I need advice from electronics enthusiasts

I have been trying to think of a way to create a prototype of this watch design that I created about a year ago.
Each segment lights up individually and I've had a tough time thinking of a way to create the display in a compact form. I quickly had to rule out using LEDs because trying to fit sixty LEDs into a tight ring like that would be impossible in a small watch and I don't especially want a pocket watch the size of a dinner plate—even as a prototype. After searching a bit more I learned about LEC panels and I think that this might be what I'm looking for but I need to know if it's possible to do what I hope with it.
The EL panel I linked to is a light-emitting capacitor. If I understand correctly that means that you need to wire the back side and the front side of the panel for each segment that you want to light up as well as breaking the circuit between all individual segments so that only one lights up at a time. Since there are 132 segments that's quite the task but it's still better than using separate LEDs. My plan is to take an EL panel and cut this pattern into it which should break the large panel into smaller independent sections that can be turned on and off separately while still remaining connected. I may edit that pattern to be a bit easier to wire up. After I get that all wired and running I would attach a black cover made from this template to block the excess EL Panel from being visible.

What I need to know is if it is possible to do this and any tips or advice any of you may have. I'm a complete novice when it comes to actually building this sort of thing so I need to know whether it's worth spending my money on the parts for this or if it would be better to try a different approach. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you all have a fantastic day.

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mnorth (author) 2 years ago

After asking pretty much the same thing on the Adafruit forums I have been advised that using an EL Panel would probably not work. Any other advice would still be welcomed though.

mnorth (author) 2 years ago

After discussing this with a few more people I'm thinking about making a custom LCD to overlay the EL panel. If I do that the trick becomes figuring out how to "wire" the sections in the LCD

epicTCK2 years ago

Moto 360, custom milled casing, custom watch face.http://3dprint.com/53162/moto-360-pocket-watch/

mnorth (author)  epicTCK2 years ago

I looked at the Moto 360 actually. I'm a bit disappointed with the black bar at the bottom that cuts into the screen. I'm also not quite ready to spend $300 on something I might immediately break.

Ok, promise to hurry up and give us a good Instructable in return for my help, ok? ;)



or here, just to nema few of the availble options.
Possibly not what you intended but think in the long run much easier, better and with far more option to change the design.
Sure, you might have to use a different base like a tiny Arduino but I think it should match your needs and I would really like to see your watch design as a working version here at Instructables :)

mnorth (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

If I can figure out what I'm doing well enough to make something I'll definitely post it here.

mnorth (author)  bravoechonovember12 years ago

Unfortunately that's a bit too large for the seconds ring and about four times fewer LEDs than I'd need for either the minutes or the seconds. I have considered Neopixels though. If I can find small enough LEDs I'll probably just use white instead of RGB and put them behind a colored plastic to diffuse the light.

So using a full color display is out of the question then?