the street, you're buying fun and fashion, not an heirloom timepiece, so don't expect too much. The metals may be inferior, and the case a bit shaky. Learn to bargain. Whatever the asking price is, offer a lot less. The working part of the watch costs less than $2, the design itself can only be measured by its appeal. A cute kitty cat watch is hard to resist.

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