These direct-read or jump-hour mechanical digital watches hold a particular fascination. As items of transitional technology, they are superb artefacts of a pre-LED/LCD quartz era, where the basic mechanism of a standard jewelled watch was fitted with wheels under dial instead of overdial hands, to create these dramatic machines.
They look sleek and modern at a time when it probably seemed quite passe to be reading dials and guages with hands. But what a revolting revolution it was. As beautiful as I find these, especially with the vertical symmetry of this everlasting Endura, and especially when the watchmakers give a little nod to their heritage and mercifully retain a sweet red seconds hand ticking across the dial. (cont. below).
Why do I hate wearing these in spite of how aesthetically pleasing I find them. Well, they are simply hard to read. I don't mean hard to understand like I don't get how it works, but there is some kind of psychic dislocation with trying to read time digitally I find. I accept there are those who feel differently and it may relate to how our brains might be wired, a kind of simplification of old-fashioned 'left brain right brain' theories.
The standard analog hands show the march of time across a dial; for people who are geospatially aware and visually rather than mathematically attracted, this is a more pleasing and intuitive approach. Hours don't really jump from 4 to 5. If I look at an analog watch, and it's twenty minutes to four, I think my mind says to me something like 'it's more than halfway between three and four, and if I want to be at the shop before it closes at four, then I should get moving.' I'm not sure you even think about it, but you see the position of the hands and know exactly where you are in your day in relation to your life's events (if time does not relate to your life's events then never mind even wearing a watch.)
I cannot be bothered to look at a tinky little window and try to figure out what the numbers are reading for the minutes, and then have a look at the tinky hour window and see what it says, and then say to myself 'it's 4:37' (because that is what I have to do when I try to wear these,) and then try to decide how that is going to affect what I do for the next few minutes or hour.
With the analog dial it is instantaneous chronological awareness and it's lovely. I do believe I have finally come to a peaceful solution to the jumphour problem. I have had a few of these here and there, and I will probably keep this Endura for evermore because it's so beautiful, but I know I'll never wear them to keep time. Let me know what you think (but not if you're a watch dealer because like the car or shoe salesman who will tell you every model looks good on you, a perfect match...)
Two more examples below. These are really well made and beautiful watches, but they still are just ridiculous.