Watches used to be unique in their blend of fashion and function. They were a necessary part of daily life, but also a way to express yourself. This is a custom that may be dying out as mobile phones take more of a hold in our lives. Personally I haven’t worn one in about three years.
With an ever shrinking market, watchmakers are having to come up with completely new, off-the-wall ideas to get people into their product. The following is a collection of their results watchmakers, ranging from the beautifully exotic to the mind-bendingly weird.
This watch is a throwback in a few ways. Looking like a rotary phone you might wonder how it tells time. Just dial 117 which was the old time check number in Japan. You’ll be given the time by an automated robotic voice.
■ EOS Mixtape Watch
At first the actual clock might be hard to see. But it’s in there if you look carefully.
■ Yamanote Line Tokyo Station Signboard Watch
The name says it all really. It’s interesting how well those information displays look in watch form. According to the maker they also randomly display other images and messages.
■ Furry Watches
I feel my allergies going off just looking at this.
■ Tokyoflash LED Watch
For those who like to confuse everyone they meet. I’m still not 100% sure how to read this. I thought it was 6:25, but according to the picture it’s 6:35.
■ Timeless Watch
This generation’s calculator watch, the Timeless Watch doubles as a 1GB USB memory stick with a ribbon cable for the strap.
■ Timebomb Wristwatch
This watch isn’t really produced, but it would be fun to see someone try and take it through airport security.
■ Buddha Time
Stop! Buddha Time!
■ Chain LED Watch
A slightly less enigmatic version of the Tokyoflash LED.
■ Tokyoflash Galaxy
Speaking of Tokyoflash, here’s another headache inducing offering. It seems that the Tokyoflash website is currently down which doesn’t look good for this epitome of watchmaking originality.
■ STORM MK2 Circuit slate 2009
Luckily the folks at Seahope are still around putting the “wat?!” in “watches.” The company that made the Yamanote Line present this… thing that seems inspired by Kit from Knight Rider.
■ EleeNo LINES Anolog
This is how my watched looked to me when I was way too into Tetris a few years back.
■ Lions Club
It makes you feel like you’re driving into a new town every time you check it. Be careful though it like be like with bikers where if a real Lions Club member sees you with one they may beat you up.
■ Zenith El Primero Zero G
You might not know it by looking but this watch is capable of operating in both the zero gravity of space and the ultrahigh pressures of the deep sea. Actual retail price: approx. $500,000.
It’s kind of cute having a mercury thermometer in your watch. I wonder if airport security would have a problem with this though.
■ Handmade Watch #1
An extra-long devil’s tail strap goes to show that even handmade can look elegant.
■ Handmade Watch #2
And this one perfectly shows why we don’t usually have 24-hour clocks.
A little odd at first, it’s easy to get into this watch’s design, and it adjusts depending on the angle too.
■ Cute Bunny Watch
Awww… that’s so cute I’m not even going to question the rabbit and floating key staring at each other.
■ It’s 8 O’clock!
This watch might seem like the most bizarre thing to people who weren’t born and raised in Japan. It only marks of eight o’clock and has Zenin Shugo (All Set) written down the middle.
Its reference to a variety show from a few decades back called Hachi Ji Dayo! Zenin Shugo (It’s 8 o’clock! All Set!) which is similar to the likes of Laugh-In or the Sonny and Cher show in both popularity at the time and content.
■ Day and Night
Recommended by reader Herny Ng, this beauty certainly qualifies for the list. I’d bet it’s the only $300,000 watch that doesn’t tell the time. Well, that’s not entirely true. There are two dials that take turns moving every 12 hours which will get you within half a day of the real time. A visit to the Romain Jerome website will show you some other one-of-a-kind watch designs.
Source: Naver (Japanese)