Bare-bones binary watch requires a smart wearer

Telling time involves mental arithmetic with the open-source Binary Wristwatch, a gloriously geeky way to mark the hours.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Binary Wristwatch
Behold the sheer geek glory of the Binary Wristwatch. Njneer

Seen from certain angles, the Apple Watch is pretty nerdy. But it can't compete with the sheer geek power of the Binary Wristwatch from Njneer, a wearable that needs its owner's brain power in order to make sense.

As its name suggests, you won't find big fat digital numbers or an elegant circular clockface here. The watch tells time in binary. There are two rows of LEDs. The top row displays either the hour or the month while the bottom row tells the minutes, seconds or day. Two buttons toggle between settings and are used to set the date and time.

It takes some basic arithmetic to determine the time using the Binary Wristwatch. If you're not used to it, a little practice can get you up to speed. Most people will look at your watch and scratch their heads. Some geeks will get it instantly and you'll share a special binary bond.

The watch is a beauty to behold. The skin is peeled away to show the circuits of the bare PCB. It's all about flaunting the electronics. The band is made from ribbon cable, available in gray or multi-color.

This isn't the first binary watch in existence, but it is one of the coolest. The watch is available for preorder for $45 (about £30, AU$59). If you don't want to wait, Njneer has made the source code available through Github for do-it-yourselfers.

The watch comes with some warnings concerning water exposure and the potential for shocking you: "It should be obvious, but this product is about as far from ESD [electrostatic discharge] safe and waterproof as you can get. All of the components, the circuit board, and the battery are exposed with no housing, leaving them susceptible to water and hazardous ESD conditions." Njneer recommends keeping it dry and not wearing it when you're near a Tesla Coil or Jacob's Ladder.

Binary Wristwatch
A ribbon cable acts as the watch strap. Njneer

(Via Hackaday)