Thursday, July 19, 2007

What's the time?


6:35, in case you were wondering. Ever since the days of the clunky calculator watches in the mid-80's, which had buttons so tiny they were practically impossible, crazy timepieces have come of age. One of the best exponents are Tokyo Flash, who supply online the wackier end of the market from Japan. The Shinsoku - as with many others - comes with a booklet describing how to read the hours and minutes. Handy, especially if someone asks you what the time is and you just stand there with a furrowed brow saying things like "Er. It'". The red LED lights are hours, the green 15mins, and the yellow single minutes. Six red + 2 green + 5 yellow = 6:35. Morning or evening you can probably work out yourself. Shinsoku

The JLr7

10:37. No, I have no idea how, either. This beauty is from geometric designers Eri & Eiichi, and wouldn't look out of place on the green-blooded wrist of the boldly-going Mr Spock. The L-shaped digital bits light up to reveal the time - and I had to stare at the pictures like someone doing one of those colourblindness tests (which I always fail), before I could see that some of the L's are blue. The dark grey markings distinguish these sections, as the hour is represented by ten blue L segments at the top of the watch. Rather brilliantly, "Between 6pm & Midnight the watch animates automatically every 15 mins to give the effect that it is malfunctioning (this feature can be turned off)". Just be careful when setting the alarm. JLr7

Neatnik by Alba

2:58. This one's almost a doddle by comparison - a limited edition of only 1000 made by Alba. I mention it because it's 2cm across the face. Make a little square with your fingers 2cm in size. You could probably wear it on your finger. Neatnik


11:52am. A space theme to the Titan watch from S-Mode, the lights don't spin or move, they just sit there glowing like distant planets. The large outer ring are hours - and unusually for Japanese watches it's actually the same layout as on a standard clockface. The inner square is ten-minute intervals, the other small circle individual minutes, and the larger square AM or PM. You know, I think I'm getting the hang of this. Titan

Star Performer

Ah. Still with the space theme, Star Performer lights up one column for each number, so 07:34 would have the 0, the 7, the 3 and the 4 illuminated in turn. Amusingly, as this is made by a company called Pimp watches, the flashes and craziness are ramped to the extreme. According to their explanation, "The Pimp mode light up function lights up all the lights in a fireworks like manner and automatically turns on at 7:00 PM and turns off at 1:00 AM (It can not be switched off). Gives the watch a look like it is malfunctioning, very cool!" Translation - be prepared to answer the question "Why is your watch doing that?" every night of every day. Star Performer

LED from Binary watches

Pass. A binary LED watch - and who doesn't love telling the time in binary? As the website says, this is a geek's dream. I have absolutely no idea how to work it though. I'll leave it to them to explain how to tell the time. "It couldn't get any geekier than this, you've got to love it. How to read time : Hours addition : 3rd LED +4th LED (from Left) = 2 + 1 = 3. Minutes addition : 1st LED+ 3rd LED ( from Left) = 32 + 8 = 40 => 03:40". Righto. Things have come a long way since the Casio digital watch... LED

Tokyo Flash