Faceless Watch Vibrates Every Five Minutes: Telling Time With 'Durr'
"I avoid looking at the clock, fearing the slow passing of time that will only seem slower if I watch its progress," Michelle Zink wrote in Prophecy of the Sisters. Zink wouldn't have this problem with the "Durr" watch from Norway, because when she'd look at it, all she would see is a blank plastic face. Nor would it tell her the time. But, the Durr would tell Zink time's progress at five-minute intervals via vibration. Designers Lars Vedeler and Theo Tveteras, owners of Skrekstore, designed the watch as an "experiment" to prompt the wearer to consider the subjectivity of time. Vedeler and Tveteras had experimented with other time periods, but they were all too long or too short, they wrote write on their blog. Five minutes was perfect. It also helps that the vibration can be turned on and off.
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"Time perception is our subjective understanding of how fast time passes," Vedeler and Tveteras wrote. "With Durr, you become aware of how your brain alters the length of a bus ride, how fast you finish a beer, how time flies by when you enjoy yourself, and drags along when you wait in line at the post office." They sold the watch online for 90 Euros, the equivalent of $125.00. Despite the price, the initial run of 500 watches, hand-made in Oslo, sold out quickly, and how Skrekstore is considering whether to follow through with more. The polyamide and leather watches are hand-dyed in their own in-house combinations of Ritt colors: A pinkish-reddish one is called "Cooked Salmon." Including the strap, case, and electronic components, the watch is made up of only 15 parts.
The faceless watch has sparked lively debate online. Adrian jankowiak @ajankowiak wrote on Twitter, "Just saw #Durr on @verge and it looks awesome!" But "R esiroth" noted Friday morning on the comments section of an article about the watch on www.theverge.com, that the Durr could only benefit people who have a hard time getting anything done: "Unproductive person A is distracted all the time, getting a reminder every 5 minutes will help this person get back on track, but because it takes ~20-30 minutes to establish flow, they never will be very productive. Productive person B is not distracted at all, getting a reminder every 5 minutes would destroy this persons productivity. This is only good for people that are very unproductive." In the same comments section, jimesilverman wrote on midday Thursday, "so uh. it vibrates every five minutes and looks like a giant blister. awesome?"
But www.theedge.com product reviewer Aaron Souppouris, who wore the watch for a month, found Durr to be eye-opening — literally: When the writer attended a long funeral in a foreign language, "Durr quietly vibrated away, letting me know that each six hours that passed had in fact been just five minutes." He felt the price was well worth it. "I bought an alpha product made by a pair of designers with no outside funding," he wrote. "Yes it's expensive," he conceded, but maintained, "No watch, smart or otherwise, has given me this much insight into how uselessly unproductive I can be sometimes, and I have Durr to thank for that."
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