Deconstructing The Watch: Why We Wear Them

by Randy Murray on October 9, 2014

Here’s a simple question: why do you wear or not wear watches?

Habit? Style? Or is there something more?

For me it’s all three. I’ve always worn watches, pretty much as far back as I can remember. My Grandpa Murray carried a stainless steel pocket watch on a leather strap. And I remember when the first digital watches came out. I had a Timex that you had to hold down a button to see the time displayed in a tiny window from dull red LEDs. I now own four watches, a titanium-cased solar-powered Seiko, a thinner, dressier Seiko solar (neither of them expensive), a cheap pocket watch, and the Timex Expedition that I wear most often. I’ve had them all for years.

But why do I wear watches? I wear no other jewelry, just a watch. I’m used to it being there. When I work at home I sometimes don’t put one on, and I have to admit that without it, I feel weird and a little undressed.

And I can see the time in most rooms. So why wear a watch? For me it’s information at a glance. It is so simple to glance at my wrist. There, without thought or calculation, is information that I need. The time and the date. That’s it.

It’s very effective. I can use that information in a number of ways. Even the ticking is soothing. But could there be more useful information available?

With something strapped to my wrist, in contact with my body, there’s a lot of other potentially useful information that could be gathered and displayed.

I think that the future of watches and wearable devices will be not what information that thing can show to you or let you do, but what information it can collect FROM you for use by you or others of your choosing (like medical professionals).

Imagine a time, perhaps soon, where your watch could warn you about a coming stroke, heart attack, or seizure and maybe even call for help. Imagine a watch that becomes your fitness partner and coach.

The why of wearing watches might reveal what tomorrow’s why might be, what it might become. Don’t rule it out just yet. You might find that there’s some very valuable, potentially life-saving information that your future watch might just collect and display to you.

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