Flutterby™! : Watches are jewelry

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Watches are jewelry

2007-02-19 13:53:08.945342+00 by meuon 13 comments

Watches lose ground to cell phones - I have not worn a watch in years, for this very reason. - I relate to the 'watch as a handcuff' comment in this story as well. Are any of you wearing a watch for practical reasons?

[ related topics: Movies ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 18:26:35.528202+00 by: ebradway

Your link is broken. Here's the correct one....

I wear a watch. I use my watch. But I'm atypical.

What the article is hinting towards is this shift that's occuring in part of society. There is a transition occurring from asynchronicity to synchronicity. People are shifting from asynchronous communication modes, like snail-mail and even email to synchronous modes like instant-messaging and cell-phones.

The purpose of the watch, heralding back to early days of the railroad, was to synchronize yourself with rail events. That's actually the most significant purpose of my watch - making sure I can synchronize myself with the bus - i.e., make sure I'm at the bus stop before the bus I want departs.

The automobile similarly changed transportation from asynchronous to synchronous. My wife is out of town this week so I have the car. This means I can go jump in the car and go someplace independent of the bus schedule and routing.

It's important to note that this change is occurring in space AND time. Both where something happens and when something happens has less to do with external factors. I learned a new term a few months ago: approximeeting is having a general intention to connect with someone but with no pre-arranged plans, relying on synchronous communication to arrange a synchronous meeting (i.e., I'll call you on your cell phone when we get close).

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 19:08:18.454378+00 by: meuon

Sorry, I forgot Flutterby requires double quotes.

Approximeeting. Boy, I do a lot of that in Downtown Chattaboogie.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-19 23:37:44.962445+00 by: topspin

I wear a watch, but a new program on my phone might change that when I'm off. Sweet stuff for a yuppie phone.

At work, my funky hours [7on/7off, 12hr shifts, Thur 8pm to Thur 8am] mean I often don't know what day of the week it is, so being able to glance at a watch quickly helps sort that out.

Also, I have a watch in my caving/rappelling/hiking gear that's "hardy" and waterproof. It's good for those "we'll meet back here at..." conversations that might REALLY matter.

And a related topic in my head, my pocketknife is falling out of favor because when I travel I can't carry it on a plane or into some buildings. Larry, who likes knives and was traveling quite a bit for work, might find the same thing happening. Even when I'm NOT traveling, the knife gets left behind out of habit.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-20 00:10:44.537529+00 by: Larry Burton

Nazi TSA jerks took my McGrew. That taught me a lesson. I use to carry at least two pocket knives with me at all times. I have just recently started carrying any of them due to the incident that lead to my losing my McGrew. I knew I was traveling that morning but habit caused me to throw it in my pocket anyway.

As far as watches go, I can do time math much faster when I'm looking at an analog clock face than I can looking at a digital clock face. What I would love, though, is for a cell phone with bluetooth capabilities to be made that was about the same form factor as my watch. I can't stand the cell phone on my belt and I've managed to break a couple of them in my pocket. A Dick Tracy cell phone on my wrist would suit me wonderfully.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-21 23:35:19.660706+00 by: petronius

Maybe its a question of routine, but I find it easier to glance at my wrist than dig my cell out of my pocket, even if the cell clock is more accurate. Also, as Larry mentions, the analog clock face is actually an ingenious calculating aid, where we have a visual referent to how much time remains before some planned benchmark. Generally speaking, digital clocks (cell or otherwise) tell us what time it is; analog clocks tell us what time it isn't.

#Comment Sports made: 2007-02-22 01:31:21.125109+00 by: outsidecounsel

I wear a watch because I'm a runner. It is useful to me to get splits, and on some runs I use the timer feature to count down, so I know when it is time to turn around. (Strictly speaking, I usually check my watch enough to know, but it has happened to me that I've gone too far. Inevitably this has been when I'm at an out-of-town conference or meeting. I've never been too late, but I've been a lot more tired-- and chaffed-- than I'd planned.)

The pocket knife thing is another good point, and worthy of a separate discussion.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-22 20:58:58.79976+00 by: Jerry Kindall

I wear a watch because mostly, the cell phone is where it belongs -- at home. I take it with me only when I expect to need to be able to make or receive calls wherever it is I'm going, and know I would not be able to unless I took a phone with me.

For example, I wouldn't take my cell phone to work with me, because I have a phone there, and the people who need to contact me while I'm at work would call that number anyway, not my cell phone.

As a bonus, I never have to remember to turn my cell phone off at a movie or a funeral.

I do keep a phone in my car for emergencies. But it's only for calling 911 -- it doesn't have any service.

Remember, if people know they can reach you any time of the day or night no matter where you are, why then, that's exactly what they'll do. Then there is no enjoyable activity, no intimate moment, no vital train of thought that cannot be rudely interrupted by an irritating bleep at someone else's whim.

I am aware there are those who don't seem to mind carrying a leash with them at all times. I am surprised that there are enough of them to justify writing newspaper articles about them, though.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-23 00:03:12.041423+00 by: Dan Lyke

I haven't carried a watch in many more years than I haven't had a cell phone. Before it was cell phones it was a Palm Pilot, and I forget what it was before that, but the form factor of a wrist watch seems pretty useless to me.

The one thing I could imagine being useful is a watch with a sweep hand that I wore on the inside of my wrist, but really there aren't that many situations where I need to know intervals (that application), or where I'm going for an appointment where the computer doesn't alert me to that fact or the clock on the stove or in the car doesn't tell me how I'm doing in that endeavor.

Eric talks a little bit about the shifts between synchronous and asynchronous communication, but so little of my world is synchronous right now, and what is synchronous is done in the context of other clocks, that a separate device for telling the time has no place.

Agree with Jerry on cell phones in general, that's why it's nice to spend most of my time in a place where there is no cell phone coverage. People just don't expect to find me on my cell phone, so it's a useful tool for calling out or telling the time, but I don't get all that many calls.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-25 03:23:44.338412+00 by: Shawn

Like Dan, I stopped wearing a watch long before I started carrying a cell phone regularly (I don't get calls very often, so that's not a problem for me, and the convenience factor is high). At some point, I just decided that precision timekeeping wasn't as important as I had thought - and in situations where it was I could always find the time *somehow*. Now my cell serves those rare times where I *must* know what time it is.

#Comment Re: I Can't Go Anywhere Without My Watch! made: 2007-02-27 06:44:29.082453+00 by: The Online Watch Store [edit history]

I am learning here that watches may lose ground to wrist watches... I don't think that will happen anytime soon for me. I can't go anywhere without my watch. I don't really think watches are going away anytime soon. I have quite a few online stores that I run and one of my most successful stores is my Online Watch Store. Watches are more dependable for telling time compared to a cell phone... for one, you don't have to worry about charging your watch every 12 hours... watch batteries last for many years and never need charging. I don't know, to me a cell phone is a cell phone and a wrist watch is a wrist watch. Comparing cell phones to watches is like comparing apples to oranges.

Best Regards, Garry Conn

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-27 20:17:36.817727+00 by: Dan Lyke

Okay, this is interesting. I got over my initial "Eeek, link spammers", realized that Garry Conn has taken the time to learn enough about the Flutterby system to enter more about himself than many other posters, and came to the conclusion that we should welcome more participation.

So I went over to that link and looked at what was there. For the most part, it's the sort of watch that I associate with insecurities about one's physical assets, but there were a few digital wonders with "75 lap" timers. And I thought "Hey, that'd be cool", and then I realized that I really didn't care unless it was also integrated into my bike computer or was a part of some other telemetry gathering system.

So there again is an instance where, yeah, to me the watch needs to be a part of some other device, or it's jewelry.

Hmmm... Just got a new cell phone, based on reception abilities, but I wonder if there's a way to make it display a sweep second hand?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-27 20:37:36.105829+00 by: Diane Reese

"anaClock fills the Palm OS device screen with a large analog clock, complete with a moving second hand." This would work for my Treo anyway.


#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-28 00:21:43.494355+00 by: Mars Saxman

I stopped wearing a wristwatch eight or nine years ago, as a statement of chronological independence, but for the last few years my phone has been an effective pocketwatch. If I'm doing something where I don't have a phone handy, it most likely doesn't involve caring about the precise time.

Call it a leash if you like, but I want to be reachable. I like talking to my friends, so I feel happy, not annoyed, when the phone rings. If I'm busy, I just mute the ringer and let them leave a message. No problem. And the fact that we're all reachable all the time means we don't have to carefully work out plans in advance; we just make it all up as we go, coordinating via text messages and occasional phone calls, which means no more stressing out about the unexpected.