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Nano seconds

Nano seconds
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First Published: Thu, Jan 27 2011. 08 17 PM IST

Play time: The Nano is also a cool, playful wristwatch.
Play time: The Nano is also a cool, playful wristwatch.
Updated: Thu, Jan 27 2011. 08 17 PM IST
But till I stepped into the Apple store on Regent Street in London two weeks back, I’d never actually seen someone who wears an Apple Nano music player as a watch. The trend, I think, is just taking off.
This, I admit, sounds like a ridiculous thing to do. Why would you defile the hallowed ground that is your wrist with such a device? Aren’t there Casio G-Shocks or Timex Ironmans that exude the same geek-savvy persona?
Leave alone the fact that you are being subversive with a pricey Apple device. For the price of one of these new sixth-generation Nano players you could possibly buy a 40ft container load of unbranded MP3 players made in China. If not the bloody factory itself.
Play time: The Nano is also a cool, playful wristwatch.
But, in fact, the watch, worn by one of the staff at the store, looked extremely fetching. He wore the device inside a dull metallic retaining case, with a thick, broad woven fabric strap. It looked entirely natural, not unlike a Tag Heuer, Breitling, Seiko Sportura or this columnist’s favourite indie brand: Lum-Tec (if it weren’t for the fact that marauding hordes of zombie fans would burn my house down, I would have made favourable comparisons between the Nano watch and the Tag Heuer Monaco. I won’t).
There is no denying that the whole thing is a gimmick. But is that such a bad thing? Many science fiction books and movies have tantalized us with a vision of a future where watches shoot lasers and transmit audio and video. I believe certain British secret service operatives already wear such models.
Watch purists, of course, will poohpooh the whole idea. The connoisseurs take great pride in keeping their wrists electronics free.
Now I like a tourbillon or a minute repeater or a grand complication as much as the next guy, but I think we should give the Nano watch a chance. Think of it not so much as a device that has been contrived to work as a watch, but as a good watch with fantastic touch and multimedia capabilities.
And surely watch purists should be the last people to point their fingers at gimmicks. How do they even begin to explain those 3D tourbillon watches with the bubble housing on the dial?
A few weeks ago we spoke about those million-dollar Ulysse Nardin pieces with the enamel work and moving figures and what not. Gimmick? Hell, yeah.
If I’ve managed to sell the idea to you then I have great news. Chicago-based design company Minimal will soon be launching two straps to house Apple Nano watches.
The straps are made from high-grade silicone and steel and aluminium and offer both temporary and permanent housing. Combined with the price of a new Nano, the whole assembly should set you back by around Rs10,000. A reasonable price to pay for a first-class watch with world-class multimedia capabilities.
Act quickly, though. These Apple things have a tendency to get really popular.
Write to Sidin at
watchman@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, Jan 27 2011. 08 17 PM IST