Until about a year ago, whenever I’d start rambling about my love of watches to my closest friends, they would playfully accuse me of having become an analog worshiper, a Luddite, or even a hipster suffering a chronic case of nostalgia. Indeed, my friends like to give me a hard time, but behind the joking was some genuine confusion about how someone they admire and respect could be so daft as to actually prefer analog gadgets over digital ones.
Granted, I am an extreme case. I drive old cars, ride my father’s old bicycle, listen to vinyl records, play a lot of backgammon, and I own about 50 times more mechanical wristwatches than all of my friends do collectively. Calling me a Luddite hipster wasn’t a huge leap.
But something interesting has started happening recently: many of those digitally inclined friends are replacing digital tools with analog ones. I can see at least three reasons for this: they want to reduce screen time; they’re finding certain analog technologies more efficient than the digital counterparts; and nearly all of my friends now claim that analog stuff improves the quality of their lives, especially their relationships, both professional and personal.