Analog in a digital world                                                                                       Vol. 3 - Mar 5, 05 


With the influx of technology in modern automobiles, I find it surprising that a piece of quite old technology has become the must-have interior feature of the modern luxury car. Nestled next to the modern satellite navigation systems and detailed information centers that let their drivers know everything from current miles per gallon to the location of the next Starbucks, the good old analog clock keeps on ticking. Analog clocks, a modern marvel in the 1600's, has become a ubiquitous interior element in today's luxury and near luxury cars. The popularity is one things, but the almost thoughtless employment is more worrisome. Today's automotive analogs generally employ three key elements: they are almost always in center position, never more than four numbers (if any numbers at all), and there is, of course, always a splash of chrome. What is it about the two handed clock that exudes luxury? Is it the tradition? The digital clock has been with us for some time now, yet it can't overcome its lumpin roots. While driving, the ease of a digital read out is far superior; also, in the precise world of aggressive motoring, who wants to be fumbling for some hands? Yet, despite the inherent benefits of the digital clock, auto designers can't stop themselves from adding a splash of class, and a hint of dignity and opulence with the insertion of an old fashioned timepiece. The digital clock has come a long way from the giant green digits of the Sony clock radios of the 70's. Modern digitals can be beautiful, excluding a world of color and styles analog can't compare with. Its time for a change. Opulence doesn't have to have two hands. - M.H.


1. Ford  500
2. Inifniti M45
3. Chrysler 300
4. Maserati Spider
5. Lincoln Zephyr

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