These days, nobody needs a watch to know the time. Time is all around us, displayed on every computer, phone and microwave oven. The Swiss watchmakers realize this. They market their mechanical watches as not only accurate but also deeply symbolic. For those willing to spend $30,000, a traditional Swiss watch marks its owner as a man or woman who appreciates quality, artistry and ingenuity (and, of course, as a wealthy and conspicuous consumer). Wearing a mechanical watch today makes an explicitly antidigital statement, embracing the long pedigree of a device that predates not only computers but electricity itself. It tells the time but is timeless.
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