I’ve spent most of the day catching up on the best radio show still shooting through the airwaves and I almost snapped my neck in a double take when I heard about a new $300,000 watch that only tells you whether it’s day or night. A quick Google search pulled up this…
With no display for the hours, minutes or seconds the Day&Night offers a new way of measuring time, splitting the universe of time into two fundamentally opposing sections: day versus night. A new interpretation of Time based around two Tourbillons operating sequentially. The Day Tourbillon operates during the day, defining the wearer’s period of activity, and stops after twelve hours, handing over to the Night Tourbillon dedicated to man’s own private sphere. An avant-garde approach, that is different and even disturbing. Surely the ultimate luxury would be to take one’s time?
No, surely the ultimate luxury would be to frivolously fritter away money on manufactured luxury items that hide their lack of cleverness behind exciting and mystical marketing materials. Craftsmanship is one thing, and looking at this watch, it is most assuredly a work of art. The detail that went into its creation is obvious. But, that attention to detail is all for naught if the functionality of the piece is non-existent. That this watch can’t tell you what time of the day it is, even within an hour of accuracy, trumps all the the visual and technical appeal that it brings to the table.
Contrast this with the ‘It’s About Time’ clock. Both use a similar concept, that the exact time is most often not a necessity. However, where the ‘Day & Night’ watch abstracts this concept to the point of uselessness, the ‘It’s About Time’ clock moves beyond the concept, getting at the heart of the question, “What time is it?” and becomes a conversation piece in the process. As in all design, it’s the ability to solve the problem that is important, not the fancy sheen applied to the answer.