We love a nice website Easter egg. Little surprises buried in a web design might not necessarily add functionality to the site, but they can add a dose of delight that makes the user smile when they 'clock on'. And the Tag Heuer website is a great example.
We might not normally expect eyebrow-raising surprises from the site of a Swiss luxury watchmaker, over than perhaps the prices. Sure enough, much of the site is what you would expect: videos of men tying ropes on a boat while wearing timepieces that may have cost even more than said seafaring vessel. But hit the specific product pages and there's a lovely little treat. The photographs of the watches tell the real time (see our pick of the best web design software if you're looking to build or improve your own sites).
Never mind if you can't afford the $6,750 Tag Heuer Carrera Skipper. You can have a real working version on your desktop in your browser. Almost. That's because the photos of watches on the Tag Heuer website adjust to the current time on your device. As I write, it's 10.13am for me and the image above is a screenshot from the site. The date is also correct.
But there's more. You can also click the watch's two buttons to stop/start and reset the second hand, which really does count out the seconds in real time. It's a web design Easter egg that ticks all the boxes. It's sleek and subtle, precisely executed, has a powerful 'wow' effect when the user notices it, and it's also completely relevant to the brand and product. And while it's a detail that some site visitors may not even notice, chances are people are likely to be looking at that watch for some time trying to pluck up the courage to hit the buy button.
The Easter egg has proved to be a hit on Reddit. Some report it taking a while to start working depending on their device, and for some viewers, it seems to work only on certain watches, while others report that it works on all of them. "This is kind of insane. Every single photo of every watch in the store shows the current time!" one person wrote in amazement.
There's been some debate about how Tag Heuer's web designers could have achieved the result. One person took a look and found
createjs functions for Shape, Graphics, moveTo, lineTo, drawing a vector image and then applying transforms. It had to be done well since watch enthusiasts are going to be poring over the detailhs, and I'd say Tag nailed it, providing a nice preview of what you're getting for your $6,750.
If the price seems a little steep, bear in mind that it does include a 'complimentary' travel pouch. Very generous. Still not convinced. See the best current Apple Watch prices below, or check our guide to the Apple Watch generations to see if a smartwatch is for you.