Herger’s got the time, but is it up-to-date?

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that a fine watch ranked alongside a well-scrubbed and polished pair of shoes as professional must-haves. How times change.

The Swiss’ watchmaking machine, which has kept the powerful both stylish and on time for centuries, is winding down its sales, which are off by 10 percent in 2008 and fell by 16 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, the more mainstream Swatch Group has shed 40 percent of its value this year, both according to a story in The International Herald Tribune.

Sure, you could blame a teetering economy for sluggish wristwatch sales. But in our hurry-up-and-get-there culture, that blame doesn’t hold water, even if measured with an ancient water clock.

So what’s ticking?

Hold on a sec, while I check my cell phone.

Some 159 Americans owned cell phones in 2003, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And those all-in-one gadgets do more than reach out and touch someone. They tell the time, surf the Web, take photos, check e-mail, play music and record our whereabouts. In short, they’re so versatile, hip and cool that 59 percent of teens said there’s no need to strap on an antiquated wristwatch in 2006 — especially when everything you need comes in one cell package. (And to think, when I was a teen, the coolness factor came from fastening two wristwatches to one wrist.)

That got me to thinking last night, as the boyfriend and I watched the congressional debate between Republican incumbent, Wally Herger and Democratic hopeful, Jeff Morris on KIXE.

No one on the panel — not Mike Mangas, Lorraine Dechter, Bruce Ross and not Jeff Morris, wore a wristwatch. But Herger did — a bright gold number, which reflected light like a shooting star.

If personal appearance is an outward indicator of the entrenchment of real-world beliefs and how one interacts with, experiences and sees the world, I’d have to conclude that Herger hasn’t gotten the memo: Times have changed. But he’s still checking his wrist. And suggesting that shale oil caches in Colorado, among other stateside locales, are the panacea to our energy crisis. 

Time check. And some time-keeping photos below.


A watchful Representative Wally Herger, right, with Representative Jeff Flake in a 2006 New York Times photo. Story here.








Jeff Morris with paperwork — and without a watch.

Photo courtesy of http://www.jeffmorrisforcongress.com/


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