Saturday, May 20, 2006

Night watch, man

The humble watch. Possibly the only piece of body adornment that can be gadgetized. That and the bluetooth headset. And the Oakley Thump. Oh, and these Eyetrek things... But of course, dear reader, these are gadgets in their own right. The watch - as a gadget - descends from a line of timepieces dating back to... er, a very long time ago indeed.

In fact, it took until the discovery of Japan in the early 1900s for full watch gadgetization to happen, namely by a small company called Casio. They built the first wrist-clock (as they were known then) from bamboo and cat-gut.

Before long, they had their first (and sadly, last) wrist mp3 player. And, possibly before that, the wrist GPS system.

Watch fanciers around the world yearned for the simpler days - the days where your watch would enigmatically hide the time from you and you needed to press a button to get your chronological fix.

I’m talking, quite rightly, about the humble LED watch. But this is 2006, you cry! Do not fear, for this is no mere seven segment LED watch, but a LED matrix watch! Oh yes. Just like those seen in the back window of police cars. Except instead of ‘Stop’, it tells the time. And date.

This watch is branded Ted Baker, the ludicrously expensive high street fashion emporium.

Thankfully, the watch is priced just a little higher than one of their shirts which makes it slightly affordable.

Under the skin, it’s just a Taiwanese manufactured quartz watch - it’s available from Tokyoflash under the Cyber Punk brand. But of course.

The large, square, deep ruby coloured face is impossibly retro but classy at the same time. Who cares if it takes two hands to tell the time?

Finished with a brushed stainless steel bezel and soft, wide leather strap, it’s firmly a fashion watch which, like your girlfriend, deserves the occasional night out.

Press the button and the 18x5 matrix sweeps the time into view. Another press and the date is shown. It’s a class act and is sure to get you noticed in the hippest of joints, daddy-o.

Mine’s a bit flakey and I can only think that this must be because it takes a fair amount of juice (by watch standards) to light all the LEDs, and when the battery is low it basically crashes due to low current. Either that or it’s faulty.

So, there you have it. Watches can be trendy.