At the beginning of the year we looked at the Binary Watch from maker 01 or 1heOne as they like to be known. Now the company has produced another model and rather than going for the circuit board look, has now gone for something a little more fashionable - think Fossil or Diesel rather than geek school.
There's something vaguely postmodern surrounding the idea of creating a watch that not ideally suited for telling the time. The 01 Binary watch is not the first wrist chronometer to employ a more fanciful system of conveying the hour and minute to the user than analogue hands or Arabic numbers, but does this mean the product has any merit?
The principle of the watch is simple. The face is two rows of LEDs, the top row has 4, denoting hours and the bottom row has 5 denoting minutes.
The top row offers four lights representing the numbers 8, 4, 2 and 1. The bottom row has six lights representing the numbers 32, 16, 8, 4, 2 and 1. To tell the time you simply add the values of the illuminated LEDs to get the total value in hours or minutes.
The problem is that in order to view the time you have to press the button at the top of the watch. This illuminates the LEDs that correspond to the right time on both rows, for a meager 5 seconds. Good game, good game. This may suit users with minds like steel-traps or keen darts players, but to the average layperson, this springing-teal style mental arithmetic can be a strain and result in the watch not being checked as often as a more conventional timepiece.
The watch's construction is solid with the case being made of stainless steel, sealed to with stand 3 atmospheres pressure, and 100 feet of water. Setting the time is relatively easy, with a combination of the two buttons on the body pressed to advance the sets of illuminated LEDs until the right combination is found, and as there are no other features at all on the watch once the time is set you are done.
Overall this is an improvement in style over the even more geeky first outing, however at £85 it is still likely to end up being given to people as a present by boyfriends and girlfriends with the tag line "As you're never on time I bought you this watch so now you've got an excuse". Hilarious. Clean, sober and in daylight the watch can be used with a little practice. Drunk and in a club your more likely to gauge the progression of the evening by trips to the bar and toilet, than by this baby.
What we really want is for the lights to be constantly on changing like something out of a Bond villain's hideout rather than the need to press a button every time. If 1heOne add that then this would be something worth shouting about.
This product was kindly loaned to us by iwantoneofthose.com