"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
This is a slick idea; I also think that there are some cool artistic possibilities here. The lights could be arranged in different patterns and colors; the wrist is not the only place you could have one. If you were really into historical realism, you could tattoo a watch on your wrist, with the implanted lights showing through.
Personally, I have a strong attachment to the finger watch, which appeared in The Puppet Masters, by Robert Heinlein. But Niven's watch has the added advantage that you can't leave it someplace.
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