Is your traditional watch starting to bore you? Do you want to confuse and/or amaze your friends with a watch that tells the time in a unique way? With a watch from TokyoFlash, you can do just that.
We have two geeky watches to look at – the $159 X Acetate White and the $139 Uzumaki. We’re going to see how unique and cool they are, and if they’re really worth buying. At the end of this review, you’ll be able to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of these watches!
TokyoFlash makes an enormous array of watches to satisfy whatever styles and time displays that you could want. Just how enormous? At time of writing, they offer 44 different watch models, which includes both wristwatches as well as pocket watches. In any case, none of these styles are traditional in the least. There’s even one model that comes with a built-in breathalyzer if you’re the partying type. However, it’s important to note that these are simply regular watches with geeky designs. They are not smartwatches that are able to communicate with your smartphone, check messages, or browse Facebook.
In case you’ve forgotten, we reviewed Tokyoflash’s Kisai Online LCD watch early last year.
Tokyoflash geeky watches have a few competitors, which is more than I thought there would be. For example, there is Phosphor, ZIIIRO (we reviewed their Celeste and Saturn watches), and Nooka. While some offer more traditional designs, they’re all very unique and worth checking out. A good number of them are also cheaper, but TokyoFlash still gets the most points for uniqueness and style.
The X Acetate White comes with the following specifications:
- Displays the time and date
- 12/24 hour mode
- Alarm mode
- Unisex design for small and large wrists
- USB rechargeable: unscrew & connect to your computer
- USB cable and screw driver included
- Light-up animation feature (can be turned off)
- Acetate case, stainless steel case back
- Adjustable acetate strap and stainless steel clasp
- Minimum wrist size: 150 mm (approx.)
- Maximum wrist size: 210 mm (approx.)
- Case Dimensions: 38 mm x 40 mm x 11 mm
- Weight: 75 grams
- Water resistance: 3ATM
- Battery: PL301517 USB rechargeable battery
- English instructions
- One year warranty
The Uzumaki comes with the following specifications:
- Displays the time
- Unisex design for small & large wrists
- Conventional analog display
- Electroluminescent (EL) backlight (for night time only)
- Stainless steel case & clasp
- Adjustable stainless steel strap
- Minimum wrist size: 100 mm (approx.)
- Maximum wrist size: 220 mm (approx.)
- Case Dimensions: 36 mm x 44 mm x 14 mm
- Weight: 140 grams
- Water resistance: 3ATM
- Batteries: 3 SR626SW standard watch batteries
- English instructions
- One year warranty
The watches ship in little boxes that are predominantly filled with foam for protection. If appropriate, you’ll also get documentation and tools along with the watch, depending on the model that you buy. For example, the Uzumaki only shipped with documentation booklet, but the X Acetate White came with a documentation booklet, a small screwdriver, a USB cable, and a spare screw.
These two watches have very interesting designs that are sure to turn some heads.
The X Acetate White has an LED display that doesn’t even come close to resembling a watch. The strap is made of “acetate” which feels more like hard plastic. At first I wasn’t sure if it was just the glossy paint that gave me this impression, but the low weight has me convinced.
The Uzumaki, on the other hand, does resemble a watch more closely, which becomes very apparent as soon as you want to set the time. The outer band displays the hours (at the start of the green area), and the inner band displays the minutes. The seconds are still represented by a normal watch hand. The strap on this one is definitely made of metal as advertised — the weight is noticeable when compared to the X Acetate White.
Let’s get the simple one out of the way first — the Uzumaki. Honestly, it’s just a regular watch that has an interesting way of displaying time. You can still set it just the same way as a regular watch, and you won’t have much issue figuring out what the time is. Reading the time might not be quite as precise as a regular watch because there aren’t even any traditional clock face indications, but you’ll still get a decent approximation if you figure out where the three, six, nine and twelve o’clock positions are. If you’d like something simple yet cool, this is a great choice for you.
The far more interesting one, however, is the X Acetate White. For starters, it has a very unique way of telling time. It might be a bit confusing at first, but the documentation explains it all well. The watch is divided up into four areas — the top, bottom, left, and right. Each area displays a number. If you look really hard, you might be able to see it. There’s no fancy way of figuring the number out — the number is just contorted in a way where it can fit where the LEDs have been placed. The documentation will show you how each number will look like in each of the four areas, as each area isn’t completely identical. Once you figure out what numbers it’s trying to display, you can combine them to form the time. For example, if the top number is one, the bottom number is two, the left number is three, and the right number is four, then the current time is 12:34. That will always be the order — the numbers are the only thing that change.
There’s a bunch of things you can do to configure this watch. Not only can you set the time, but you can toggle between 12- and 24-hour modes, and even set an alarm and the date. To actually see the time, press the upper (big) button. To see the date, press the lower (small) button. To save battery, it will stop displaying the time/date 10 seconds after pressing either button. The documentation goes into greater detail on how to actually set the time, date, and alarm.
Another great thing about this model is that it comes with a rechargeable battery that you can charge using a special cable. One end is a regular USB connector, and the other end is a small power connector. To recharge the watch, you’ll need to remove the screw on the left side of the display using the provided screwdriver and then plug in the cable. According to TokyoFlash, charging from a laptop works fine, but the charging time will vary. An LED charging indicator located at the very bottom center of the display will blink while it’s charging, but it’ll stop when the battery level reaches 90%. It’s recommended to keep it plugged in for another 3.5 hours to ensure a full charge. I wasn’t able to determine how long the battery can last on the X Acetate White, because that highly depends on how often you check the time. In any case, I haven’t had to recharge it once while reviewing it.
While these are certainly cool and intriguing watches, I’m not entirely sure whether they’re worth the price. I can’t say that I’m a watch connoisseur, but I got my personal “fancy” watch (the Fossil Grant Chronograph Stainless Steel) for $125. While the Uzumaki is definitely cool, I don’t think it’s fancy enough for its $139 price tag. I find the X Acetate White’s price of $159 to be more reasonable because it can do a whole lot more. But still, it’s rather a lot to pay for a watch, especially since the strap isn’t made of metal.
Should You Buy The X Acetate White or Uzumaki?
Ultimately, I wouldn’t recommend these watches to anyone. The only people who would probably benefit the most from these watches are those who find that “traditional” fancy watches aren’t their thing. But then again, I’m sure that actual smartwatches would interest that group as well, and you can nab a Sony Smartwatch 2 for just $40 more than the X Acetate White (or even the same price as the Rogue Touch model) and do a heck of a lot more with it.
MakeUseOf recommends: Don’t buy — for the price, they’re not as nice as one would hope.
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