Has anyone else tried to find a great watch for their kids? I have, and let me tell you, it’s much more challenging than you might expect. But heading into the new school year, I really wanted to get my 7 year old son a watch that would help him learn to tell time on an analogue device. (This is the watch lover in me coming out!) But in addition to wanting him to not be completely reliant on digital timepieces, I noticed that he was having some trouble understanding certain lengths of time - how long is 10 minutes really? So I decided to see if there was a watch out there that could help teach him how to understand time better. And if so, would it be comfortable, stylish, and not break after a week? I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I found two contenders and decided to give them both a try. Here’s how Blok and Flik Flak stacked up against one another.
First up was Blok.
Blok is a Swiss-made watch company that has a unique time management system to help kids really understand the passage of time. Their first watch, the Blok 33, has a rotating bezel that breaks time down into blocks (or bloks) of 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes. So if you were to say, “We’re leaving for school in 15 minutes,” the wearer could turn the bezel to the 15 minute Blok to get a clear visual representation of how long that is. So smart!
Blok 33’s lens is scratch resistant sapphire crystal which I loved - after all, scrapes and scuffs are for knees and elbows. The strap is made from a recycled Danish woven textile upper and Japanese Alter-Nappa liner and has a durable and comfortable Velcro closure. The watch is waterproof up to 100 meters, so while I don’t think he’ll be scuba diving with it anytime soon, it’s good to know that a splash of water or a dip in the pool won’t harm it. Plus, the packaging is super sustainable.
The final question was, would my son like it? I loved the classic style of the Blok watches (and sort of wanted one for myself), but would he feel the same way? I showed him a photo on the website and he cried, “I like the teal one!” Ok then. Now it was just time to place the order. At $179, the Blok 33 is pricier than other kids’ watches on the market. But for something this durable and well made, I was willing to spend more.
The Blok 33 arrived a few days after we placed the order and my son has barely taken it off since. He loves how it looks and has never complained about the fit or feel, which means that it’s super comfortable - I usually have to remind him to take it off before bed. He also loves the time management feature and I can tell that after just a few weeks he has a much better grasp on things.
Next up was Flik Flak.
The brand has been around since 1987 and is part of the Swatch Group. The company uses time-telling brother and sister duo Flik and Flak (the hands of the watch) to help kids learn to tell time. I’m not going to lie, I really did not understand the concept when I was on the website, but if they’ve been around since the 80s it must work, so I was willing to try it out. The brand also has an app that teaches kids to learn to read the clock with increasing degrees of difficulty.
Flik Flak watches are also Swiss-made and free of phthalates and BPA. They undergo traction, torsion, compression, impact and flammability testing, and are checked for resistance to sweat, swimming pool water, washing machine cycles up to a temperature of 100°F, and UV and humidity stains. The watches’ cases, loops, tongues and buckles are made from an innovative new bio-sourced material created with castor beans.
From a style perspective, Flik Flak is more trendy, in the sense that they have lots of different designs - unicorns, dinosaurs, sparkles, planets. They also looked cheaper to me than Blok (and with a price point of $40 - $60, they are). I could see my son picking a design based on what he was into right that moment and then completely losing interest a week later. I showed him the options on the website and he chose one with pufferfish on the band. (Probably because we had just seen them at the aquarium. Please refer to my aforementioned concern.).
When the watch arrived, my son was excited about the design and tried to put it on right away. Because it has a strap buckle, he needed a bit of help putting it on, but once we got it on him, he seemed to find it pretty comfortable. We downloaded the iPad app to help with telling time, which he lost interest in pretty quickly. But the different colored minute and hour hands did keep him from getting those mixed up.
A few days after we received the Flik Flak watch, I found it on the floor of my son’s bedroom. When I asked him what happened, he shrugged and said, “I like snakes now.”
While both Blok and Flik Flak are durable Swiss-made watches, Blok came out on top in our review. My son’s time-telling skills have noticeably improved and he just really likes the watch. Plus all of his friends’ parents have been asking about it - apparently their kids are coming home and saying they want one, too. And I don’t blame them. For any parent looking for a kid-proof watch that will truly last (in terms of durability and style), the Blok 33 is what you need. It will be the last watch you buy them for a very long time.
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