Richard Ord: Time is running out for the wrist watch

Neither of my children wear watches.
G-SHOCK launch watch into space for a galactic mission to test the worlds toughest timepieceG-SHOCK launch watch into space for a galactic mission to test the worlds toughest timepiece
G-SHOCK launch watch into space for a galactic mission to test the worlds toughest timepiece

My eldest informs me that “there’s no point in them.”

Overlooking the fact that we have had numerous letters from his school in the past complaining about his poor timekeeping, I suspect the days of the watch are numbered.

It may explain the explosion in watch sponsorship deals. Watchmakers are muscling in everywhere desperate to advertise their wares.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Watchmakers TAG Heuer have got into Premier League football. They sponsor the fourth official’s hand-held electronic display board that signals how many minutes of injury time are to be played.

It may have looked like a good idea in the marketing meeting, but the reality is not so hot. I now associate TAG Heuer with booing and catcalls. The TAG Heuer board shows eight minutes of injury time and invariably the crowd are booing and questioning the added time. Depending on the score at the time, they either want more or fewer added minutes.

The marketing executives who came up that sponsorship idea hadn’t factored in the twisted logic of football fans. Where else would you get people who have paid to watch entertainment screaming abuse when offered more viewing time? Anywhere else and it’s value for money: In football it’s a “bleedin’ liberty” by officials who, as the chant goes, “don’t know what you’re doing.”

It’s like a cinema audience demanding the end of a movie with 15 minutes to go. “Thanks, I’ve been entertained enough, you can roll the end credits now. C’mon. End it. Boooo.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The watch celebrity endorsements are odd too. Since when have tennis players needed to watch the clock? Yet, they’re all enjoying huge sponsorship deals with well-know watch brands. I’m particularly fascinated with Andy Murray’s deal which saw him net (pun intended) a cool £1million. The fascination comes from the fact that I’ve never seen him playing with a watch on!

Strangely, however, the watch suddenly appears on his wrist when he goes to collect his trophy. Perhaps it’s a sophisticated camouflage watch that only appears when near a winner’s cheque and TV interviewer’s microphone. Might explain why his watch costs nigh on £3,000.

Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton’s watch sponsorship deal makes more sense. There’s a man who needs to keep an eye on the time.

Thing is, he has to wear gloves when he drives, so can’t look at his watch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That hasn’t put off the sponsors IWC, who have printed a cartoon watch on his glove. He can look at that one instead. Brilliant, except it only highlights the fact that he doesn’t need a real watch when he drives.

The IWC watch Hamilton endorses costs £7,000. And as every schoolboy knows, it’s never exactly right, unlike the cartoon watch which is exactly right twice a day.

My boys are right, time’s running out for the watch.