It says a lot about me, I suppose, but when I was younger I thought a calculator-watch was possibly the coolest thing you could have on your wrist. Pro-electronics engineer David Jones obviously feels the same way, as he's replaced his broken Casio CFX-400 scientific calculator watch with a DIY μWatch based on a 16-bit microprocessor, two-line 16-character display and full keypad.
If you're looking for a new watch, the Day&Night by Romain Jerome isn't exactly going to be your first choice. It's not because it isn't cool looking. It's pretty awesome, actually. There's just one problem. It doesn't tell time.
Just because you love the latest gadgets doesn’t mean you have to forfeit more traditional designs. And if you love antiques, you can still get that priceless look from modern tech. Case in point, the Casio G-Shock G8100A-5. This wrist watch is made from bronze-colored aluminum and has a perforated resin band, giving it a rustic appeal. Some may define it as “steampunk” but I wouldn’t quite agree with that. For me, steampunk requires gears, mechanisms, steam and other Victorian tech. Just because something looks old, doesn’t mean it’s steampunk. But I digress.
If you're looking for a geeky watch then you could easily head straight over to Tokyoflash, who are known for their almost indecipherable LED displays. Alternatively, Maywadenki's Zihotch Retro Phone Watch goes more classic with its design; classic rotary phone, that is. There are no hands, no LCD or even LEDs - instead, you dial 117 to have the watch speak the time out loud to you.
Despite the fact that they're, generally, frustratingly difficult to tell the time from, I do have a soft spot for Tokyoflash watches. One of the company's more recent designs, the Oberon, has been diving in and out of stock for a while now, but they're celebrating a return to availability with the launch of a new, stainless steel variant. The S-Mode Oberon SS uses three rings of blue LEDs to indicate date and time.
Microsoft are quietly pulling the plug on their SPOT watch project, which aimed to bring real-time weather and schedule updates to the wrists of the populace. According to Microsoft's Jon Canan, the technology will no longer be built into any new watches, and the most recent examples have sold out. However, the MSN Direct service itself will continue, meaning anybody still wanting to use their SPOT watch will be able to for the foreseeable future.