...No, I agree with that... I think. The whole point of the indicator is that it indicates the passage of time. If you separate it from that, then it's just an object, yes. Hence my example of four candles being lit in order, signifying time, versus being knocked over in response to something, signifying space.
Maybe that's my big quibble. Right now, hold up 30 minutes of time. Just wave your hand through the ether and pull some out for me. Show me what it looks like. ...Nothing, right? Time isn't something we immediately interact with; we always have some medium, or indicator, of it to measure it for us.
But my point is, once you have the indicator, and it moves at a constant rate, we don't need the time anymore. By time I don't mean the passage of time; rather, I mean the numbers we use to measure time, the 24 hours and 3600 seconds and whatnot. If I give you a clock that measures one hour, you've got a Timelock. But if you're sitting in that room, and then before your task starts, I sneakily change the gears inside the clock so now it takes two hours to run instead of just one, you won't have the slightest idea. All that matters to you is, "When the clock gets from the start of its rotation to the end." But you still have a Timelock, right? It's just 2 hours, not 1, and I'm the only one who knows the difference.
Now, imagine instead of setting it to 2 hours, I just crank the springs and gears a couple of times. Now I don't know what the true rate of the clock is, and you don't know what the true rate of the clock is. So who does know what the true rate of the clock is? The clock itself. So long as the clock itself knows what the true rate is, you're good as gold. You can be confident that "the rotation of the clock" is Locked to some amount of Time.
This is what I've been trying to say all along! When the man freezes to death in "To Build a Fire," I don't know what the temporal limit is, and neither does the man, but the hypothermia knows. When the indicator drops from 100 to 0, none of the characters know what the amount of time is that the indicator lasted, but the indicator does. And so long as the indicator knows what the true Limit of the Timelock is, we can trust it to manage the flow of time for us.