New Time Pieces


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Most watches which people wear are round shaped with two needles. The bigger (longer) needle covers the entire circular path — circumference in one hour during which time the shorter needle moves one step from (1 to 2) or (3 to 4) etc . The entire path that the shorter needle covers from 1 to 12 takes half a day. This indicates that the needle moves during an entire day from 1 to 12 twice. This is based on the fact that the entire full day consists of 24 hours. A more explicit pattern in some watches is to have numbers from 1 to 12 and then below these numbers (smaller sized) digits are written 13, 14 and the last number appearing  being written — 24.

The above pattern is a basic pattern of most round shaped watches. Modifications of the basic pattern are also available especially in those watches that are sold in the market. One need not discuss the various modifications but they are made to make wrist watches attractive for sale. Some well known companies make their wrist watches attractive enough so that people may be tempted to buy them. These watches are not just meant to tell the time of the day or night, but to make their wearers feel proud that they are wearing attractive (and expensive) gadgets on their wrists.

Watches are not meant to put on  wrists only as fashionable gadgets. In fact there are some companies which use these gadgets to advertise the products they are selling. The more attractive they are the better is considered their selling ability — better advertising.

There are similarly fashionable and attractive means of putting up electronic time keepers (clocks) on the walls of some rich households. These are completely different from the traditional circular shaped clocks. These are electronic timers that don’t have needles but have electronic digits that keep on changing with time. A particular time is indicated by three sets of digits — hour, minute and second. The last two digits indicating seconds keep on changing and after 60 seconds the minutes’ digit advances by one unit. This step goes on for the minute digits also which when they increase from 59, change the hour digits by one unit.

These time keepers are designed to share other infos also — the year, month and date of the days. They also have a feature to indicate the temperature of not only the room where they are installed but also outside temperatures. This info becomes useful at any time or any day, but especially during very hot  or very  cold seasons. This allows persons  to dress accordingly   — wear light clothes in summer and winter clothes when temperatures fall.

These electronic timers also have special features — the present year 2024  has February consisting of 29 days after which they will have a 28 day February month.

Some people have got their timers designed to give information about their anniversaries and birth days of their children and their mothers or grandparents etc.

Some of the timers have interesting and unique features. They have been especially designed to play  music at some predetermined times. One wonders at these features. Is their any limit to what special features that can be designed? Probably not. It all depends on the imagination of the persons owning these interesting gadgets and the engineers who put these features into practice.

So if you want to observe interesting and funny properties of watches, come to my place. You will not be disappointed.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 Feb 2024.

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