I happened across this story when listening to an old podcast of On The Media. It’s completely crazy, and yet totally plausible that at that time of the internet being so new and exciting a company would try and do something so completely lunatic:
In 1998 Swatch tried to completely reinvent our concept of time. Swatch Internet Time (or .beat time) would have been a new way to conceive of moments. There’d be no time zones, and also, no hours, minutes, or seconds. PJ talks to Gizmodo’s Eric Limer and Swatch Creative Director Carlo Giordanetti about Swatch’s plan to create time’s version of Esperanto.
Here’s some more detail from Wikipedia if you don’t have the inclination to listen to the radio show.