Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Helix

Timex produced a watch called The Helix a while back. Now, a lot of you know that I write manuals for a living. I came across this manual on a list serve that I am part of. If you want to read the whole thing, you can go to But, for those of you not interested in sarcastic Tech Writer humor, here are a few samples:
If you have this manual, then you've bought one of the following HELIX™ watches: the ABT, DM, or WRKS (if you look at the back of your watch, you'll see that we're being honest with you).

It enhances our already amazing ELECTROLUMINESCENT TECHNOLOGY. Do not fear it.

As luck would have it, when you turn the crown forward (clockwise) the time moves forward, and when you turn the crown backward (counterclockwise) the time moves backward. Turn the crown quickly and time will appear to fly.

Find something to time. A marathon, the walk to the toilet, or how long it takes you to read this inane gibberish.

And these are just a few samples. There are a whole bunch of references that are just plain silly. Things that wouldn't translate to people with different education levels, let alone into a different language. I am torn about this. I find the manual to be humorous and a nod to the desired market. However, as a Tech Writer, I find this type of documentation to be highly unprofessional. And had I bought the watch, I don't know what I would think.

And to top it all off, on the list of warnings, right there, in bold print: Do not eat watch. No kidding. There's even a picture. I don't know. Am I just old?

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