A watch is an interesting edifice. It’s basically a handcuff to time.

But people collect them and invest in them and you can buy one for a couple of quid or for millions.

Time has a fascinating history, and the ability to enchain it in a device was a true indicator of mechanical and industrial progress.

Its relationship to navigation was even more profound.

However, I have never worn a watch – well not since I lost the very expensive Omega that my parents bought me for my eighteenth birthday. I think it lasted two years before being left in a campsite washroom.

Recently I took to wearing the Apple Watch 4 that I bought and inherited from my mum as she became frail and kept on falling at home.

I have a bad heart and it is genuinely good at helping me monitor this. But it has loads of useless functions too. Almost nothing works unless you have an iPhone within ten feet.

There’s no wrist iConferencing, you can’t even play spotify without a phone. It’s a £800 conceit, which is still more functional and far more sensible than a £10k Patek Pilippe.

The point is that we are all handcuffed to capitalism, to stupid conceits.

You need to spend £2.5m on a petrol car that will get you from 0-60 in around 2 seconds. An EV will dot his for £150k. But who, and why would you, want to go from 0-60 in 2 secs in the real world ?

Utility and value have long been disconnected, and this is where the theses of our great capitalist writers fall down.

The rich gather more, pointlessly, and the poor suffer more, tragically.

As we all watch the time tick on…

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