There’s no such thing as watch monogamy these day. Whether it was a Mickey Mouse, Casio or a gold hand-me-down, watches were once a sacred adornment. Unlike all other superfluous jewellery, watches were anointed by a smartphoneless society as an acceptable practicality.
With smartphones in every pocket, watches no longer receive that practicality nod, making them more desperate for shelf space and the subject of some rather risky engineering. Case in point, Tokyoflash.
Here’s a company that’s taken advantage of the timekeeping hiatus to go back to the drawing board. Rather than integrating with your cellphone, tracking your run or working out some long division, Tokyoflash watches are all about displaying time in completely novel and silly ways.
At first glance the Kisai looks like a wondrous piece of future tech. The Rogue Touch uses arbitrary shapes and spacing for markers that run around the outermost part of the screen with a second time in the centre to balance things out. It all looks very pretty but you will need the manual to set things up and probably for reference later on if you manage to keep using it.
Sadly, even after weeks of use, it still takes cognitive energy to extrapolate the time, counting out loud for the date and OMFG NO when you want to set an alarm. The touch screen is unclear at times and interactions are iffy, especially under water, which you should probably avoid since it’s not water proof at all. At night and at random whenever you touch the screen, the back light will turn on, transforming this unique piece of problem solving monochrome, just like a x486 do.
If you want to simply look at the time or set the time or do anything other than explain to befuddled friends and family, this might not be the watch for you. Maybe that’s a bit harsh. Maybe a type A parent with with deadlines, meetings and stuff to do is not the target market. Maybe there’s some Disney-esque teen out their who needs to save the world by keeping our time encrypted from aliens or any other intelligent life. Maybe people like a challenge working out the time when there are clouds or they forgot their sextant on the dresser.
Or maybe, just maybe, this is all a gimmick to sell watches to people that don’t need watches.