When I was young, I collected model railways and tin toys. And, above all, Viking cars. I had hundreds of them. They were quite valuable. Then all this collecting got too much (and too much of an embarrassment) and I sold everything.
Yet, I cannot lay off collecting things altogether. Now I collect mechanical timekeepers. Not the expensive Rolex (or similar) variety, but just beautiful table clocks and alarm clocks. Of course, they must all have clockwork.
Mostly, they still work quite well, their design is simple, and they are quite cheap. On flee markets; I often get alarm clocks for between one and three Euros, for a table clock, I pay between five and ten Euros.
Because today, nobody wants a mechanical timekeeper. Batteries have become a matter of course.
The victory of Quartz clocks is a good example for unnecessary and a little questionable technological advance. I doubt that there is anybody whose “personal happiness” has been promoted by their invention. Instead, billions of unnecessary batteries were made for them.
I, too, fell for Quartz clocks. Over the years, I have had several. I even went so far as to buy myself two “upper-class clocks” with Quartz by Ebel. Today, I regret that I ever bought Quartz clocks. Thinking back to the automatic clocks of my childhood fills me with sorrow.
To be sure, I could easily buy myself another top-quality automatic clock. But somehow I no longer feel like ever again buying an expensive clock. Tough luck. Consequently, I keep wearing my Quartz watches, just because I am used to it, and because they look nice. And every few years, I change the batteries.
There is certainly no longer a need for me to wear a watch. These days, you can check the time everywhere: on your computer, on the mobile phone, in the car, on the bike computer, on your radio, on displays of all kinds of devices, on the office clock,…
Do I really need this many timekeepers all around the place? Well, that is what they call progress.
(Translated by EG)
A similar example is electric motors. I imagine that around the time I was born in 1950, the number of electric motors in the household was close to zero. Today, I assume that the number of electric motors in our household is uncountable. This is just for meditation.