Analog vs. Digital Clocks. Original is Better.
February 1, 2011 3 Comments
So this has always been a pet peeve of mine. I’ve never liked them since the days of the Casio waterproof watch that made my wrist smell like rotten broccoli: Digital clocks.
Then I see this Audi commercial where the camera flies through this home saying “good night luxury, stuffy and outdated.” Panning across an old victorian home fit with chandeliers and overflowing cups of jewel-encrusted cufflinks… Then the camera cuts to the new Audi, all of the lights go on and the futuristic robot mom countdown-to-1 voice starts staying “good morning illumination. Good morning innovation….” And what is in the middle of this out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new scene? Its an analog clock.
That’s a clock with hands. Tick tock.
After all that “technology driven,” “illumination,” and “innovation”….you can’t design anything better than an analog clock. How awesome is that.
I don’t need to know EXACTLY what time it is. A general round number would suffice. Visually, it’s easier to pick up the cue from the position of the hands on the face of the clock than it is to read and discern what “value” is displayed on the clock. A digital face, an exact time….it’s just less comfortable to read.
I know there’s a need for digital watches and clocks for people who need to time things down to the second or millisecond. Those people are racing or scuba diving and are training, competing or working in an exact environment. They are taking the essence of time and working with it on a much smaller scale than most regular people do on a day to day basis.
It would be like the difference between a chef and a chemist. Both are working with chemical reactions, one is just much more precise about his measurements.
That’s just too much for most of us. Especially when it comes to time. I know what 15 minutes looks like. So when it’s 7 minutes to 7 pm, I don’t want to have to do any math to figure out what 15 minutes from now is on a digital clock. (Clue 1: after 59 you start at 1. whaaa?) . I want to be able to look at my watch and see when I need to start running instead of walking.
The same concept of the analog clock can be carried over as you look to your left at the speedometer. Digital speedometers kill me. They might be worse and could possibly have spurned my scorn for digital clocks.
I don’t need to know if I am going 54…. 55….. 56….. 55…… 54….. 55….. 54….. then watching all the numbers flash into blinking 8’s, rapidly descending as I brake…..or is it going up because I accidentally hit the gas!?
No thank you. The dial is good enough for me here, too.
I am glad to see that Audi, who takes much pride in design, is able to feel like they can leave perfect alone.
Post: In this photo you’ll see the Ferry Building in SF amidst a lot of visual noise. Check out how easy it is to make out the time on the building. If that clock were digital, it would much less discernible and probably much more ugly.