For what they do - basically, turn an enlarger lamp on for a certain (controllable) time and back off again, darkroom timers are very expensive beasts.
Perhaps part of the reason is that the popularity of
do-it-yourself photo processing is nothing like it was in years gone by - hence less timers are made - but that doesn't change the fact that they are expensive.
Come to think of it, they have always been pretty exe!
Yet timers per se are now made in (probably) the
hundreds of millions every year. Just about every commercial appliance these days seems to have a timer of some sort. Just take a look around you. They're everywhere!
Which leads us directly into this article...