An unprecedented measure is set to take place as of the beginning of the next school year in Bienne: starting Monday, August 15 2022, all children of age 6 and above will be required to wear a wristwatch when attending school.
“This should not come as a surprise” explains an anonymous source close to the matter. “We are the capital of watchmaking, and children must be educated as of a young age about the importance of having a watch on the wrist. Some of us even wanted to make it starting at age 4, but the so-called experts concluded it is too young to know how to tell time.”
Not all details are finalized regarding the measure, which should be officially announced later this month. For instance, it is unclear whether wearing the watch on the left will be a requirement for right-handed pupils, and vice-versa. It does appear though that after extensive debate, digital watches will be tolerated. Also, Swiss Made, while preferred, will not be a requirement.
Most children interviewed for this article seemed delighted. “My mother has a really nice watch, a gift from my dad,” says Emily, 8 years old. “I hope she lets me wear it to school.” Ibrahim, who just turned 10, added: “I almost asked for a watch for my birthday, because I lost mine recently. But finally I chose a gaming console. Now my parents will need to get me a new watch anyway, haha!” For Niels, who will turn 6 a few days before the new measure kicks in: “this is a lot better than having to wear a mask!”
Many open questions remain: what will be the sanctions for students who do not wear a watch? What happens when the watch is not set to the right time, or needs a service? The next few weeks should give us answers, hopefully leaving families enough time to prepare for the new measures. Until then, let's all keep our eyes on our watch, especially if it has a date!