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Far from heralding the watch’s demise, these four mobile apps make the smartphone your mechanical timekeeper’s closest ally.
By Kevin Rose, entrepreneur and watch collector
Started by a horology enthusiast, this app compiles news and updates from watch blogs and websites onto one platform for easy access. It was created by Kevin Rose, who is by day, an Internet entrepreneur and by night, a watch collector. The selection of available sites has been curated and vetted by Rose, who is a faithful follower of many of them. Out of these options, users of the app may select the ones they want to appear on their feed.
On top of the newsfeed, Watchville has a clock and calendar function. The first displays ultra-accurate time that is an average taken from servers around the world that compile data from atomic clocks. The second is a full calendar complete with a moon phase indicator to help those who own timepieces with calendar complications set their watches. Besides indicating the time nearest to the next appearance of the new or full moon, it also has a countdown timer that is accurate to one out of 100th of a second.
2. Twixt Time
By Cold Flower
This app is the new, improved version of the widely popular Kello, which monitored the accuracy of mechanical watches over time by compiling data on the frequency of the watch’s ticking. Unfortunately, the app relied on the iPhone’s microphone to amplify the sound; it didn’t always give the most accurate audio transmissions, so readings often suffered.
Twixt Time solves this problem by using the phone’s camera instead of the microphone. The user takes a photo of his watch and Twixt will note the precise moment the photo was captured using Network Time Protocol servers. By submitting a photo every 24 hours at the same time, users can use Twixt to measure the accuracy drift of their watches.
The app has been designed to work with any watch with an analogue display, including GMTs, chronographs and even quartz timepieces. Twixt also allows the tracking of multiple timepieces. Its latest version has a share option so users can brag about how accurate their watches are on social media.
3. Catalogue 2016
By Officine Panerai
Now anyone can become an expert on Panerai watches. The app is simply called a catalogue, but it’s really more than that. Resembling a digital encyclopedia, it includes a presentation of the entire collection of Panerai watches, complete with photos, videos and information on technical details.
Giving further depth to the app is the section on Panerai’s in-house movements and the watches that are equipped with them. Perhaps most interesting to any aficionado of the brand would be the history segment that takes users through all the most important dates that mark milestones for Panerai.
4. GO Calibre 37
By Glashutte Original
It’s no longer uncommon in this information age for brands to create apps that take the user through every single detail of their mechanical masterpieces. Take Glashutte Original’s GO Calibre 37 app, for example: it gives users insight into the groundbreaking movement via animations, images and 360-degree panoramic views of the movement.
Considering that the Calibre 37 comprises a column wheel chronograph with central stop-seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters, a flyback mechanism and 70-hour power reserve, there’s definitely a lot to see. The app comes complete with a digital showcase of all the Glashutte Original models that run on the Calibre 37.
The app is not exclusive to those who already own the watches, but to resist buying a watch after using the app will take a lot of willpower.