The Circa app and watching the Apple Watch

At their recent WorldWide Developers Conference, Apple again showed that they quite like the 24 hour watch face. Again, though, they’re not 100% convinced that the world is ready to tell the time on a 24-hour dial. This is as close as they’re going to get, this year at least:

Wwdc apple solar

It’s their new “solar face”, showing the position of the sun in the sky, (like a good old-fashioned medieval astronomical clock). They’ve also kept a 12-hour dial just to help you switch over to the 24 hour dial.

They already use the less error-prone design on current watches for selecting alarm times (when it’s important not to confuse 12am with 12pm:

IMG 0722

But if you want a more modern display suitable for your modern lifestyle, there’s a new iOS app that brings the 24 hour dial to your phone and your wrist. The app is called Circa, and it’s very well done.

Here’s the iPhone app:

Circa phone face

The coloured rings are the “office hours” for the time zone: you can change the names and hours for each one. You can add more cities easily. Notice the short white bars around the edge: these are the appointments taken automatically from your Calendar (if you give permission, of course!). The developer lives in Kiev, I think!

You can touch and move the single hour hand around, to find exact conversions between local and other time zones. You can also create new calendar events.

The Apple Watch app installs automatically when you install the iPhone app, and it’s more or less equivalent in functionality.

Circa watch face

It also lets you move the hour hand around (with your finger or using the digital crown) to see equivalent times in other zones. You can also add Circa as a complication on the other Apple watch faces.

The developer of Circa is Kostiantyn Zuiev.

(See also an earlier post looking at Alex Komarov’s development of an iPhone app.)

Svalbard Spring Collection 2019

For 2019, the prolific Svalbard Watch company have just added even more models to their already extensive range of limited edition collectible 24-hour watches:

svalbard-spring-2019

The 10 new models are:

Top Row: Barentsburg (AA31) Elementary (AA28) Meridian (AA25) Neoteric (AA30)

Second Row: Noonday (AA17E) Radiobolger (AA26) Regulator(AF14) Singly (AA29)

Third Row: Solfestuka (AA12) Utstrale (AA27)

New and previous models (and explanations of some of the names) are available at the official Svalbard tax-free store. You can use the code “24HOURTIME24” to get a 7% discount.

Magical clocks and fantastic dials, and where to find them

I don’t know how often the residents of the wizarding world of Harry Potter need to know the right time… Perhaps they have a spell – Tempo! or something? We know they have time-turners too, for traveling forwards and backwards through time, and it would surely be useful to have a portable time-piece. You’re not always going to be within earshot of a large striking clock…

threat level clock

There are a few time-telling devices in the magical world of J. K. Rowling’s imagination, and I noticed that the threat level clock in the USA’s Ministry of Magic, as seen in the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, has the numbers 1 – 24 around the edge of the dial. Perhaps, unusually for the US, they use the 24 hour clock in preference to the 12 hour version? Who knows…

Many of the graphical creations for the Wizarding World franchise are created by the House of MinaLima, who designed this beautiful clock face. You can buy this as a print, along with many other magical items, from their store, but not as a working 24 hour clock, or, indeed, as a working Magical Exposure Threat Level indicator. I’m not sure how the astrolabe-style stereographic projection rings work, nor what the astrological symbols signify. But then, I’m a muggle.

Forté watches

The 24 hour watch fans at the AAA watch club make the beautiful Forté collection of real 24 hour watches. Here is the Forté ALPHA model, 24HR-ALPHA-24S, with 24 at the top of the dial (yes, they also make them with “00” and “12” at the top!) in varying sizes. Also shown here is the luminous night vision view.

24 hour alpha24s model 1200

Use the following coupon code at the checkout to obtain a 10% discount off the price of these watches:

24hourtime-info

Svalbard watches

The Svalbard Watch company have just added more models to their already extensive range of 24-hour watches:

Svalbard july 2018

The two regulator designs show the hour hand in the top small dial, with 12 at the very top; the large hand is the minute indicator. This design, once used on precision clocks, is based on the sensible idea that you probably already know what the hour is, and are looking at your watch more to get some idea of the precise minute.

A description of all new models is available on the official Svalbard website. You can use the code “24HOURTIME24” to get a 7% discount.

World clocks

World map clocks have always been popular ways of presenting the 24 hour clock and its basis in physical geography.

Here’s a picture of Tom Shannon’s Synchronous World Clock. (Thanks for the link, Tom.)

Tomshannon

The map on the face is by Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao. A limited edition of 20 was made in 1983.

If you’re looking for something a bit more basic, here’s Trintec’s World Clock:

WTC10

You can find vintage versions of this Seiko compact world time clock for sale online. I think it was made in the 1970s or 1980s:

Seiko clock

If you want a more abstract design, you might—if you’re very lucky—find a Willis World Clock from the 1930s:

willis world clock

Looking at all these world map clocks, I’m not sure whether the NorthPole-centered projections are more or less common than the SouthPole-centered ones. I suppose that one advantage of the SouthPole versions are that the clock’s motion can be clockwise, with the hands moving clockwise as the world rotates eastwards. With the NorthPole versions, the eastwards motion has to be reproduced with counter-clockwise motion.

News from the other hemisphere

There’s a well-known observation that 50% of the human population is less than average in terms of intelligence. Statisticians argue with the precise meaning of this statement, but, as someone else observes, “it just seems that way”!

This photograph, taken by Mark Serrels, Editorial Director at CNET News, is from a story that leaps happily onto the pile of evidence in support of the statement.

flat-earth-men

Serrels’ fascinating story, The Bizarre Tale of the Australia Flat Earth Convention that Fell Apart, is about the only two people who turned up to a flat-Earth convention in Australia. It starts off being funny, but soon becomes a sad tale of mental inadequacy and self-delusion.

In this photograph it’s difficult to see whether the convention audience (all two of them) are standing in front of a clock, or just a map that looks like a clock. The numbers around the edge are arranged counter-clockwise, and I can’t see whether it starts with a zero or ends with a 24. It looks like there’s some kind of wiggly pointer aiming to 13…

I think it would make a decent clock. And I don’t think it means that it should be taken literally as a representation of our world.

Projecting a spherical object onto a 2D surface has been a familiar challenge ever since the Greek and Arab astronomers developed the astrolabe, a 2D projection of a complex 3D system, well illustrated by this diagram from Wikipedia:

Astrolabe Stereographic projection on tympan

Clock makers have often used 2D projections of the Earth’s surface as the background for rotating dials, although some have introduced the added complexity of rotating globes, of both the moon and the Earth.

Elsewhere on this site there’s a brief investigation of the map projections that could be used to show most of the land masses on our Earth on a flat disk, suitable for use in a 24 hour clock:

Cartography

azimuthalequisouthannotated.jpg

I ought to remake this image, but for now this image from Wikimedia (by RokerHRO) will have to do:

Azimuthal Equidistant N90

It’s surprising that anyone could mistake this geometric construction for a life-like representation of our planet!

More Svalbard watch models

The Svalbard Watch company have added more models to their already extensive range of 24-hour watches:

24 hour watches svalbard

On the top row: Antikken-AA21B, Elementary-AA20B, and Glacier-AA19B.

On the bottom row: Militaer-Pilot-AA18B, Noonday-AA17C, Sol-Og-Mane-AA16C, and Sol-Og-Mane-AA16D.

A description of all new models is available on the official Svalbard website: http://svalbard.watch

New and previous models are available at the official tax-free store.

Use the code “24HOURTIME24” to obtain a 7% discount. Please let everyone know what you think of these watches!

Svalbard 2018 range

Today’s the Winter Solstice in the UK, and the sun was visible for about 6 hours. Up in Svalbard, Latitude 78°13′N, longitude 15°38′E, though, the sun hasn’t risen for weeks, and won’t be seen again by anybody living there until February 15, 2018.

The Svalbard Company’s watches are inspired by the beautiful, extreme and challenging landscapes of Svalbard and are valued more for their elaborate artistry, aesthetic appeal and fashionable design than for simple timekeeping. The Svalbard company has released new models for 2018:

svalbard-aa16b.png

  • AA16B model: double layer colored dial with sun & moon figures single hand watch.

svalbard-aa17b.png

  • AA17B model: double-twelve (AM/PM) single hand watch, made by request for North American customers.

svalbard-ba20b.png

  • BA20B model: this model is made in honor of the exploration of Svalbard by the Dutch discoverer and navigator Willem Barentsz in 1596.

These new models (and previous ones) are available on the official tax-free store. Use the discount code “24HOURTIME24” to obtain a 7% discount.