Timepiece: The Underrated Invention

By: James Arikpo

There is nothing wrong with living without a timepiece. Humans have always walked without one before its existence, and given it was never part of the basic need of man which includes food, clothes and shelter, it is something to do without — except that when man only needed basic needs to survive, man was too basic to care more about keeping track of the activities that keep him sturdy. I mean, how are we not supposed to use watches in this era where there’s a whole lot to do; is it the tonnes of workload for students, or event schedules to meet up with as a makeup artiste, or a suitable Covid-19 vaccine to be discovered by that keen virologist who does the ‘we die here’ work? Yet, there are distractions from all angles and drive to excessively do the movies, the dates, the hangouts and all. So, maybe there is a whole lot that is not right about staying without a timepiece.

There are many downsides that go with not keeping track of time, including a personal development rate matched with that of a snail, and missing out on big appointments that could give one a lift into the future. Obviously, the horologists of the medieval age tried to account for time and sought more efficient ways to measure it, the reason thoughts evolved from the use of hourglasses and hence, the invention of the first timepiece by our dear Peter Heinlein of Germany. However little, flexible, or not top of the show as it may seem, the timepiece is one of the greatest inventions of man, and it is so important to an extent that our mobile phones would not have been complete without it.

Wristwatches, which serve as a portable model for timing, have proven more useful than having to just keep the balance between time and activities. While the fashionistas would wear a wristwatch to complement their dress sense and some even go extreme to wear inoperable watches; a watch that cannot tell a time, the function that the contemporary modern watch performs,  has technical use in human endeavours which however depend on specifications.

What Other Features Can A Wristwatch Provide?

There are wristwatches with a Global Positioning System (GPS) feature which interacts with satellites to provide time and location data. An individual who wears this watch would know his/her exact location on the Earth; and this prevents one from getting lost. As one would call it, the tracker which is employed by security agents as a precaution measure. Wearing a watch with a tracking device saves a great deal of stress, as an abductor hardly pays attention to the seemingly useless object on the wrist, whereas one’s mobile phone wouldn’t last a second without notice.

There are also wristwatches with a tachymeter feature, which calculates speed or average speed over a known distance. This feature finds its usefulness in sporting activities and allows the athlete track the speed at which they move while carrying out exercises.

Yet, there exist wristwatches with the water resistance feature. Water resistant, implying that they are able to withstand the penetrative ability of water to a varying degree. This is the type which is employed by swimmers for timing while in a game.

There are also wristwatches with the stopwatch and alarms which help us modulate our time. By   applying these features, we are able to check the average time it takes in getting an activity done and keep ourselves aware of a special time in our schedule, a thing to do to avoid the hypothetical ‘African time’ mantra.

Still, there exist the programmable watches that take in values and generate answers with accuracy. Smart kids use these to run a show where calculators aren’t allowed. Even more, some programmable watches do more than taking in arithmetic values.

Despite these excellent features, a timepiece such as a wristwatch could serve only the purpose of a wristband or a beautifying ornament that only has its function for show, depending on whose wrist it’s on. Meanwhile, a man that neglects time loses a lot of money, perhaps that’s one reason the poverty level on the African continent is high, as it is customary for an average African man not to pay attention to this free resource called time and its utility access called timepiece.

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