POLL: Tempus fugit

Tracking time is how we track change.  It is salutary thing to consider how we are slipping toward the future.

Tempus fugit.

How do you do it?

Do you use a wristwatch?  A clock?  Just your cellphone? 


Just look out the window at the bank’s clock on the corner?

I actually once used an astrolabe for a time, for kicks.

Are you asking people all the time?

Okay… that’s not really the point.

If you use a gadget for telling time, is it digital or analog?

Yah.. yah… my watch has both, but it is mainly analog.


My usual timepiece is …

  • Analog (64%, 499 Votes)
  • Digital (36%, 276 Votes)

Total Voters: 775

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. prof. basto says:

    Analog and Automatic.

  2. Simon-Peter says:

    Astrolabe! I love it.

  3. Landon DePasquale says:

    For my 21st birthday, my parents got me an analog Rosendahl watch with the words “Contemplata Tradere Aliis.” It has served me well.

  4. Mark M says:

    Anyone considered the Breviary a timepiece? ;-)

  5. JoyfulMom7 says:

    I prefer analog, but for some reason watches do not work when I wear them, So I finally gave up trying to wear one. I used to ask people what time it was, but now I check my cell phone which is digital.

  6. Marc says:

    I use the mobile phone to check the time almost exclusively–or else the display on the laptop.

    (How portable is your astrolabe, I wonder? actually I have no idea how one of those is used.)

  7. David Andrew says:

    I carry a pocket watch (wind-up) that was issued by Tissot as an anniversary piece several years ago. It is a true pocket watch, unlike so many available from commercial jewelry stores that are actually regular wrist watch mechanisms disguised in a pocket watch case. Don’t be fooled!

    I will confess, however that I just as frequently reach for my cell phone to check the time as my pocket watch.

  8. Tzard says:

    If I had my preference or were to choose a wristwatch or a clock, I’d choose an analog – all the time. But in truth, since my wristwatch died, I use my PDA, which is digital. (if it could show an analog face, then I would count it as analog).

  9. pelerin says:

    That’s interesting – almost 50/50. I believe the younger generations prefer digital watches whilst us oldies prefer analog.

    Fr Z Have you thought of doing a poll to find out in what age range your readers are?

  10. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Analog, analog, analog. Yesterday’s technology today! (And for pelerin I’m in the 25-30 bracket.)

    A pocket-watch from my wife for special occasions. And for fun occasions, working cufflink watches.

    If the polls are going techie then perhaps we do the classic pencil/biro/fountain pen.

  11. Xpihs says:

    Cell Phone

  12. Jim says:

    Pocket watch with Miraculous Medal

    So Analog and Anagogical at the same time….time, dy’see?


  13. Chris says:

    Father, you forgot a crucial third way, which is recent. The cell phone/blackberry method.

    Many people forgo watches now.

  14. Lindsay says:

    I recently got a chiming mantel clock for our home. I love it! Helps me remember the Angelus and sometimes (I hope to get better) a special prayer on the hour. It also serves as my alarm clock in the morning since it is programmable. I love it!

  15. sacerdos in germania says:

    My grandfather’s Elgin pocket-watch which he bought in 1952 well before I was born and which I inherited when he died. Still keeps great time, although the gold plate is wearing in some places…

  16. mrsmontoya says:

    Connecting this to another of your posts today: Parents have a special innate sense of time – it is measured by how long it is until the kids’ bedtime! Which itself is a variable, affected by length of day, impact of current events, air temperature and wind speed, and the amount of clutter in said kids’ rooms.

  17. I mostly use my BlackBerry flip phone. Which, ironically displays the time on its external screen with a digital picture of a clock face.

  18. PaulJason says:

    I do not own a watch and have not worn one in at least five years.

  19. Maureen says:

    I have a lot of trouble getting digital watches to keep working, and I tend to hook the analog ones on stuff. I don’t have a cellphone. So usually I just have to know what time it is, which I usually do.

    I do have a cheapie alarm clock for those nights when I know I’ll be tired in the morning….

  20. Dominic H says:

    How I think of such fondness (and for many other, more substantive reasons…) of the years I spent as an undergraduate in a remote, mediaeval, coastal, university town – – this is brought to mind by the abundance of working clocks, in the compact city centre, on churches (of which there are a great abundance, even if only one is Catholic), banks, public buildings, and so on. Many of which would chime every hour or quarter of the hour. Alas that is not so wheer I find myself now.

    I’ve a big analogue clock in my home: when I’m out I rely on my cellphone; having not worn a watch for years, I would gladly do even without that were it practical to do so….which it really isn’t

  21. JaneC says:

    I used an analog watch until about two years ago, when I got an iPod Touch that I bring with me just about everywhere. I prefer digital clocks next to my bed, because the ticking sound of mechanical clocks bothers me.

  22. catholic college student says:

    Analog watch.

    But, bells ring every quarter hour here on campus, so I generally just listen for the bells.

  23. Peg says:

    My daughter always uses a digital watch. I found out that she never learned (very well) to tell time the “old fashioned” way!

  24. Jayna says:

    I use my cellphone as my watch. However, my pocket watch is analog, obviously, and I have that on often (as long as I’m wearing a waistcoat with a pocket in it).

  25. Alli says:

    I prefer analog generally, but since my wristwatch broke a couple weeks ago, I use my cellphone for that purpose.

  26. Cygnus says:

    In the north sky time flies faster than morning
    The cold of the dawn it meant nothing to us
    You were keeping your best situation
    An answer to Yes

    –from the most excellent Yes song, “Tempus Fugit”

    Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78BivgombIE

  27. Brian Day says:

    My dress watches are analog. For work (I work around chemicals) and for play it is digital.

    Since the largest block of my time is work, I said digital.

  28. shana sfo says:

    Cell phone, when I remember to charge it, which I mostly don’t, so digital sometimes.


    I can’t wear watches either and neither can my brother. Inherited that trait from our great-grandfather. A few years back, I went to a zoo with my husband & kids, my parents and my brother & his kids. In one of the kids’ ‘discovery rooms’ there was a device that had one silvery plate (zinc I think) and one copper plate upon which one could place one’s hands to measure electricity in the body. Most everyone who tried it barely registered, but my brother and I had HUGE electric spikes. Now we know why our watches stop!

    Until then, the only thing I could figure was I actually DID have a face that could stop a watch!

    I’m pretty good a guessing the time, though, from years & years of having to work out the time without a watch.

  29. bedfordshirelace says:

    Just got a beautiful (analog) pocketwatch for my birthday. I used to use a wristwatch, but I kept developing rashes from the buckle, once the paint wore off the metal; I don’t have to worry about that now.

  30. irishgirl says:

    Analog-I guess.

    I wear a wristwatch. Sometimes it creeps down towards my hand and I have to push it back so it doesn’t turn around. That drives me nuts!

    I don’t like digital watches-they are too hard to change when Daylight Savings Time rolls around.

    Plus I want a lighted dial so I look at the time when I’m in bed.

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