One of the arguments about watches is its value in the modern day society. Will there be a time that timepieces will be an ancient relic? I think so. About 15 years ago, if you asked someone for the time, they would look at their wrist watch then tell you the time. Today, if you ask someone for the time they will ask whether you don’t have a phone and walk away.
Our attention is mostly spent on the phone. Therefore, if we needed to know the time our natural instinct would be to check the phone. Others will argue that this is simply a millennial thing, that older generations still use watches to tell time which is not true. In fact, if there is a phone feature the older generation has embraced, it is checking the time and forwarding WhatsApp messages. So, why do people buy watches anymore?
Watches are a sign of your social status. The affluent in earlier times were the only ones who could afford a watch. Back then, only designer watches were available. Although watches have become more affordable now, the mentality is still the same. People who embrace the wristwatch culture are perceived as respectable people in the society. Among those who know the handshake, a watch can show success and taste.
Watches come in different kinds of designs that overshadow the utility purpose. Most designer watches are made of an expensive material such as gold and encrusted with diamonds. Designers like Rolex, Cartier, Patek Phillipe, Swarovski and others design watches in collaboration with celebrities. For instance, Jay-Z aka Sean Carter has his own line of Hublot watches.
Just like clothes, watches go in and out of season depending on its colour or shape. According to Lifestyle Asia Magazine, the current in-season style in watches is this emerald colour. Back in my high school days, these bracelet watches were the coolest trend. It then went to big chunky watches and now people are wearing more skeleton watches.
Watches complete an outfit. Most people pick out watches solely because it complements the outfit of the day like the way we pick out shoes. Watches have undeniably been reduced to bracelets with an expensive price tag. Occasionally, we might glance at it to check the time but most of the time, it is to admire its beauty.
Social experiments have shown that people don’t know how to read time on analogue watches. Jimmy Kimmel, a popular TV talk show host, has a recurring segment on his show where someone goes on the streets and interviews random people. In this episode, a number of children were asked to tell the time using an analogue watch. All of them except one got it wrong.
As much as we disregard the watch, it still has an advantage over a phone in terms of telling the time. Watches can work continuously for years without running out of battery. Some watches use solar energy and kinetic energy which basically run for life. As for a phone, it constantly needs charging due to heavy use and average battery life. Therefore, it’s not completely reliable.
It is easier, also, to check the time on a wristwatch as opposed to the phone. For a phone, you have to reach for it in the bag, unlock it then check the time. For a watch, it only takes a quick glance to tell the time.
A watch is a convenient way to tell time. However, the phone’s clock has modified functions which are not found in the usual wristwatch. For instance, phones come with a stopwatch and an alarm app which normally are not found in watches. It also allows you to set reminders which helps in planning daily tasks.
Watches are still useful in terms of telling time. However, the mobile phone companies, such as Apple and Samsung, have made significant technological advancements with the introduction of digital watches into the market. This puts them in direct competition with other watch companies who are yet to modernize their watches.
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