In the past, Michigan-based outdoor cooking enthusiast Jon Stein used his dive watch to time the cooking of foods on his barbecue. Once he realized that he barely ever used the watch for its actual intended purpose, however, he set out to make one that was specifically designed for use by his fellow grillers. The GrillTimer is the result.
Like a retro dive watch, the GrillTimer has a bezel-style timer – the big difference being that it displays cooking times for eight popular barbecue items.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
To use it, you just twist the bezel so that the watch's minute hand lines up with the start of the cooking time for the food you're cooking. As the hand progresses, the bezel display will indicate when you should flip the item, how "done" it's getting, and when the cooking is complete. Needless to say, individual grill temperatures and meat cuts will vary, but Stein is confident that the suggested times will serve as a good guide.
The bezel only turns in one direction, so it can't accidentally be bumped back to an earlier point in the cooking time. Additionally, an accompanying guide lets users know what other foods the displayed cooking times can be applied to – for instance, if you're cooking scallops, lobster or shellfish, you can use the watch's "shrimp" setting.
The GrillTimer itself has a stainless steel case, Seiko quartz movement, a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, and is water-resistant to 10 m (33 ft). It's also reportedly "sauce resistant" to three tablespoons.
Much as we think it could be handy for cooking, we particularly like the idea of it being worn in non-grilling situations. Imagine the looks it would get if you were wearing it in a board meeting or while arguing a court case, for instance.
If you're interested in the GrillTimer, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$40 will currently get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $50.
The watch is demonstrated in the following video.