Watches
Do you like to wear a watch? What kind of watches do you prefer? Is a watch important for you? Have you ever got a watch as a gift? Why do some people wear/like expensive watches? Do you like expensive watches?
Vocabulary
  • To keep track (idiom) - to make certain that you know what is happening or has happened to someone or something.
  • Stopwatch (noun) - a watch that can be started and stopped in order to measure the exact time of an event, especially a sports event.
  • Strap (noun) - a narrow piece of leather or other strong material used for fastening something or giving support.
  • Comprehensive (adj.) - complete and including everything that is necessary.
  • Status symbol (noun) - a thing that people want to have because they think other people will admire them if they have it.
  • Timepiece (noun) - a clock or watch.
  • Rational (adj.) - based on clear thought and reason.
Questions and answers
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M: Rory, do you like to wear a watch?

R: Only for work purposes and even then it's just to keep track of the time and maybe sometimes to time certain events with a stopwatch or alarm function. The rest of the time my wrists are actually rather bare.

M: What kind of watches do you prefer?

R: The cheap and cheerful kind. Lots of people wear smartwatches that can keep track of everything under the sun as if knowing your heart rate at any given moment is something you should be paying attention to. I just like the watches with a long lasting strap and battery, maybe with a backlight function and waterproofing for emergencies. But that's about it. It's not anything very comprehensive.

M: Is a watch important for you?

R: Like I said only for some parts of work when a clock isn't readily available. And even then it's less for me and more of the people I'm working with since we need to coordinate things.

M: Have you ever got a watch as a gift?

R: Yes, as it happens, I was given an analog one with a blank face and a sort of heavy leather strap by my grandmother on my 18th birthday. It's long since stopped working but I keep it as a reminder of her and our friendship.

M: Why do some people wear expensive watches?

R: I suppose it's a status symbol or a part of fitting in with a particular community that values such things. You can signal the kind of person that you are that way and it makes for an interesting conversation piece if you run out of things to talk about, I suppose.
M: Do you like expensive watches?

R: I don't really like expensive anything, to be honest. I've had cheap watches that lasted for ages and I never had any problems with them. Quite why people are so invested in their timepieces. I have no idea since there are otherwise sane and rational people.
Discussion
M: Right. Watches. So... Well, not as bad as sitting or mirrors, I think, watches.

R: You think?

M: I think so. No? What do you think? Well, I think the first thing that we should point out is what the difference between a clock and a watch. So we have wrists, dear listener, right? Wrists, right? Hands. And this is a wrist. And on my wrist I can wear a watch. Right? Well, I don't because I never wear any watches. So a watch. But on the wall, right here, there is a clock. Well, there isn't a clock now. But we have clocks on our walls usually. Yeah? Can I have a clock on my wrist, Rory?

R: Well, you could but it would be a bit cumbersome. Usually watches are for your hands or wrists and clocks are for everywhere else.

M: Yes. And sometimes we call them a wrist watch. Right? So pretty much all watches that I can put on my wrist, they're called wristwatches. Right? Or no? Or just watches?

R: Well, that's a good question, actually. I think wrist watches are usually things that are focused exclusively on the time. Whereas a smartwatch you also wear on your wrist but that's for other things as well. It's connected to your phone accessories and things like that.

M: Yeah, yeah, you can speak about smartwatches and Rory said that they measure your heart rate. Yeah? They help you to keep track of everything. Of your heart rate, of your, I don't know...

R: People need to tell me in the comments why they need to keep track of their heart rate. Why is that important? I mean, I could get it if you had like some sort of medical condition, that might be a thing that you would need to know, but under any other circumstances, maybe a professional athlete too, under any other circumstances, why do you need to know that information?

M: I know, I know, when you go to the gym, and you go to some training, and then you kind of do some exercises. And then the instructor the trainer asks you, so what's your heartbeat? And then you go, oh, it's this, then you should kind of rest. Rest kind of like thirty seconds or rest one minute, until you kind of like, you're fine. Right? So, oh, yeah, they do ask you this question.

R: Can you not just count by putting your fingers on your pulse, though?

M: No, it's too complicated. You just look at your watch, and you just know.

R: Oh, no.

M: Just like, measure my... You know... Just a watch.

R: Do people not have very strong pulses? I think that's a bit silly.

M: Well, I didn't know. So do you have a smartwatch? Could you please tell us in the comments? Why do you have a smart watch? Right, and this watch is connected to your phone, right? This smartwatch.

R: Yeah. I think it's usually by Bluetooth, isn't it?

M: We can use a stopwatch function. So a stopwatch, when, it's a timer. Right?

R: I was just thinking about my watch here. I've got it in my room. Actually, I should really have. I should have had it with me. And but yeah, it's got usually regular watches have the ability to tell the time and the date and they have an alarm and a stopwatch which you just start and it measures the time between the start of the stopwatch and whenever you finish it.
M: And also a watch has a strap. So a strap...

R: Yeah, it goes around your wrist.

M: Yeah, goes around your wrist. So a strap. And Rory said that I prefer a watch with a long lasting strap. So kind of it doesn't, you know, break down and a battery. Yeah? And then also there is backlight function.

R: Well, a backlight is just you press the button and in the dark the screen lights up so you can see what, what the time is. Are you looking up a backlight now?

M: No, I'm looking up the 20 most expensive watches in the world 2022.

R: And what's the most expensive one?

M: $2.5 million for a watch. Yeah, I have no idea how to pronounce that.

R: Who buys these things?

M: I don't know, rich people, Rolex. Yeah, Rolex is pretty also expensive. So maybe, dear listener, you can say oh, I prefer to wear a Rolex. Or I wish I could have a Rolex. So if you don't like expensive watches, this is a nice structure to use. Oh, you know, I don't have a watch. But I wish I could have a Rolex, like a real Rolex for 4.5 million euros. But Rory, if you had the chance, like really, would you buy this a 5 million watch with diamonds?

R: No, I think that's a phenomenal waste of money. I assume it's $5 million. Imagine what you could do with $5 million. You could open a business or pay off your friends mortgages and do something good for the world. Not buy rubbish. It doesn't make a difference.

M: Oh, boy. Anyway, yeah, fun is over. Back to our band nine vocabulary. So what else can we say about the watch? So we can talk about some this long lasting strap and different functions. So you can say I prefer waterproof watches, because I often swim in the lakes or swimming pools. And then like is a watch important to you? And Rory said like only for some parts of my work when a clock isn't available. So... But, Rory, you don't usually wear a watch, right?

R: Not usually. Like I wear them on for when I'm at school, so that I know, well, what time it is, because there's not a clock on every wall.

M: Then we can get a watch as a gift. So as a present. We can give a watch and then we can get a watch. Maybe not $14 million watch with diamonds, but maybe like some other brands. Okay. When we talk about expensive watches, you can say that people enjoy expensive watches because they are a status symbol. So they kind of like your status. Louie Vuitton bag, a Rolex. What else? A Bugatti? Rory, are you with me?
R: I am, yeah. I'm still trying to get over the fact that people spend millions of dollars on watches.

M: Yes, they do. Well, why not? You know... And also like, some communities value such things, and they are considered to be a status symbol. And then Rory, you used this word timepieces. Did you mean watches?

R: Yes. I just needed to say something other than watches I was getting bored of talking about just watches, but a timepiece is just another name for talking about watches.

M: But can we paraphrase watches?

R: Chronometers.

M: Oh, no, but there are different kinds of watch. Right? But usually, it's just like smartwatch.

R: I don't know. I like the idea of calling your watch a chronometer. Some people will beg to differ with me. But like, if you think about something that measures the time that does the same thing. The other thing I was going to talk about was on the subject of measuring things, what just help you keep track of the time, which is a useful expression to have anyway, like you keep track of time, you keep track of how much money you're spending, for example.

R: What's this famous watch brand that...

M: You're not talking about Rolex?

M: Swatch, there we go.

R: I knew that was gonna be the one.

M: Swatch. Yeah... And can you say like, oh, I prefer to wear a Swatch, so to wear a Swatch, or to wear a Rolex?

R: I think so. Although, I doubt many people that are taking their IELTS exams will turn around and say anything like that.

M: Yeah, because we can use it like I want to buy a Monet, for example. It's not just like Monet you want to buy, but a picture, a painting of this artist, right? So... Thank you very much for listening! Hopefully, it didn't take too much of your time!

R: But there is time for us to say goodbye!

M: Lots of love and kisses! Bye!

R: Bye!
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