Hot Stuff

red_coatSan Francisco Chronicle
By Laura Thomas
Wednesday, October 8, 2003

NEVER MIND THE HOUR /
A clock that deals with the basics

Most working stiffs in the so-called prime of their lives are caught in a battle against the clock – the regular clock with hours and minutes on it.

Retirees John Kallestad and Mark Pierce found themselves on a five-day jaunt in the Nevada desert with watches that were useless to them because they’d forgotten what day it was. And they needed to know because their wives were supposed to join them on Friday.

“We didn’t care for what time it was, but we needed a device that told us what day it was,” Kallestad said. “So later that day, we sat around the campfire and brainstormed.”

The pair came up with a 9.5-inch clock with just the days of the week on it, and Kallestad, a former pollution control manufacturer, took on the challenge of having it made; Pierce became the creative consultant.

Kallestad spent hours on the Internet talking to manufacturers in China and found two companies to build the gearing and the movement, which had to be specially designed.

The DayClock®’s face is divided into seven equal pie-shaped sections, each labeled with a day of the week. There are arrows along the outer edge that indicate noon and thin lines that indicate 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“It’s a new concept of looking at time,” Kallestad said. “There’s a whole generation that’s moving into this.”

He’s talking mostly about financially secure retirees. “The hours of the day no longer control them. They don’t go to work. It’s the day of the week that’s doing it,” he said.

Ron Lee bought several DayClocks® and put one over the bar of his Foster City restaurant, Turtle Bay Seafood and Grill. “I did it just for kicks. It sure gets people’s attention,” he said. “I have a bunch of friends that are retired, and they keep asking what day it is and then they say, ‘Every day is Sunday, so what’s the difference?'”

The ultimate retirement gift, the clock is also good for anybody whose schedule revolves around weekly, rather than daily, activities. The battery-operated clocks can also be useful for hunting, fishing or camping vacations.

So far, Kallestad, who lives in Incline Village, NV, has been marketing it himself, by talking to groups of older people. Even they have to think about it for a minute or two.

Ironically, Kallestad’s new enterprise is sucking him slowly back into a speedier time frame in which he does note the hours.

“It gets the competitive juices going again.”

– Laura Thomas

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