Monday, 8th August 2005



My watch is way to complex.

Why a problem?

It is a nice watch, but it fails to tell time adequately.

I'd love to rapidly know a rough indication of time, preferring speed over accuracy. I never succeed.


My watch is to crowded with details.

It was designed for accuracy, not for speed. The desired hours are hidden behind irrelevant exact details. I don't care about exact time. Never ever have I woken up two seconds late.
The irrelevant seconds hand draws most attention.
  • The hand is the biggest,
  • is most bright in colour,
  • ticks noticeably
  • and moves every second.
I don't live by the second, but my watch does. If only I could just remove that hand.
  • The numbers are too large and completely redundant.
  • The hour ticks look too much like hands. The smaller ticks are useless.
  • The hour hand is the most important, yet attracts least attention.
  • The date and weekday look too much like a hand.
  • It looks like a fourth hand at first glance.
  • The date is often wrong, after a date with less than 31 days.
The minutes are irrelevant to me too.
  • I wake up after sunrise, have a breakfast at leisure pace with fresh coffee.
  • The Netherlands are still asleep when I answer e-mails from different time zones.
  • During Dutch office hours it gets a bit more busy with e-mail and phone calls.
  • After office hours the rush hour is over at SUMit roster helpdesk.
  • Some quiet Dutch radio programs close the day at night.
Minutes are irrelevant during all of these activities.
In SUMit HQ I hardly ever wear a watch. Outdoors I desperately try to find hours between all visual rubbish. It is troublesome.

It is me who is the exception? Are minutes and seconds relevant to other people? The standard answer: Yes, as we have to catch a train.

I doubt so. Have a look at any train station. See a platform full of waiting people. All of those folks are too early. They have an abundance of time because their notion of time is not exact enough. It is only the platform clock that knows if the train is on time.


  1. Get rid of all visual pollution. Get rid of the seconds, numbers, small ticks and date!
  2. Assign top priority to the hours.
  3. Don't show minutes, or fully subordinate them.
Have a look at the design for a new clock.
  • The face shows all 12 hours.
  • The dark circle quickly shows time.
  • The small bright circle is the minutes hand.
  • Read hours and minutes at one single glance.
Clock, not moving Time goes round in circles.
  • Minutes make a small round every hour.
  • 12 hours round half a day.
The two clocks on this page show different times. You probably did not notice the difference yet. See, a few minutes does not make a difference.

You probably did not even notice that the top clock shows the exact time. Exact time is irrelevant for you too.

Till next nut,