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Unique watches almost impossible to read, but still so cool Answered

Tokyoflash makes some of the most inventive watches around. Rather than just making watches that have numbers or dials, these watches use unique coding systems where the time is told with a collection of individual LEDs. Some tell the hour and some tell the minutes and there's no way you can just glance at any of them and know the time.

Still, there's something so appealing about a company that keeps making watches that play by their own rules and force the user to adapt to them. Sure, they're not for everyone. In fact, they're barely for anyone except those who crave something different or are just in love with bizarre information design. I would consider myself one of the latter.

This article on Neatorama details 10 of the strangest watches that Tokyoflash (disclaimer: they're ALL weird) and how they tell time. They're definitely a little spendy at $130-$160 a watch, but are worth checking out.

The 10 Most Difficult to Read Tokyoflash Watches


I have two wrist watches, neither easy to read by other people, but easy to me because I use them all the time.

My favourite, that I've been using for 15 years now, is a Swatch with a 24hour dial. The hour hand only goes round the dial once a day. Noon is where the 6 is on a normal analogue dial, 24:00 is at the traditional "12 o'clock" position.

The minute and second hands operate normally.

My other watch is a 24-hour binary LED watch.

There are no markings, just three rows of LEDs. The top row shows the mode you are in.
The second row of 5 LEDs shows the hours in binary.
The third row of 6 LEDs shows the minutes in binary.

It's not so easy to use as the Swatch because the LEDs only light when you press a button, like the first digitals, so I can't just glance at it.
It cost me one pound, new, off ebay.

24hour dial.

Had a clock like that in the computer room at work, because it was easier to write down 24 hr time then indicate am/pm, but it was very confusing. I now have my watch (digital) set on 24 hour time for this reason, and convert it for anyone that needs to know the time, rather quickly; but I never got used to the Dial clock.

The problem with the 24-hour dials is that there's only 15 degrees between each hour mark, meaning that you can misread it by an hour if you're not looking carefully.

Yes, those of us accustomed to "hour hand position" from a 12 hour clock would get all befuddled if I didn't take a second look at it and the number it was near. That is why I like my digital ;-)

It's a bit blurred (the face is off the scanner bed), but here's a scan of my watch. I don't know why it's B&W, my scanner decided it was scanning a B&W photo. It doesn't seem to have a "wristwatch" setting...


Yep, kind of reminds me of the clock we had in the computer room for awhile....everyone but the boss that bought it, hated it, and when he was no longer around, it got put away. It looked kind of like this pic. :

I'd prefer if the home position was at the bottom and 12 was on top.

I remember going to a friend's house and seeing a binary clock on the mantle. I was so excited until I realized that it was about 3 hours and 20 minutes off. I told him he should fix the time, but he said that he didn't know who to read it anyway and didn't want to bother.

I know what you may be thinking, I thought the same ;-)

I'm sure that I'll go about it differently.

I have a binary clock. Right now it is unplugged, but when it was plugged in the time was right. I taught my dad how to read it. Its not hard, it just takes a little time and practice. My mom and my brother never wanted to go through the trouble of learning how.

Haha, you should have just convinced him to give the clock to you!

I bought a watch from them about a year ago. The model was a "Barcode".

Whenever I wear it there's almost always someone asking about what it is...

Hey, another neatorama fan

Now that would be an instructable! Binary clock schematic and construction notes from one of you whizkids pleeeeeeease.

Oh my, I have seen a number of them over the years in the Nuts n Volts magazine. I haven't gotten that mag for years though.

I think there's an 'ible about a binary clock or watch here...


Found it, but it's not exactly binary