At this point, late ’90s and early 2000s nostalgia is a quintessential part of any Millennial's existence. But we mustn't forget about the little things that made our childhoods great, like the best watches we wore in high school. Discussions about lessons we learned from old television shows and trends we miss from the past are mainstay, but sadly, watches are often left out of the conversation.
We may have fancy watches taking our calls and paying for our groceries these days, but I can remember a time when most of us valued aesthetic more than functionality. The watches of our school days had a ton of pizazz, much like all of our childhood fashions. As backwards as it might sound, keeping time was more of an added bonus to wearing a watch, since we usually wore them just to make a statement. Luckily, we had some of the most fun and colorful time-keepers around to brighten up the school halls.
Smart watches certainly have their appeal, what with the 10,000 other things they can do besides tell time. And classic analog wristwatches will always be timeless. But nothing can compare to the awesome watches that made us "cool kids" back in the day. Here’s to the seven time-tellers from high school we secretly want to break out for one last hurrah.
1. Wrap Watch
Summer Colorful Wrap Around Watch, $40, Etsy
Did you truly have a childhood if you never had an assortment of silly bands, rubber bracelets, and wristbands weighing down your arm? Anything layerable was the way to go back then. That’s what made wrap watches so bomb.com.
They were like jewelry, friendship bracelets, and watches all wrapped into one great contraption. You could achieve a cohesive, layered look without having to pile on and coordinate a dozen separate pieces.
Classic Black Casio G-Shock, $24, eBay
G-shocks were the ultimate “cool kids only” watch. They could get pretty costly, so we usually felt like big shots when we rocked them. I'm not gonna lie here. I had a collection of colorful, monochrome G-Shocks that got a little out of hand. I'm embarrassed to say my archive of awkward cellphone-in-mirror bathroom selfies proves I had an obsession with making sure everyone could see that my outfit perfectly matched my watch.
Peach G-Lide Baby-G Shock, $39.99, eBay
What Millennial can forget about the Baby-G watch craze? They came in the cutest colors like pastel pink, baby blue, and ice white. Sure, their price tag may have come with tons of pleading, but it was totally worth it when we finally broke our parents down.
4. LED Digital Watch
Digital LED Sports Watch, $1.04, eBay
While all of the buttons and gizmos on G-shocks got a little complicated, silicone LED watches were all about simplicity. They didn’t have fancy faces full of gears, ticks, and numbers. Instead, the color of these gadgets was their most important feature. Although they were usually marketed as sports watches, I don't recall my friends and I ever using them for athletic purposes at all.
5. Jelly Bangle Wristwatch
Unisex Digital Watch, $19.95, Amazon
We had a stint with colorful bangle watches, too. These silicone wristwatches were more like rubber bracelets. You could even stack on two or three if you were feeling particularly festive. Of course, you had to have one in a highlighter color because we Millennials loved everything neon.
6. Slap Watch
Slap On Rubber Wrist Watch, $6.95, eBay
The day we discovered slap bracelets, our lives changed. Were they toys or fashion accessories? Who even cares? All I know is I didn’t think things could get any better until slap watches became a thing. I still can’t figure out what was so satisfying about slapping anything we could onto our wrists, but hey, I wasn't complaining.
7. Cartoon Character Watch
1990s Looney Toons Tazmanian Devil Wrist Watch, $30, Etsy
We wouldn't be Millennials if we weren't obsessed with the crazy toons we grew up watching on TV. Remember when cartoon character shirts were a thing? Well, so were cartoon watches. Sure, they were a little childish, but who would dare clown you when you were rocking someone as kickass as Bugs Bunny on your timepiece?
I guess we had to grow up sometime and trade our funky, fresh childhood watches in for classier, business models. Our smart watches may not have the same spunk, but at least we have our high school nostalgia to keep the memory of our favorite watches alive.
Images: Nickelodeon (1); Courtesy Brands