Wearables

Is the new Kisai Spider Acetate watch the hardest watch in the world to read?

Is the new Kisai Spider Acetat...
Can you read the time? (Photo: TokyoFlash)
Can you read the time? (Photo: TokyoFlash)
View 6 Images
Diagram of the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch together with displays with time and date identified (Image: TokyoFlash)
1/6
Diagram of the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch together with displays with time and date identified (Image: TokyoFlash)
The 12- and 24-hour modes of the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch (Image: TokyoFlash)
2/6
The 12- and 24-hour modes of the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch (Image: TokyoFlash)
The inscrutable face of the Kisai Spider Acetate watch reading 5:38 (Photo: TokyoFlash)
3/6
The inscrutable face of the Kisai Spider Acetate watch reading 5:38 (Photo: TokyoFlash)
The (nearly upside-down) Kisai Spider Acetate watch showing 11:16 (Photo: TokyoFlash)
4/6
The (nearly upside-down) Kisai Spider Acetate watch showing 11:16 (Photo: TokyoFlash)
Deciphering the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch in color (Image: TokyoFlash)
5/6
Deciphering the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch in color (Image: TokyoFlash)
Can you read the time? (Photo: TokyoFlash)
6/6
Can you read the time? (Photo: TokyoFlash)

TokyoFlash is a supplier of limited-edition LCD and LED watches that have joyfully substituted the conventional clock hands and dull numerals for exotic displays featuring counter-intuitive ideograms, that transform telling the time into an exercise in decryption. Its new Kisai Spider Acetate watch has arguably set a new standard for inscrutability.

Gizmag has covered the design excesses of TokyoFlash watches for years, watching as their displays became more and more arcane. There really isn't much to say about the newest member of this group, the Kisai Spider Acetate, as a watch: it is a quartz watch with an LCD screen and an LED light for checking the time in the dark, the sort sold by the millions at US$5.99. What apparently makes the Kisai Spider Acetate worth $159.00 is that it is so hard to read. If that is a desirable feature, the Spider Acetate is worth every penny of its price.

Diagram of the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch together with displays with time and date identified (Image: TokyoFlash)
Diagram of the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch together with displays with time and date identified (Image: TokyoFlash)

Above appears a diagram of the watch and a selection of diagram patterns for the times and dates identified. The large diagram does not appear to be a real time, as a bar seems to be missing. I believe it is supposed to be 5:56, but won't guarantee it. Still stymied? The next figure reveals the madness.

Deciphering the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch in color (Image: TokyoFlash)
Deciphering the Kisai Spider Acrylic watch in color (Image: TokyoFlash)

Pattern recognition has never been my best skill, so even with this figure in front of me, it still took about 10 minutes before I could decipher the time on an unlabeled display. Your mileage may vary.

The final mystery about the Spider Acetate is the transparent display. TokyoFlash makes a fair bit of fuss about this feature: "The innovative Kisai Spider Acetate watch uses transparent LCD to create the illusion that time is floating on your wrist." A number of bloggers have also waxed eloquent about this feature, but to me all it means is I can see a freckle on my wrist when I check the time. Well, no accounting for taste. A video showcasing the watch appears in the usual place.

Source: TokyoFlash

Kisai Spider Acetate Transparent LCD Watch Design from Tokyoflash Japan

6 comments
Mel Tisdale
Given the complexity of this device and the absolute stupidity of anyone buying it, it is perhaps fortunate that most owners will not have finished trying to determine just how late they are for the meeting they are hurrying to by the time their distraction has caused them to wrap their car round a tree and in doing so, remove their genes from the gene pool. It would make a lovely gift for any politician, especially one prone to being late for meetings.
f8lee
I'm waiting to hear about the first auto accident where the driver claims he was distorted by trying to tell the time
Lewis M. Dickens III
Perfection at last! Perfectly ugly. Perfectly non functional Perfectly transparent so you can observe whether or not your freckles are moving. Gawd... please save us!
Mirmillion
Maybe, one day, these guys will learn to make a watch that takes up less than a city block of wrist space - and one thinner than a 9-volt battery. I like the alt point of view aspect but cannot reconcile the size of these things. Just making a thinner version would be a game changer.
mookins
Too bad it's so big. Anyway, I'd like a watch that shows time spiraling away, showing each date's 24 hours receding from sight.
Heikki Kääriäinen
Along with similar lines, I have Morse code ring tones assigned to my friends. So if they call, I can tell by listening the Morse code who is ringing. The thing now is that none of my friends ring me as there is SMS, Facebook, email, Skype etc....