My previous microwave oven had a knob for intensity and a knob for duration. That's it. You set the intensity, you set the duration, it starts cooking, and it dings when it's done. These were fully analog knobs, no digital electronics of any kind were involved.
When it broke (set itself on fire after twenty years of faithful service), the simplest replacement I could find had a numeric keypad, an LCD display, and a bunch of buttons that I can't read without glasses. It won't work until you tell it what time it is. Every time there's a power glitch, I have to tell the god damned microwave oven what time it is before I can warm up a burrito. I don't intend to use the automatic timer feature, ever. Why would I want an appliance that can potentially set itself on fire to operate when I'm not around? But the thing goes on strike until I set the time.
My previous automatic watering timer had a knob for frequency and a knob for duration. That's it. You set how often it should run, and you set how long it should run, and then you forget about it. These were digital-backed knobs, but knobs nevertheless.
When it broke (valve stuck), the simplest replacement I could find had one knob and a button. The button cycles through a bunch of modes to determine what the knob means. To tell you which mode you are in, there are also a few blinking LEDs that I can't see in bright sunlight or read the labels on without glasses. And guess what, one of the modes is time of day. The old timer got along without knowing the time of day, and this one could too.
In summary, I like knobs, and I don't like appliances that want to know what time it is.