You can never have too many watches, I say. I used to have a very thin one, a Swatch Skin possibly? It was nothing like this one from Piaget, that’s for sure.
Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch – Piaget Altiplano watch, 41 mm. Cobalt alloy case. World’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch : 2 mm, a total fusion between the case and the Manufacture movement. Manufacture Piaget 900P ultra-thin, hand-wound mechanical movement. Winner of the prestigious “Aiguille d’Or” watch price at the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).
It’s only 2mm thick? Yep.
The incredible inner workings of the world’s thinnest watch – Wired UK The Piaget Ultimate Concept first launched as a show-stealing proof-of-concept in 2018; now the watch is now in fully commercialised form (confusingly, still with the “Concept” nomination). It’s a mere 2mm-thick whisper of mechanical virtuosity that’s unlikely to be trumped in thinness any time soon […]
Made to order, the watch is described as “price on application”, though WIRED understands it to be well to the north of 300,000 Swiss francs.
So what’s 300,000 Swiss francs in sterling? Perhaps it’s one of those hyperinflated currencies like the Zimbabwe dollar and this amazing watch is within reach after all.
(For instance, did you know that a German 5 Million Mark coin, worth about $700 in January 1923, was only worth about one-thousandth of one cent by October 1923. And in Hungary, their highest banknote value in 1944 was 1,000 pengő, but by the end of 1945, it was 10,000,000 pengő, and the highest value in mid-1946 was 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengő.)
The inspiration behind the redesign of the new Norwegian banknotes.
Norwegian banknotes: Original design and main concept – Metric Norway is a coastal nation. The Norwegian coastline is unique on a world scale; it is Europe’s longest and extends over 13 latitudes. 90% of Norway’s population live within 10 km of the ocean. When it comes to productivity, diversity in species and distinctive character, it is unparalleled throughout the world. The Norwegian livelihood is the ocean – it is the origin of our most important resources. It is our food basket and our major source of income. It is also the origin of our shared history and knowledge – a source to our worldview and our identity.
The banknote motifs are all about how Norwegians use the ocean; about how we combine our access to resources with knowledge and how the ocean affects the Norwegian way of life and social model – both politically and socially.
I love the way black and white photography is used here, to contrast with the macro shots of the notes themselves.
So why is this and what does it tell us about the psychology of honesty? To get an idea, I ran a very informal focus group to find out what kinds of things people may ask themselves when making a decision to return a found wallet. A common view was that no one wanted to appear to act in a socially unacceptable way, and nobody wanted to appear to be a thief. And, of course, the more money in the wallet, the greater the crime.
Is there anything you can do to increase the changes of your wallet being returned? Try this.
In 2009, a researcher carelessly “dropped” a number of wallets all over Edinburgh to see what would happen. He got 42% of the wallets back, but wasn’t not the most interesting finding. It wasn’t only the money in the wallet that influenced whether it would be returned. Where a family photo, an image of a cute puppy, a baby or an elderly couple were included, the chances of the wallet being returned significantly improved.
You may want to cut this out and put it in your wallet.
Thefts do happen, of course, but some have happy endings.
Found: 15 wallets from the 1940s, stolen and stashed behind a bathroom wall The pastor took to Facebook to wage a longshot campaign to return the wallets to their owners. His post—which featured a photo of the find along with eight names from the discovered student identification cards—has since picked up more than 3,000 shares, and has so far helped facilitate one reunion. Betty Sissom, 89, currently living more than an hour away from Centralia in Chesterfield, Missouri, is now back in possession of treasures once lost, such as her old social security card, a photo of herself with her childhood crush, and a picture of her brother, who had been fighting in World War II at the time and has since passed away. “I was just so glad to get that,” CNN quoted Sissom as saying, “because I don’t have a picture of him.”
And let’s not forget this from NBC News, under its ‘Criminal weirdness’ heading:
Man’s two ‘page one’ photos lead to arrest Michael Millhouse, wearing a blue and black checkered coat, is painting decorative Christmas greetings on storefront windows in one photo published Dec. 13 in the Lewiston Tribune. The other image was taken from surveillance video footage that reportedly showed a then-unidentified man slipping a women’s wallet in the pocket of that same coat and walking away.
There’s a spelling mistake on the new $50 note
The story came from the Hot Breakfast’s Hot Tips, with an anonymous caller letting us know about the microscopic stuff up. The miniature text is part of a speech by Edith Cowan — who features on the note itself — and reads: “I stand here today in the unique position of being the first woman in an Australian parliament. It is a great responsibilty.”
According to The Guardian, 46,000,000 of these $50 notes have been printed, totalling $2,300,000,000. That’s quite a costly mistake. Here are a few more.
Here in the UK, we’ve had credit cards since the 60s, though the term was thought to be first coined as far back as 1887 by the novellist Edward Bellamy. So perhaps this fresh look at their design is overdue.
Portrait bank cards are a thing now
Consider the ways you use your bank card on an everyday basis, whether handing it over to a cashier, swiping it to make contactless payments, or inserting it into an ATM. How are you holding the card as you do all those things? Vertically, I’m willing to bet, or in portrait orientation, to borrow a term. And yet, the vast majority of credit and debit cards are designed in landscape, sticking to a thoroughly outdated usage model. This is the senseless design inertia that the UK’s Starling Bank is rowing against with its newly unveiled portrait card design, which was spotted by Brand New.
There’s more info on the reasons behind the change on the bank’s website.
Introducing our new card Design usually evolves to solve something or to meet new needs, and bank cards don’t look the way they do by accident. They were designed landscape because of the way old card machines worked, and they’re embossed with raised numbers so they could be printed onto a sales voucher.
But we don’t use those machines anymore, so when you think about it, a landscape card is just a solution to a ‘problem’ that no longer exists. At Starling, we think it’s important that we can justify every decision we make – and we just couldn’t find a reason good enough to carry on using a design based on antiquated needs.
That first article from The Verge identifies a number of other banks and companies that have gone vertical. I’ve had a portrait Co-op membership card in my wallet for ages now, since their rebrand.
Speaking of credit cards, here’s an interesting article about how companies across the globe are turning to AI to help assess credit ratings in what they claim to be a fairer and more transparent way. That’s the idea, anyway…
It used to be that credit card companies would just be sneakily looking at transaction data to infer worthiness:
In the US, every transaction processed by Visa or MasterCard is coded by a “merchant category“—5122 for drugs, for example; 7277 for debt, marriage, or personal counseling; 7995 for betting and wagers; or 7273 for dating and escort services. Some companies curtailed their customers’ credit if charges appeared for counseling, because depression and marital strife were signs of potential job loss or expensive litigation.
Now the data trawl is much wider:
In these situations it becomes hard to tell what data, or combinations of data, are important — and even harder to do anything about it if these automated decisions go against us.
An interesting debate on the merits and drawbacks of our moving towards a cashless society. Yes, it’s super convenient, for both consumers and businesses, but perhaps not for everyone.
‘Cash is just grief’: why shops and bars want to make you pay by card From contactless payments at self-service supermarket tills to online banking, it can seem like the digitisation of money is inevitable. But cash is proving curiously resilient. Payments UK reports that it is still used in 44% of consumer transactions and, oddly, as the Bank of England has observed, despite the rate of card transactions soaring and the value of cash payments falling by 10% annually, the volume of cash in circulation is at a record high. The number of British people who deal solely in cash – 2.7 million – is also rising. That oddity is often attributed to low interest rates, people hoarding money after the 2008 crash and a booming criminal economy.
Well, it’s good to see at least one economy booming, right?
Businesses can save time and money with card-only payments, and not having cash on the premises is safer too, but perhaps they like the way we’re more likely to spend more, too?
In a 2016 survey by the financial technology firm ClearScore, 59% of people blamed their overspending on using cards and 72% said that contactless payments make them prone to impulse purchases. […]
“The haptic, physical sensation of handling and spending a £20 note makes you ‘feel it’. With cashless, that is lost somewhat,” says Jez Groom from Cowry Consulting, which researches “behavioural economics”. “The Apple Pay ding you get from your iPhone should be replaced with a vibration calibrated to the amount spent: light for under £10; heavy and consistent for £30.”