Picture of LED Pocket Watch
This is a LED pocket watch. It has 12 LEDs to show the hour, 60 LEDs to show the minute, and 60 LEDs to show the second. The LEDs are arranged in three rings. There is a button on the top to activate the pocket watch, and a button on the back to change modes and settings.

The battery is a rechargable lithium ion coin cell battery and it is charged from a micro USB connector. The battery life depends on how heavily the pocket watch is used, but if you leave it alone, it is estimated to last several months. There is a low battery indication feature. This pocket watch also feature a buzzer and a vibration motor, which are used for the alarm feature, and the motor causes a short "tick" as each second passes by. The pocket watch is constructed of a PCB, two pieces of laser cut clear acrylic plastic, and a 3D printed casing.

All the files are also available from my Github (there is a single ZIP download option on that page). This will include the microcontroller source code, circuit schematic, PCB layout, laser cutting vector file, and 3D models. Everything is open source, and also ready to be sent out for fabrication.
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Nichjay175 months ago
Thats neat
Jerz1 year ago
Is there a reason not to make your LED matrix something like 11x12 so that you only need 23 pins (+2 for the buttons), other than the fact that you would need 11 current limiting resistors instead of 5? Seems like it would be easier to source a more common microcontroller (I'm thinking ATmega32u4). Great Instructable by the way.
frank26080115 (author)  Jerz1 year ago
Sourcing the ATmega645 wasn't hard at all

One reason why I didn't pick 11x12 is it would've made the code and schematic slightly more complicated. I didn't manually layout the LEDs, I used EAGLE's scripting to automatically do it for me.

There is nothing stopping you from doing the same project with a 11x12 matrix.

Personally I think a larger chip looks better. That's a subjective advantage of the ATmega645 over the ATmega32U4. If you made the pocket watch smaller overall, you might choose a smaller chip.
very impressive frank,,, chanceless ...\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
emwbjr1 year ago
This thing is amazing. If I were interested in purchasing one already completed, would that be possible, and how much would it cost me?
I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to soldering, and I'd love for my finished product to look as good as yours does.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
N.fletch1 year ago
Congratulations on the win!
Tomdf1 year ago
That is a beautiful PCB, and I love the animations.
You couldn't have done a better job with this, from design to documentation. It's incredibly inspiring to see a project that is so complete!

Not to get overly philosophical, but I think projects like these are the future. The tools needed to design and manufacture near-consumer level products are becoming accessible to the people with the ideas to use them. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Hats off Frank, Amazing work!
To tell the truth I'm a little dyslexic, so I look at pitchers more than words - I thought this was a glow in the dark Combination Lock, I must be tripping, still very cool.
nevdull1 year ago
this is an obscenely elegant and perfect DIY project for an LED pocket watch. not only is the design solid, it is extremely aesthetically pleasing.

great job!
monkeys981 year ago
you should definitely make this into a kit
You say there's plenty of room, and it could be made smaller. If so, would it be possible to add another ring of LEDs for miliseconds? And would the microcontroller be able to handle that?
I really like this design! I want to think that I've seen it somewhere else before, a few years ago, and I really wanted to make one then. Do you think that this PCB design would scale down enough to make it fit into an actual pocket watch case and still have enough room for all the components?
If you've kept an eye on HackADay, you have seen this concept before, in an actual Elgin case. The site is here: Last I heard from the creator for that version, (a few days ago), v2 & kits are still in the works.
frank26080115 (author)  mightywombat1 year ago
There is plenty of room, and also the LEDs are not as tight as physically possible yet. So it is definitely possible to make it smaller.
iscroman1 year ago
Cool gadget man!
synthdust1 year ago
Truly amazing. Great work!
agis681 year ago
really epic job with in a professionaly way by the scratch a uncompetitive product.

Respect 1^3*n
Vali-Ent1 year ago
Oh man; I wanna create this and put a vintage-looking face on the display.
SLEDHEDONE1 year ago
That is P I M P. Id buy one from you, I can't concentrate on anything for 6 hours and have it look any good!
elabz1 year ago
The 132 LEDs are soldered BY HAND ?!  I mean, I admire your tenacity - just  to solder them in place somehow would be hard enough. But they are in a nearly perfect circle - that's what blows my mind. You must have inhumanely steady hands. Great job! 
frank26080115 (author)  elabz1 year ago
that took 6 hours, it's actually not fun and the air quality in my room becomes a serious concern.
dll9321 year ago
Very well done! Similar in concept to this:
Would buy in kit form!
mediabeing1 year ago
This is very nice. I think the only thing that bugs me about it is how loud it is just clicking off the seconds. I'm big on quiet.
We are indeed living in the days of multitasking, so it would be nice if the pocket watch also included a camera, light, etc.
jtmcdole1 year ago
Love the design. I think it would be cool if after the seconds LED moves forward, another 'pulse' races around the dial to push the seconds forwards (simulating 1/60th of a second or 16.7ms)
spylock1 year ago
Nice job,a true watch making.
very nice work ////this would be great for people like me who find it hard to see Mickeys hands without glasses on and forget to wind him ......wonder if I could con uhhhh errrr talk my son into making me one
ryanmercer1 year ago
Wish I wasn't lazy, I'd make one, awesome work!
One.1 year ago
If this was put into commercial production, I would buy this without a doubt. Great work, really nice!
duncan_a One.1 year ago
This is a truly beautiful and well executed project - I'd also love to see a kit for this (though I doubt my hands are steard enough or my eyes good enough for SMD without a reflow setup).
The best thing I have seen for a long, long time...
I'll have to second that one - I'd buy a kit of a product like this.
Better yet - if the PCB would fit into the case of a 'usually sized' pocket watch, as I have an old, non-working model from my great-grandfather's stuff. It's movement is completely trashed, but I could modify the case to fit a PCB.
Amazing project and documentation! Thank you.
I love it!
This is awesome!
This looks very similar to another LED pocket watch I've seen on the internet:

Both are very cool.
Thank you so much for taking the time to document this project so well. It was fascinating to go through your thought process on the project, step by step. I learned a lot from you today!
Very professional. I'm an electrical engineer and love to do CNC work. You've taken things to the next level. Consider selling kits - I think they would be a hit. Test market on Kickstarter, if you're interested. On the other hand, life's short, just have fun with it.
Nice job.
frank26080115 (author)  mightymikeman1 year ago
CNC is a step above me, if I had a CNC machine, then I wouldn't have to order the 3D printed parts all the way from Europe.

Maybe after I graduate, I'll think harder about selling things.
ihart1 year ago
Excellent Instructable! I'm an EE too. Is this what they teach in EE now? Very well documented and executed. Keep up the great work.
frank26080115 (author)  ihart1 year ago
Ha no, my none of my undergrad classes in EE teach anything remotely close to this. My classes almost always teach only theory. My classmates won't understand what FR4 is. I know people who have blown two BeagleBoards because they put 5V into a 3.3V pin. Nobody teaches us how to solder except for one safety video they posted online. Any project that uses more than an amp requires special permissions.

I'm just lucky that I actually like doing this stuff in my spare time.
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