Some days, I’ll start a project at 10 a.m. and forget to check the clock until 3 p.m. I’m left in a stupor as to what just happened and why I’m not even hungry for lunch. Yet other days, I might feel like I'm wasting my life away in the checkout line at the grocery store, when in reality, I've been waiting only a few minutes.
Durr, by Skrekstore, is a watch meant to stabilize our malleable perception of time. It has no hour, minute, or second arms, nor is there a digital time display. Instead, Durr vibrates every five minutes to remind wearers, independent of their subjective take on events, how long they’ve been doing whatever they’ve been doing.
The idea itself surfaced late one Friday at work with a "Hey, what if we..."explains co-creator Lars Marcus Vedeler. "It was a quick and dirty half-hour prototype that we strapped to our arm before we went for beers, and we were surprised and excited about how tangible time suddenly seemed."
No doubt, timing the first few beers would be amusing, but didn't the constant alerts get annoying? The team did test other increments of time before locking in on the five-minute sweet spot. 10 minutes was too long to recall what they’d been doing 10 minutes ago. And anything below five minutes was irritating.
Over time, Vedeler says, that five-minute buzz fused into his daily rhythm, with its simple vibration more akin to a tap or a nudge than a distracting beeping, blinking phone alert. It made him aware of the time going by, even when deep inside the work-trance "flow" state that creative professionals hold so dear, but without being overly disruptive.
While countless studies and anecdotes have proven the same principle—that time really does fly when you’re concentrating or having fun—Vedeler found it "more satisfying" to quantify his subjectivity, with every 300 seconds of his day serving as a reference point to any number of unspoken hypotheses. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine this game being played at a very personal level—a chatty friend droning on about their vacation might be boring, but to have the Durr take forever to vibrate again and again could actually feel vindicating, as if an externally objective measurement could validate one’s internal subjectivity (as paradoxical as that idea may be).
The Durr is available now in extremely limited quantities (just 50 have been made in the first run). Only three of five colors appear to be left at the moment, for about $125.
[Hat tip: Creative Applications]