John Goodman introduces the annosphere, a clock that presents the most elementary periods of time — the day and the year. Its goal is to help people appreciate the longer cycles of their lives:
The annosphere tells time, but more usefully, it presents time. It shows you sunrise and sunset, the start of spring and the winter solstice. It lets you see on your desk what you can’t see in the world: the steady pace of time, the subtle day to day changes in sunlight and shadow, the cycles that run through each year.
Any cheap wristwatch with a ticking second hand will be more precise than the annosphere. But from year to year, when you wonder if winter will ever end, and long for the day you’ll awaken in sunlight, the time told by the annosphere will be more valuable.
When we first got our Casio watches in the ‘80s, I remember noticing a significant semantic shift. It bothered me we stopped thinking in terms of a “quarter past eight” and instead thought and said, “eight thirty-two.” That precision begat a real sense of how time was moving. Something was lost.