Readers respond to a Guardian editorial about the merits of analogue and digital timekeeping
Your editorial (Clocking time…, 26 April) suggests that reading analogue clocks and watches requires computational skills. Indeed it does when one is learning to tell the time, but the main value once that has been learned is that an analogue clock facedisplay is information-rich in a way that a digital display is not. If I have 30 minutes to do a task, the analogue display shows me not only start time but finish time and progress can be checked instantaneously at any point in between – a huge amount of useful information. A digital display tells you the time but it requires mental arithmetic to work out whether you are on time or running late. Analogue wins hands down, as it were.
• You overlook one significant advantage of analogue clocks. The digital display has to be read using the centre of the retina, but the position of the analogue hands can be taken in more quickly with a fleeting glance and even using peripheral vision.