BUYING TIME Watches go high-tech Prestigious professionals, technological junkies and teens who want to look cool covet these sophisticated timepieces.

If James Bond or Batman were shopping for a wristwatch, he'd most definitely crack his wallet for a Cassio EEPROM or Triple Sensor Illuminator. Although these watches can't make time stand still, they can do just about everything else. For example, besides storing pages of data, names and telephone numbers, the EEPROM, which costs around $1,000, can be programmed to display the time in up to 29 time zones and can capture the infrared signals from a VCR's remote control, enabling its owner to record favorite TV shows when away from home (or the Bat Cave).
And for those James Bond-like jungle adventures, the Triple Sensor Illuminator provides accurate barometric pressure readings, temperature, altitude, longitude and latitude, all for around $300.
If you're still wearing the $10 Timex you got last Christmas, perhaps you find it hard to believe wristwatches have evolved to this level.
For proof, just take a look in some of the area's pricier department and jewelry stores.
There you will behold a variety of these sophisticated timepieces that seem suited more to superheroes and spies than regular folks -- and yet it's regular folks who are buying them.
"You'd be surprised that watches as expensive and sophisticated as these sell so well in this area," said Cheryl Heald, a sales associate at Reed's Jewelers and Jenss D & eacute;cor in the Eastwood Mall in Niles, where top-notch brands such as Rolex, Tag-Heuer and Bulova capture customers' appreciation.
"We sell watches that do just about everything, starting in the hundreds and going into the thousands," Heald said.
"We have diving watches that can withstand great depths of water, watches with a built-in stopwatch for sports fanatics and watches that display different moon phases or the time in different parts of the world."
They're 'cool': Heald said most of the people who plunk down big bucks for a fancy wristwatch come from cities such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland and are usually prestigious professionals or youths who want to sport a slick, trendy timepiece on their slim, teen-age wrists.
"The kids can't really afford them, but they want them because they are cool," Heald said.
"The older professionals who buy the Rolexes have usually dreamed of owning one their entire lives. They buy them as a lifetime investment, something that will eventually be willed to a family member."
Tom Duma, a co-owner of Klivans Jewelers in Warren, a store that sells big names such as Accutron, Movedo, Tag-Heuer and Bulova, said although Klivans doesn't sell expensive, sophisticated wristwatches in large quantities, they do indeed sell.
"It's like the difference between selling a Cavalier or a Ferrari," he said.
"Lots of people buy Cavaliers, but only a few people buy Ferraris. Of course, you don't expect to sell mass quantities of Ferraris."
Besides selling wristwatches made with gadgets geared toward divers and yacht-owners, Klivans also sells the Tag-Heuer Pilot Model wristwatch, a model that can be programmed to provide longitude, latitude, flight time, fuel consumption and rate of descent.
Who buys: And yet, Duma said, most of the time, pilots, divers and Regatta racers aren't the ones who buy these kinds of watches.
"Very few people who dive buy a diving watch and very few pilots buy a pilot's watch. They already have the technical equipment they need for those activities. It is the guy who is really into technology, the one who wants it on his wrist as a status symbol, he's the one who buys it, or maybe the yacht owner buys it just for looks, but not really to use when trying to win a race," Duma said.
Duma said most people don't realize how technologically advanced wristwatches have become.
"The average person is usually surprised to learn there are watches on the market that can do all of these things, and yet every year, watches come a little further and get a little more sophisticated," Duma said.
Duma mentioned another type of wristwatch new on the market that can be programmed to show perpetual calendars.
"It is amazing. The watch can accurately provide a calendar of months well into the future, knowing the difference between the odd and even months and leap years," Duma said. "There's no limit to what they'll think of next."