Why don’t all clocks and watches automatically set their time based on the atomic clock?
Besides our iPhones and computers, Morah and I have only a single clock in the house that automatically sets itself to the atomic clock. We like it so much (it really is our favorite clock) that we’ve decided not to buy any more clocks that don’t set themselves.
Watches are a bit stickier of a wicket, not only because so few seem to have the feature, but also because those that do may not be in the style for which you’re looking. Luckily, I have been seeing more “atomic” watches lately, so perhaps the trend is catching on.
So if the technology is small enough to fit in a watch and isn’t very expensive (the cheapest “atomic” watch I could find by doing a quick Google search was about $28), why isn’t this a more popular feature? If all clocks and watches were set to the atomic clock, people wouldn’t really be able to make any excuses about their clocks or watches being slow. Plus, since we seem to be stuck with Daylight Saving Time (long time readers know my thoughts about DST), clocks that adjust themselves make the transition much easier (although I still say the spring forward should happen at 4 P.M. on a business day).
The biggest drawback to having all timekeeping devices take their cues from the atomic clock is that, if all the clocks set themselves automatically, you couldn’t set it 10 minutes fast (as some people like to do). The problem could easily be solved with a small amount of extra electronics. When the clock finishes setting itself, you could set the clock forward or backward to your liking. Once you’re done, the clock would note how many hours and minutes different you set the clock and store those offset values as positive or negative numbers (with the default offsets being zero, of course). Then, whenever the clock sets itself, it would check the offset values that you have selected and apply them to the time. I’m not sure what the best method for resetting the clock would be, but a reset button seems like it would do that trick.
What do you guys think? Does this seem like a good idea? Would you buy clocks/watches with these features?0 People like this. Be the first!