The world's most accurate digital watch." This watch is controlled by radio waves set according to the U.S. atomic clock in Boulder, CO. A tiny antenna receives the signal, ensuring that the watch is up to the minute at all times.
That copy for a new Casio watch appears in the Skymall catalog, an inflight catalog for road-weary travelers who need a quick shopping fix. It caught my attention, frankly, because I'm in the market for a new digital watch. But I never thought of greater accuracy as a key watch selling point.
Don't get me wrong. I like to be on time. It's actually somewhat of an obsession of mine (my whole family's, really) that dates back to the minute I learned to tell time. My mother has had a lifelong habit of setting various clocks in the house ahead five or ten minutes—sometimes more. We refer to this altered state as "Beczkalo" (her maiden name) time. It always kept us off balance because we never knew for sure which clocks were set ahead and by how much. She did this so that she wouldn't be late. We were often early.
After reading about the new Casio, it occurred to me that there are extremely few events in my life where it actually would matter if I were to keep more accurate time.
Planes, for example, may adhere to a scheduled departure time (well, sometimes), but I have to be at the airport an hour early to get through security on time. A concert I attended recently was delayed to accommodate the late arrivals. I guess they had forgotten their Casio watches. Staff meeting start times are an approximation. Nothing is sacred, it seems.
Given that we all complain about how busy we are these days, it's amazing that we don't treat time with more respect. But I'm going to change things. Though I can't do much about those security lines, I know what I'm buying everyone I know for Christmas this year.