When I was small – just learning about the world – I became aware that I had mercifully been born into a world recently decimalized. I was just learning to count to ten, a hundred etc. Decimal money seemed so logical…the previous system so ridiculous. I thought that in this time the world was becoming modern and forward looking. I expected the font to be Arial (not Times New Roman), my toys would be Lego (not Meccano), and for the time to be told by digital 24hour watches not analogue 12hour timepieces.

Well I suppose much of the simplicity I saw as a modern revolution was the beginning of ‘dumbing down’. Decimalization seems to have become stuck before it quite sorted weights and measures and the 24 hour clock seems to have gone away along with digital watches. Upon reflection, I think we in Britain quite like things the way they’ve always been. That’s how come I know what the new houses built on the green belt will look like (even though they are as outmoded as imperial currency). The worst thing about the 80s was the housing – and it never went out of fashion!

But never mind about housing. Today I am more interested in watches. I have reached the conclusion that the reason the 24hour watch has not taken off is that clocks are used in the main for confirming accurately what time it is. They are not for telling what time it is in absolute terms. To explain, the user probably knows to the nearest hour what time it is so a watch that tells 24 hours is no more useful than one that tells 12 hour time. In fact, as we are all so used to looking at a 12 hour clock face we cannot tell what time it is on a 24 hour clock face – it’s true…try it.

I’ve concluded therefore that a watch with just a minute hand is probably more likely to be the future than a 24 hour watch. And of course the watch itself is outmoded by the phone – and this is the biggest enabler for a time revolution! In the future, could we see an ‘i-phone OS’ released with decimal time? Synchronized all over the world with no more time zones?? I’ll stop there…