Conquering Time

by Christos Tsolkas

“I give [this watch] to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.”

¾ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

Like most people, I often feel ruled by time. There are never enough hours in the day. Frequently capture myself spending too many hours doing things I don’t like versus things I do like. Time flies when you’re having fun…


What if you could change that formula and take control over time? If you could manipulate time to get more out of the time you want and experience less of the time you don’t enjoy… wouldn’t that be something?


Recently, I visited the Hublot watch factory in the small town of Nyon on the shores of Lake Geneva. In a world in which “manufacturing” almost never means “beautiful” or “special” it was nice to encounter manufactured products that are also a work of art. It sounds simple and maybe even boring to produce a great watch, but Hublot does it. The designs are beautiful, the mechanisms are like Ferrari engines, and even the materials are unique. They’ve always played around with innovation to change what people think about watches. I really respected their dedication to art and craft.


For example, the first watch they produced was the first ever to use a natural rubber strap. Apparently, this took a lot of experimentation to get right. They’ve also produced a ceramic gold material that is unscratchable, called “the perfect Gold”. But one of their inventions  impressed me the most.


The “MP-02 Key of Time” – La Cle Du Temps, challenges the very concept of time in a fun way. Pressing a button you can speed up or slow down the time that shows on your watch by up to a factor of four. So, if you’re in a really boring meeting, you can press that button and it will end sooner because time speeds up. But if you’re playing a fun board game with your daughter or enjoying a nice bottle of wine with your loved one, you can press the button and slow time down, too, so you can stretch it out longer. Then, when you’re finished you press the button again and the watch hands snap back to the accurate time.


I know it’s a little silly but I really responded to the idea of being able to determine your own pace and rhythm instead of having that reality forced on you. Human beings have always wanted to control time, I think… slow down the moments we love that seem to go by too quickly… rush through the stuff we don’t enjoy or would rather avoid…


It sounds like a dream come true, don’t you think?



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