Japanese boutique watch designer Tokyoflash has been creating bizarre timepieces for a decade. With a flair for design and displaying the time in unexpected, and often novel and head-scratching ways, the company has built a base of fans around the world, even crowdsourcing concepts on its blog.
One of its latest productions is the Kisai Rorschach, a concept originally submitted to the blog by a German designer. It's the first Tokyoflash creation to use an electronic-paper display, and shows the time as increasingly complex inkblots that reference the famous Rorschach psychology test. Can you tell what time it is?
The released Kisai Intoxicated is an unapologetic watch for drinkers. It's big and bold, but at least it sports a breathalyzer. Peeling back the right side of the silicone case reveals a tiny port. Once the sensor has warmed up (it takes about 15 seconds), you blow into the port for 5 seconds. If the display goes from green to red, you're drunk. There's also a blood alcohol content scale if you want to know exactly how drunk you are.
In these earlier stainless steel Tokyoflash watches, time is displayed in a variety of ways. Clockwise from top: the Radio Active Active Reactive tells time by danger gauges, the Morse Code encodes the time in audio beeps, and the Pimp, which has 72 blinking LED lights.
One of Tokyoflash's most popular creations, the Kisai Seven, seems like a prop from "Tron." Described as being "easy to read at a glance," its inner LED ring shows the hour with a darkened spot while the outer one shows the minutes. The LED lines on the band also show the minutes in lighted segments.
Combining old and new, Tokyoflash's Kisai Console Wood houses an LED time display in a handsome sandalwood case. The hour is indicated in the top hexagonal lights, the minutes are shown in 5-minute intervals on the bottom, and the left-side gauge shows single minutes from 1 to 4.
Designed by a teenage Tokyflash fan, the Kisai Kaidoku is another example of how Tokyoflash crowdsources ideas. It's also another oddball design: It has an LCD display of words instead of numbers. The flashing words spell out the time.
Another fan concept that became a real watch, Tokyoflash's On Air features a minimalist LCD touch screen. It shows the time by displaying numbers where the hour hand would be, for instance a "45" at three o'clock means it's 3:45. The LCD lights up when touched.
The Tenmetsu is a typically cryptic Tokyoflash timepiece. You push a button on the aluminum case and various lights turn on. This is how the company explains it: "Red LEDs indicate 15 units, yellow LEDs indicate 5 units, and green LEDs indicate 1 unit. A combination of lights indicate hours, then minutes, then the month, then the date." Got that?
Housed in a sandalwood case, the Polygon Wood's LCD shows the time with concentric polygons with positions referring to a traditional clock face. The outer ring indicates the hour, the inner ring the minute in 10-minute blocks, and the inner digit shows the minute. The example here reads 10:38.
This unusual pocket watch from Tokyoflash has a touch-screen LCD/LED face housed in a mineral crystal lens and stainless steel case. The hour is shown by the location of the gap in the outermost ring in the display according to a traditional clock face; the minutes are indicated by an inner ring that progresses around the clock like a traditional minute hand. Two central rings display the time in another time zone in a similar fashion.