Would TIME CENTRE Honor Their Warranty on KENKO Watch?

by Daniël van Hoving

Not sure if TIME CENTRE manufactures watches or just import and distribute, but they sell watches in packaging with the name "Time Out" on it.

You might have seen their watches in The Crazy Store, one of the outlets their watches are for sale at.  

Now if you're like me, usually when you buy something and it breaks, you might just throw it somewhere in a drawer and forget about it.  Sure products have "warranties" on them, but it's always a schlep to search for where you put the till slip and the packaging for the product, that is if you haven't thrown them away long ago.

Recently I purchased myself a KENKO calculator watch.  I remember having one years ago in school, but, came watermelon festival, I didn't notice my watch got drenched in watermelon juice as we school kids were bombarding each other with watermelon pieces.  Only later I noticed my calculator watch was deceased from drowning in watermelon juice.  

But I do remember how handy it always was to have a calculator handy, because you always unexpectedly want to make some calculations. 

So here I saw a Time Out KENKO calculator watch again, and purchased it.  It is a KENKO KK-628 to be exact.   

At home, I put it on my wrist.  But, oh dear, it wasn't long before the strap came off the watch.  Why did that happen?  

I then noticed it's a design flaw.  There was only a thin, thin piece of plastic keeping the bar that holds the strap, and it had broken out.

Noticing that the design is pretty weak there, I wondered if another unit of the same would be the same in this regard.  Surely the manufacturer knows that the purpose of a wrist watch is to be worn on the arm with a strap;  was it maybe just this particular unit that was unlucky?   KENKO seems to be aiming at making sports watches, at least judging by the picture inside the packaging of men practising different sports.  Surely their watches shouldn't come apart this easily!

Something inside me didn't want to just throw the watch in a drawer and forget about it this time.  I was going to be so happy with a calculator always at hand, in fact just beneath my hand on my arm.  I was not going to deny myself this pleasure.

I assessed the situation. What could be done?

On the back of the packaging it says at the bottom, "Please do not return the watch to the store where you purchased it from."

Instead, one has to send it back to Time Centre's head office. But that could mean weeks and weeks of my being without my watch. Was it worth all the trouble and the postage and the waiting?

Well, I considered my options while reading the warranty card stuck on the back of the packaging...

Wondering what my options were, I studied the warranty card. It reads:



1. The mechanism of this watch is warranted against latent defects for a period of 60 calendar days from the date of purchase.

2. The warranty excludes any and all defects in the battery, lens, strap or bracelet of the watch.

3. In the event of a faulty or malfunctioning mechanism, kindly return the entrie watch to:

TIME CENTRE, P.O. BOX 76382, WENDYWOOD, 2144 with an accompanying cover letter (containing your name and contact details) and proof of purchase.

4. The watch will then be replaced or repaired. Provided that the defects or malfunction arose within the aforementioned 60 day period.

5. The watch must under no circumstances be returned to the store from which it was purchased.

6. This warranty is a condition of sale and purchase of the watch shall be deemed as consent thereto.

Please do not return the watch to the store where you purchased it from."

Mmmmmm... ok, did clause number 2 mean that they would not honor the warranty in my case? The bracelet has come off the unit. And the warranty excludes the bracelet.

In the end I decided that what they really mean is they won't replace or repair the bracelet if it had undergone wear and tear. This wasn't wear and tear; this was a faulty brand new unit. And realistically, it was the body of the watch that had a piece of it broken out and that's why it won't hold a strap. The strap itself is 100%.

Should I return it to Time Centre? Aside from having to be without the watch for weeks then anyway, it could always get lost in the mail, and then I would really have nothing.

But, what can I do with a watch that cannot be worn? I had to just go for it and take the chance.

I wrote the cover letter on my computer.

"28 October 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

Last Friday I purchased the accompanying watch, very glad at the prospect of having the very useful calculator with me at all times.

However, it became evident that there was a weak spot in the body of this unit, making it unsuitable for wear. Where the watch is supposed to hold the pin for the strap, a small piece of the body of the unit appears to have had become dislodged, making this watch unable to be worn.

I would be very happy if you could replace or repair the unit. I'm including a copy of the purchase receipt.


..... "

I mailed it off and then, let be what will be.

The weeks went by. I'm not quite sure how many weeks because I didn't keep a log, but it was probably about a month.

And then, one day, there was a package for me. Disappointment struck me. It seems after waiting all this time, my parcel I sent Time Centre came back. What was the problem?

I opened the brown, fat stuffed envelope and took out the watch. My cover letter and the accompanying photocopy of the receipt was in there too. Nothing else. No letter from Time Centre. Why was it returned?

But, when all seemed lost, suddenly something occured to me. I had sent the watch back with the watch's hard plastic packaging cut open. This wasn't cut open.

IT'S A NEW ONE! It's still sealed. I cut it open and took the watch out. Yep, this one's strap is just fine. The watch can be worn on the wrist! Joy filled my heart, as my wrist was soon accessorized with a very buttony timepiece.

I studied the envelope carefully, and realised the reason I thought it's mine that was returned to me is because they sent it in exactly the same kind of envelope with the same black filt pen address writing and the same post office stickers on it, but it wasn't the same one I had sent.

I looked carefully inside for a letter from Time Centre. Nothing. It was just my own letter and proof of purchase, and the not-broken watch. Odd that there was no letter from them, but I soon didn't care. I had my watch, and this one has not had the same defect yet, even though I've worn it quite a few times by now.

So, in conclusion,Time Centre did honor their warranty on my Kenko watch, without a word. Literally.

And, perhaps I've learned that I shouldn't just throw defective merchandise in a drawer and forget about it. Because if I go to the effort of saving the receipt and packaging with it, and actually go through the whole riekmeraai of sending it back, then maybe I might actually have a happy ending to the story of my purchase.

The part of the watch where the straps are attached, are obviously far too flimsy and just plain weak. This makes the watch unsuitable for the purpose for which it was made, which is to be worn on the wrist, strong enough to stay there during the day's activities. So the watch as is is too weak to hold, but Time Centre is still an honorable company to have replaced the watch. With the exact same one type of watch though, meaning it too won't hold onto its straps because it's the same weak design. The product basically just needs to be made stronger and tougher.

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