Another batch of interesting, unusual, and geeky watches for the chronometer-inclined among us.
With the latest iteration of the Apple Watch stealing the show at Apple’s Fall Keynote, the internet is buzzing with news about smartwatches. That means it’s a good time to look into 13 more non-smart watch options for discerning GeekParents.
The KLOK-01 Slide Rule Watch is a graphical representation of that all-purpose mathematical device of yesteryear—the slide rule. It indicates time with three rotating rings—representing hours, minutes, and seconds—that turn counterclockwise at different speeds. The current time is displayed where these three rings meet at the red line at the 12:00 mark. €468 (about $550).
The Wright Flyer is a tribute to Orville and Wilbur Wright’s pioneering achievement in aviation. The rotor (the part of an automatic watch that keeps it wound) includes a bit of the original muslin material used to cover the 1903 Wright Flyer that flew at Kitty Hawk. The muslin is layered between the rotor plate (which is designed to look like an airplane propeller and embossed with the initials OW and WW) and a sapphire crystal window. Limited to 100 pieces. €27,950 (about $33,000).
The Silly Walks Watch watch memorializes one of the classic skits from Monty Python: the “Ministry of Silly Walks.” John Cleese’s legs are repurposed as the hands of the watch, and it tells time with the help of his humorous stride. $40.
The Kisai Radioactive from TokyoFlash is designed to look like a post-apocalyptic radiation detector. Like most TokyoFlash timepieces, the Radioactive has a unique way of telling time that seems complicated but is actually quite easy to learn. It also features an animation mode that imitates a nuclear control panel where the lights flash in an unusual pattern once every 15 minutes between 6pm and midnight. Fortunately, this feature can be turned off. $180.
Not only does the Ochs Und Perpetual Calendar Watch watch tell time, it also functions as a perpetual calendar that even accounts for leap years. It employs a confusing system of 30+1 holes to display the time and date until the year 2100 (which one must concede is a little shy of perpetual). Figuring out how to use this watch takes a bit of effort, but the design is quite striking. Only 15 of these watches are made each year. CHF 21,200 (about $22,000).
The Smokey Bear Watch pays tribute to the famous spokesbear for the National Forest Service. This classic field watch is a collaboration between Seattle-based outfitter C.C. Filson and Detroit-based watchmaker Shinola. It comes boxed with a collection of Smokey the Bear goods, including six vintage-style postcards, a bandana, and a book that tells Smokey’s story. There’s a certificate of authenticity too. $1,000.
The 4D Concrete Watch from 22 Design Studio brings the concept of the fourth dimension to life with a unique spiral cured-concrete staircase dial enclosed inside a brushed stainless steel bezel. $860.
The officially licensed Dick Tracy Watch looks just like the two-way wrist radio worn by stalwart detective Dick Tracy in the 1946 Chester Gould comic strip. Alas, this edition doesn’t have a working radio, but creator Nick Mathis has launched an Indiegogo Campaign to create a model that will include Bluetooth functionality so it can make calls by pairing with a smartphone. Offered in two editions, the standard issue ($250) and an edition limited to 1000 pieces ($500).
The Zelda Wristwatch of Time, although decorated with the Hylian Crest, does not, as one would hope, play “The Song of Time.” Sadly, it only keeps time. $40.
If you like the look of the Apple Watch but don’t go in for all that fancy digital smart business, then the100% mechanical Swiss Alp Zzz from H. Moser & Cie. is just what you need. But it’ll cost you. Made in two editions, each limited to 20 pieces. $26,900.
Some people are of the mind that two hands on one watch is one hand too many. Fortunately for these people, the Slow O is just such a watch. It has but a single hand and 24 markers on the dial to represent the whole day. It keeps accurate time ± 1 to 2 minutes—which doesn’t seem all that useful for punctuality. But this watch is all about being present and measuring the moment, not counting those pesky minutes and seconds. Available in 15 styles and with six different straps. $290.
The HDD Watch is a functional timepiece made from an obsolete 1″ Microdrive. Each unique stainless steel watch is handmade in Paris and comes with a neoprene strap that’s decorated with a printed circuit board design. €150 (about $175). There’s also a black version for €180.
Buzz Aldrin wore an Omega Speedmaster when he walked on the moon, but this new edition offers even more space cred. The dial is crafted from a thin slice of the Gibeon meteorite that fell in Namibia in prehistoric times. Each chronograph features a unique “Widmanstätten” pattern formed by nickel-iron crystals that’s often seen in iron meteorites. $13,500.