Friday, November 28, 2008

Nonhorologists

I love every single paragraph of this seemingly esoteric article on watch settings in the New York Times business section today. The "most people don't notice..." lede is one of my least favorite formulas, but when it highlights what most of us are missing as nonhorologists, I am all for it. Then there's the precise description of research methods (checking out Amazon.com, eBay, and some print advertisements) and the outlier settings. And check out the sourcing on a lot of the arcana. While the advertisers echo one another about 10:10 as an industry standard--which is common knowledge enough to have been a Trivial Pursuit answer--the weird stuff comes from tech blogs. I like this note about what happens to 10:10 in an era when wristwatches are worn less often:
Watchmakers are, naturally, fretting over how to sell watches to a generation that is in the habit of consulting their phones for the time, so it is perhaps fitting that the most-hyped phone has its own time-related intrigue. Many bloggers have wondered why the time on the iPhone in commercials, with few exceptions, reads 9:42 a.m., even when the capability being highlighted on the phone — like watching the “Pirates of Penzance” and being compelled to order calamari from a seafood restaurant — might seem atypical behavior over the day’s first cup of coffee.

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