I've always loved watches; not only are they aesthetic and beautiful, but they are functional, precise and useful. An elegant fusion between engineering and art; two normally opposed perspectives, now joined in harmonic unison. However, all technologies like the dial-up internet, the CVT monitor and the abacus, inevitably will become relics of our past with the advent of advancing technology, and have since become less pragmatic for the typical person to own. Unlike these archaic technologies, the wrist watch still thrives on the wrists of many, standing forever as a testament to one of mankind's greatest inventions: the measurement of time.

I suppose it was inevitable that I would design my very own wrist watch. The name for this wrist watch is the ChronosMEGA, a combination the greek word: chronos for time, and MEGA for the ATmega328P processor used.

The below video is a montage that saturates 4 months of development in 4 minutes.

This short video demonstrates the features of the watch and briefly explains how it functions:


  • Robust and practical for daily use; long battery life
  • "Production ready" and professional; to look, feel and behave like a finished product
  • Compact, small form factor
  • Assembly SW to drive the system
  • To be as aesthetic as possible


  • Atmel ATmega328P QFP processor
  • Binary time encoding using 10 Blue 1206 LEDs
  • Buttons to control time, sleep mode and display
  • 32.768kHz external crystal and 8MHz internal clock source
  • Micro-USB and Charge Management Controller to recharge 400mAh Li-ion battery
  • Draws 4uA in its Deep Sleep mode to last up to 11 years on a single charge (see section 5.3.)
  • Battery Indicator 0603 LED
  • Boost TI Switching Regulator for power regulation
  • Low Loss PowerPath Controller IC for power source selection
  • Total form factor of 10mm x 40mm x 53mm
  • Custom 3D designed case cast in pure polished silver
  • Genuine crocodile leather watch band
I.1. What will this Instructable provide?

This Instructable will be broken into two big sections:

I.1.1. Section 1: The Design; the Development

This section will introduce my approach and design considerations, and then dive into each component: explaining in great detail how the ChronosMEGA was constructed from top to bottom. There is even a pre-requisites page for a friendly pointer to what topics you must understand so you may understand the topics covered here.

I.1.2. Section 2: The Cloning Process

All files are included in this Instructable so you can build a ChronosMEGA clone with virtually no work on your part. There is a .zip file below on this page with everything you need, including:

• Gerber files to send directly to a board manufacturer
• STL files to send to a 3D printer
• Assembly ASM files to upload directly to the MCU
• Bill of Materials with links to every single part purchased

In this section, I provide step-by-step instructions with plenty of pictures to guide you in cloning. The process will cost you approximately $100 to $700 depending on the options you choose. The largest factor in price is the case material you choose.

Step 1: Table of Contents/Pre-requisites

1.1. Table of Contents

1.1.1. Section 1: The Design; the Development

1.1.2. Section 2: The Cloning Process

1.2. Pre-requisites

This watch wasn't made with beginner experience. If you wish to understand this Instructable, and to construct your own watch like mine with your own interpretation, you must understand at least the following concepts:

  • Basic knowledge of passive elements (resistors, capacitors and inductors) and real applications
    • Pull-Up Resistors
    • Decoupling and loading capacitors
  • Knowledge on programming a MCU and setting Fuses (if AVR) and Registers (I programmed with Assembly but you may just use C if you wish)
  • PCB layout and design experience
  • PCB Editor SW experience for building custom parts and implementing them in circuit designs
  • Ability to read datasheets well (must be thorough when reading them)
  • A willingness to learn SketchUp (Anyone can figure out to use this SW easily)
  • SMD Soldering Experience
<p>Nice post and nice watch!<br>I wear Sykla smartwatch that I bought at http://sykla.com/</p>
<p>You inspire me to do great things!</p>
<p>Nick, this is what in this current .zip file and not that REV2 picture you sent me. I just downloaded this .zip file again.</p>
<p>whaou! good job and good article, please to read that</p>
<p>This will be a real bragger among the young folk &quot;Try and copy me!&quot; And not made in the Orient!!!</p>
<p>there should be more like you on instructables,great job and i admire your patience</p>
<p>Thanks! I really appreciate that, and I'm glad you liked the project.</p>
<p>Congrats, great project! I made something similar last year... Take a look at my geekwatch http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bvs47JIhMbA</p>
<p>Nice watch!</p>
<p>Insane cool... I would wear it with pride. </p>
<p>I think this is the most well written and informative Instructable I've seen. You did a really excellent job. Can I ask what program you used to make your schematics?</p>
<p>Thanks, I appreciate it! I really put effort into making it comprehensive and clear.</p><p>I used <a href="https://www.cadsoftusa.com/download-eagle/" rel="nofollow">EAGLE</a>, the freeware version. The paid version for hobbyists is pretty powerful.</p>
<p>. Nerdfully delightful. Nice documentation.</p>
<p>Thanks! I pride myself in documenting my projects.</p>
Wow, that's something else.
<p>Awesome work... I had a slightly similar project in mind of a binary wrist watch. If I ever come around to building it, your Instructable will be a huge help. Thanks for sharing@</p>
<p>Hi, It was perfect, I love your idea and how you come up with this idea, it was first time for me that i watched how in abroad electricians make boards with live design and ... I just love to put this kinds of LED on back off e shirt (coat or etc...) riding my motorcycle and just a round circle of LED start circling :D or when I wanna turn a circle stop for a second and show to where I wanna turn ! I saw kind of things they made for riding bike but, I haven't liked them so much,</p><p>thanks for your time </p><p>s.d.f</p>
<p>Very cool project! I love how you were able to completely break everything down into text and pictures and it was all great information with no filler. Very, very well engineered and this just got favorite'd!</p>
<p>Hey thanks! That means a lot. I always prefer building things from the ground up. Still no match for your beer pong table though ha.</p>
<p>Vary nice instructable I am interested in making two of them with a pal of mine.</p>
<p>damn longest ible i have read ! </p>
<p>Longest I've seen is Regax's awesome LED Beer Pong table:</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Interactive-LED-Beer-Pong-Table/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Interactive-LED-Be...</a></p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: My name is Nick, I work at Continental and just recently got my BSEE. I love working with projects on lower levels to design them ... More »
More by N.fletch: FPGAs: Top Level Design, Finite State Machines (FSMs), and GPIO FPGAs: Concept and Getting Started Getting Started with Embedded Systems using Atmel
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