Remember when a timepiece just told time? Today's watches and other timepieces provide a slew of functions, from multiple time-zone-tracking to alarms and even musical accompaniment and remote-control television operations. The following new items may be available at local stores. Prices do not include shipping and handling.
World watch: Wenger, maker of Swiss Army knives, has entered the watch business big time, with numerous models geared to a variety of needs. The Escort, a large sporty-looking model, has a rotating bezel that allows the wearer to track time in all of the world's 24 time zones. Set around the bezel are major cities in every time zone. Just line up the city in the zone you are in with the current time, then locate the city in the time zone you are interested in. A set of numbers on the clock face, close to the bezel, will give you the time in that city. The watch also displays the day of the month and has a separate hour hand that measures military time. The watch comes with a black or brown leather strap.
Wenger Swiss Army Knife World Time Zone watch (item No. 74730) is $180. For a nearby store, call (800) 431-2996 and ask for the consumer department.
Dressing up: Most watches that provide dual time zones are pretty clunky looking, making them less attractive for dress-up occasions--particularly for women. Pedre, makers of reasonably priced watches of all kinds, has come out with a sleek elegant-looking dual-face watch ideal for evening wear. The face shows two clocks operated by independent quartz movements. The watch has a gold-tone case and black leather band.
Dual Face Watch (item No. M001) is $89.95 from Christine Columbus mail order; telephone (800) 280-4775.
Booked up: My how the time flies when you are reading a good book. But you always can tell how late it's getting, no matter where you are, with Zelco's new battery operated Timely Bookmark. The lightweight clip-on unit displays the hour, minute and seconds, and, with the press of a button, keeps track of the month and day while it marks your place in the book. The clock operates on one 1.5-volt battery (included).
Timely Bookmark (No. 10084) is about $13. For a nearby store, call Zelco; tel. (800) 431-2486.
Remote control: No need to rely on the hotel's television remote control device when you have your own on your wrist--along with several kinds of alarms, a stopwatch, a calendar, and, oh yes, an eight-digit calculator. Casio, which has set the standard for inexpensive watches packing a daunting array of functions, has just unleashed its newest timepiece, the Wrist Remote Controller, which controls both TV and cable channels. Follow the instructions to key in the watch's remote control feature to the code for the particular brand of television you have (28 brands are covered), then press away. Buttons on the watch also control TV power and volume. The calculator function is operated by three rows of soft-touch numbered buttons with the television control buttons doing double duty to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
Casio TV Wrist Remote Control Watch with Alarm and Calculator (CMD40B-1) is about $90. Available at electronics stores or mail order from Global Products Center; tel. (800) 633-0633.
Gear & Gadgets appears the first week of every month.