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Andy Gets All Wound Up

How Many Watches Do We Really Need?

This segment was originally broadcast on Dec. 3, 2006.

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

I can't make out what it is with people and watches. No one needs more than one to find out what time it is but most of us have half a dozen watches in drawers around the house that they we never use.

There are an incredible number of ads for watches in newspapers and magazines, so people must buy a lot of them.

Some magazines have a whole special section. They look great, but most of them aren't time pieces, they're show pieces.

If you wore an expensive wrist watch like some of the models shown in the ads, you'd probably go around all day with your sleeve rolled up so people could see it.

The other day I asked Keith Kulin, who edits these pieces, to bring in any watches he had home so I could put them on my desk here. I was expecting four or five; Keith brought in sixteen watches that no one in his house wears anymore. I think you'd find these in a lot of homes too.

Watchmakers think of all sorts of clever ways to make watches look unusual so we'll buy another new one. Different numbers, Roman numerals sometimes, other times they just indicate the hour with a dash or something.

And then there is the pocket watch. No one I know carries a pocket watch anymore. Pocket watches for men went out of style with vests. A vest always had a watch pocket but when men stopped wearing vests they stopped using pocket watches because there was no place to put one.

I bought one watch several years ago because it only costs $9.99. I was going to give it to one of the kids for Christmas but I never did. I don't like metal watchbands, my wrist hairs get caught in it.

I pass stores all the time with windows full of expensive watches. I think a lot of women wear watches as jewelry.

A diamond-encrusted watch ought to have a price tag showing instead of the time. The funny thing about an expensive watch is, it doesn't keep any better time than a cheap watch.

I wear a cheap watch. Not a lot of extra stuff on the face. Keeps perfect time. The only time I reset it is every few years when I put in a new battery. I wear it face down.

I got a watch from CBS for being on 60 Minutes for a long time. I got it a long time ago, too. After all these years you'd think CBS could spend a little more and give me a watch with numbers on it.
Produced By Andy Rooney