Why is wearable tech so analogue?

Analogue watches are worn by stupid people who like a lot of hard work when it comes to telling the time.

To be a bit more fair, they are not ‘stupid’. They are mental. And, usually, attracted by shiny shiny things, which digital displays tend not to be.

I’ve discussed before (here) how only crazy people want to go through all the pain and calculation required to tell the time from an analogue watch. In contrast of course, a digital display just tells the time without the need for mental calculations to convert from a collection of seemingly random patterns into the actual time.

For some years, the wristwatch went into decline. When needing to know the time, modern generations just looked at their smartphones. The wrist was freed!

But, more recently, the wristwatch has returned. Except of course, it is not allowed to be called a ‘wristwatch’ but has to be ‘wearable tech’ or liberally use the word ‘smart‘ instead.

Essentially, of course, it is now nothing more than just an extended mobile phone screen disguised as a wristwatch.

This, is quite a cool idea, although it would be a lot cooler if the entire phone disappeared inside the watch, and the larger screen of a smartphone size was the display accessory kept in the pocket until needed.

This wrist based ‘wearable tech’ is currently being sucked up by the wealthy and by the early adopters.

The ‘early adopters’ are usually of modern mind and knowledge. Yet, to my horror, they are attracted by future tech displaying analogue time displays.

Why would a modern minded human want an analogue display on their wrist?

Ah yes, it’s because they are mental.


  1. I don’t see the point of smart watches as an extension of something else, though presumably they have their uses.

    As for the old-fashioned analogue wristwatch, I would rather conclude it is actually one of the easier ways of telling the time. Why have to fumble about in your pocket to find your phone when the thing is right there on your wrist? Reading them is not too hard unless presumably you’re five years old and struggling to learn how to “tell the time”. But everything is hard to begin with- reading, writing, adding up, riding a bike… but as an adult they have become second nature to you. Same with analogue timepieces.


      1. Digital watches really just display LCD blocks arranged in such a way as to vaguely resemble numbers. But both they and analogue watches provide useful information about the actual time. What’s your point?


        1. Ok. Say the time is 7:40. The digital watch will display the numbers 7:40. Most digital displays aren’t vaguely resembling numbers, they are clearly displaying numbers.

          Meanwhile, an analogue display will have a smaller ‘hand’ pointing at an area between a blip marked 7 and a blip marked 8. It will also have a larger hand pointing at the blip marked 8.

          We have to do a lot of recalculations and weird stuff in order to be able to say it’s 7:40. We multiply the number the big hand is pointing to by 5 in order to get the 40. Even though the little hand is slightly nearer the 8, we mentally move it back to the 7.

          All this mental calculation has to go on in order to know it’s 7:40 from an analogue display. Meanwhile a digital display just says 7:40.


          1. And yet most people are surely capable of doing this with relative ease before they’ve reached maturity. Not to mention many people do not really think in digital terms- instead of “seven forty” they will typically say “twenty to eight”. It’s not too hard- you don’t even need to see the number. If the hand is a third of the way round, it’s twenty past, two thirds, twenty to.

            Why are we arguing about such simple matters anyway?


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