by: M J Plaster
“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.” ~Denis Waitely
If time were nothing more than an incidental commodity, it’s doubtful that the following phrases would clutter our everyday speech:
A stitch in time… Lost time… Found time… Time is money. Compress time… Time stood still. The time of my life… The sands of time… Real-time… Killing time… As time goes by… Father time… Time is on our side. Time worked against her.
Time is the greatest leveler in the universe. He or she who uses time wisely wins. Unfortunately, many have no grasp of time: they’re always late, annoying the daylights out of the punctual—at best. It’s interesting that those with no conception or appreciation of time seem to get the leftover goods time and again. Yet, they never seem to make the connection. Some even refuse to wear a watch! (I don’t like jewelry—whine, whine, whine!)
From Whence We Came
The heavenly bodies—the stars, the sun and the moon—served as our first watches, and they predate the sundial, the first major advance in timekeeping, by eons. The watch’s primary function remains to keep track of time. Modern watches originated as functional, portable, mechanical, clocks. 19th century watches were often carried in the pocket, and included a protective cover, similar to the cover on a woman’s compact. Often, they were attached to the clothing by a chain. Wristwatches entered the marketplace in the late 19th century as a woman’s fashion accessory, and credit goes to Cartier for popularizing the wristwatch with the leather band.
The first mechanical wristwatches required manual winding. During the 1950s, Hamilton Watch Company introduced the first battery-powered watch, which required no winding. The first digital watch appeared in the 1970s, but digital watches still have not replaced analog watches due, in part, to a wildly successful marketing campaign by Swatch. Toward the end of the 20th century, a consortium of Swiss watchmakers and worldwide graphical designers resurrected the analog watch as a throwaway fashion accessory, and introduced their first wild designs in 1983. It’s the design stupid! Swatches flew off the shelves and they remain true to their original concept—cheap, fun, bold, Swiss—analog.
Along the way, watches evolved into solar operated, kinetic powered (self-winding), lithium powered, digital, light-emitting diode (LED), liquid crystal display (LDC), and waterproof. Today’s men’s watches routinely include a calendar, and many women’s watches also include a calendar. But why stop there? You can find a watch to suit your every need. Today’s watches contain calculators, digital cameras, cell phones, and games. There have been several attempts to create a computer watch, but to date, only one has made it to market, the Ruputer, by Seiko, and it didn’t last. At the time, it proved unmarketable, but stay tuned…
Whether you want high-tech functionality or you prefer to concentrate on the aesthetics of your timepiece, watches are still about marking time, that precious, finite commodity around which our everyday lives revolve.
About The Author
M J Plaster is a successful author who provides information on shopping online for http://www.watches-4-u.net, http://www.watches-4-u.net/mens-watches.htm, and http://www.watches-4-u.net/womens-watches.htm. M J Plaster has been a commercial freelance writer for almost two decades, most recently specializing in home and garden, the low-carb lifestyle, investing, and anything that defines la dolce vita.
This article was posted on January 30, 2005