Daily Prompt: Who needs a clock?

I remember school days, probably the infant class, when we had just learnt to read and write. One of the next tasks was “how to tell the time”.  We were all given a round piece of cardboard, perhaps we even had to cut it ourselves with the aid of a plate or something round to draw the outline. I cannot remember exactly, things in the fifties were very elementary, and it was all do-it-yourself. The next step was writing numbers around the edge of the cardboard from 1 to 12. It was all very elementary, but it looked good. Then you had two strips of cardboard, one shorter than the other. Of course, one was the minute hand and the other for the hours. You made a hole in the middle of the cardboard circle and prodded one of those pins that you could pull apart,  through the two hands and into he hole. The hands were fixed onto the clock face and you now learnt to tell the time, turning the hands manually and the teacher guiding you.  I wonder how you do it today in this cyber age. The fun of the self made clock has probably been banned from the class room and everyone borrows the iPad or mobile from mummy and daddy,  brings it to school and who needs to do it all manually? Apple, Samsung and Android to name a few are the every day names in the classroom for telling the time.


mobile telephoneThis is what time looks like today. The kids even learn that ther are 24 hours in a day. In my younger years time seemed to stop at 12 midday and began again with 1 o’clock after 12. Now we even have 13 o’clock which is my childhood days was a book from the children’s author Enid Blyton, fiction, just a children’s fantasy.

“What’s the time junior?”

and somewhere in the home there is  number flashing to show the time. It might be the on the oven door in a small window, perhaps even on the microwave, and if the TV is switched on you will definitely find those numbers with the colon sign in the middle telling you that it is now 15:38 perhaps as my iPhone shows at the moment. The happy days of making your own cardboard clock are gone. Junior will probably be getting a new mobile phone for his next birthday, he cannot stay behind the others in the class and mummy wants to know where he is all of the time. Rows of school kids waiting for the school bus and passing time with comparing notes, on their mobile phones of course.

The stationStation clock Solothurn clock, based on the original Swiss design, is now out of date. This is a photo of the one at Solothurn main station, where I live in Switzerland. The second hand moving on its way, tick by tick, showing when the train is arriving. Why look up and strain your neck when you have your own punctual time, steered by a satellite somewhere in outer space, in your pocket. There will come a day when clocks will be extinct, only to be found in the local museum, or in picture books showing how it used to be.

I must admit I am one of these sinners again clock time. I forget to wear a watch, because who needs one. I have my watch in my pocket. It is silent, makes no noise, unless I tell it to. Perhaps I have a appointment, I can programme an alarm with 20-30 different tunes. at the moment my favourite is Sci-Fi which sounds as if a flying saucer is landing. The main thing is that I pay attention to it (and everyone else it seems when they hear it – I love weird sounds).

Will Big Ben, the large clock at the Houses of Parliment in London, one day be out of fashion? Will it be demolished to make way for the new mega digital version placed at the top of a tower. I do not think so, unless they can reproduce its chime digitally, which will probably be the case.

Life moves on and the kids in school are now missing all the fun of making their own cardboard clocks.

Daily Prompt: Who needs a clock?

21 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Who needs a clock?

    • I just asked Mr. Swiss, but it seems a Rolex is missing in our collection. We do have an IWC, but it not longer fits my wrist or Mr.Swiss, so we just look at it now and again.


  1. An elderly family friend said his digital watch was the best present he ever got; when he woke up in the middle of the night he didn’t have to turn on lights, and then figure which was the short and which the long hand, which meant finding his glasses. So I guess for some, it is a boon because it is easy to read. My watch strap broke so now I use my ‘dumb’ phone. When the keyboard is locked, the time alone is shown. But it does mean having to dig in my pocket for it.

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  2. I taught my granddaughter to tell time by making one of those cardboard clocks at home. They no longer teach kids to read analog clocks in school, but I thought she should know how. It took all of may 10 minutes? Now she can read any clock, new or old.

    I’ve noticed that most retired people stop wearing a watch eventually. Garry wears one when we travel, but not when we’re just home. I don’t wear one at all.

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    • I did not realise that they no longer teach how to read a clock in the school – through lack of grandchildren up to now.
      I just plain forget to wear a watch because it is no longer such a necessary object. I only have the plastic swatch types in any case. At least the watch snobbery no longer exists. In Switzerland it used to be the first thing the Swiss noticed on a person, ridiculous really. Mr. Swiss is Swiss and so he always wears a watch, but takes it off in the evening. I still have a white contrast stripe on my wrist from my sun tan.


      • I hadn’t thought of it when I wrote before, but actually my PA has three watches; the everyday chrome one, the dressy one with Pueblo Indian inlay designs on each side, and the gold retirement watch for special occasions. One of my sons gave him some cufflinks that are tiny clocks, but I don’t think he’s ever worn them. Male blings?

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        • Living in Switzerland watches always had a certain status being the centre of the watch industry, but even that has lost in importance over the years and many watch making companies had to close. We even have a watch makers school in the town near where I live.

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          • Actually watchmaking is in my family. Please look at my blog “Great-Grandfather’s Gold Watch” about Alexander Watkins and the watch he made for the 1851 Great Exhibition; I recently found out that my Grandfather, Sylvester Alexander Watkins, also a watchmaker, invented a waterproof case for watches. But in London, not Switzerland of course.


  3. In my classroom last year, we had a real clock on the wall that the children totally ignored. We had a large play clock with moving hands. The children totally ignored the toy clock. We did an art project (similar to your as a child) to make a clock. We traced, we cut, we glued, we colored the paper clock. The hands even moved due to the magic of brads.
    The children liked the art project, but didn’t think it was special enough to display in the hallway. However, if I happened to be sitting at one of the tables with my back to the classroom clock, I would often say…”Oh no…I hope we aren’t late to lunch. What time is it?”…thinking that my assistant would answer. Instead, several of the children would race to my desk to grab my i-Phone. One day, a phone grabber said… “Here is how you tell time, Mrs. Davis! Don’t look at that old clock on the wall. This works better!”…brought back to 2016 by a 5 year old child!

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    • That is a good one, today the kids teach us how to tell the time. I am completely digital I must admit. I was even going to get an Apple watch, but decided they were not yet well enough developped and who needs a computer on your arm. Today I would be lost without my iPhone, it is my support for everything I forget. I have got used to putting it into my reminders. Every evening at 11.00 it tells me to take my cholesterol tablet.


      • I use my iPhone constantly and won’t leave the house without it! My husband and our daughter both have Apple watches. I don’t want a computer on my arm either! I did get the bigger size iPhone 6…it is giant! I can see it way better…my eyes are going downhill. I had lasik, but I might need an adjustment! In fact, I might need adjustments everywhere!!!


  4. Can’t speak for those educated post the the rise of the smartphone but certainly back in the 1980s we were taught to tell the time in much the same way as you, only we were told to put 12, 3, 6 and 9 in first to make sure we divided up the clock face properly.

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  5. 21st century learners may no longer get to cut cardboard clocks but teachers must insist on teaching them the value of time regardless of what medium they use to tell time. We are lucky to have been taught to learn time the hard way but even so, we all still mismanage our time.
    Thank you for trekking us down memory lane by this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also discovered the 24 hour clock on the way. In England everything, at my time in the olden days, was based on a 12 hour rhythem, but when I arrived in Europe to live I soon discovered that the 24 hour clock was a reality.


  6. I don’t need to wear a watch all the time but I wear one when I go out. Not a digital watch either an old fashioned analogue one. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what time it is because it only has roman numerals for 12 and 6 and dots for the rest which makes time telling a bit ambiguous but it looks nice and was a gift from David so I wear it and if I’m not sure of the time I’ll pull my phone out to check.providing of course I have remembered to put it in my handbag or pocket. At home no two clocks seem to be on exactly the same time and if i want to be sure I look at the one on the computer.

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    • I always wore a watch, but lately continuously forget to put it on. I had a lovely Jordi Swiss etho watch depicting Kanton Schwyz, but should have the battery replaced. I also have three Swatch watches, but I now rely more on my mobile phone time. We have lights everywhere at home showing the digital time and even a clock on the wall. Sometimes there is so much choice, you do not know which one to choose.


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