Saw the eclipse at a site in the coastal marshes of SC that thereby had wide-open unobstructed "big sky" horizons of the kind usually found only in the western US. (Santee Coastal refuge just N or McClellanville, SC). Wide-open enough that even during maximum eclipse, we could easily see the simultaneous 180-degree opposite bands of twilight along the far distant horizon, at the respective N and S edges of the band of totality, ironically aided by the partly cloudy conditions (our location was fortunately in a huge cloud-free sucker-hole). And as the end of totality approached, we could see the polar opposite bands of twilight growing closer to us, eventually including the back edge of the lunar shadow approaching us. So no timer was needed in our location to anticipate the arrival of the "diamond ring" at the end of totality.
The only previous total eclipse I've seen back in 1970 was in a sandy farmyard, which facilitated seeing the "shadow bands" racing across the ground just as totality was imminent, and just as it ended. That was one thing our coastal marsh / water-side site didn't show (just enough wind to ripple the water and break up the necessary mirror-like reflectivity) - unfortunately, though our site was only a mile or so as the crow flies from the ocean beachfront, most of the coastal band of totality in SC was in a long stretch of the Cape Romain NWR, inaccessible except by boat. The shadow bands are supposedly especially prominent on a sandy beach-front. But hey, in every other respect, we hit the jackpot for a perfect site to witness the 2017 eclipse - the same wind that rippled the water also kept the mosquitoes away (the coastal marshlands are very buggy). And none of the alligators which inhabit the brackish waterways decided to inconveniently sun themselves on the boat launch/fishing pier berm we were located on.
While the "diamond ring" effect was indeed spectacular, the associated "Bailey's beads" phenomenon was much less distinctly evident in 2017 compared to 1970, or for that matter the near-total annular eclipse I witnessed back in 1984. Oh, well- I'm no complaining a bit, we couldn't have asked for a better site / better view of the 2017 event, and I have no doubt the memory of everyone at our site is indelibly etched with the spectacle, just as the 1970 event is still as vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday.