Binary Watches 

Are you fed up – like a friend of mine – of everyone peering at your wrist to get the time? Well wear any one of this range of watches from TokyoFlash Japan and they will probably be none the wiser. Could be an outlet for spare Christmas cash.

The first of the two watches I found easy to set and read, the second created more problems not least because the diagram did not look like the watch I was sent.

1259L LED Watch

Firstly it is not light as it weights over 130grams. It comes complete with a chunky stainless steel strap. It has two columns of blue LED's. The left column has five LED's a space and then a further nine. The right half of the display - slightly raised - has twelve slightly larger LED's. Below this is a push button that you press to display the time. The top of the watch has a button that needs something like a pen to depress to start the setting sequence.

I would suggest you set your watch after reading the instructions and before any alcohol. As it needs a great deal of care - remember this is the easy model of the two I saw - The left column (top five LED's) each represent ten minutes. So if four are lit it's somewhere between forty and forty nine minutes. The bottom nine LED's are each one minute so six lit means whatever the top five LED's show plus six minutes. The right column of twelve is more straightforward if number nine is alight then it's nine o clock.

After I set it the time seemed to stay correct but it does take getting used to and even in bright light it worked okay as the Blue LED's are quite bright. How well you would read it after 'having a few' I do not know as the minutes and tens of minutes need to be added to give the answer with the hour.

Available from the link below at £54.09.


This model is even heavier at close to 150 grams. It is black with a black strap. It has four rows of eleven white LED's and while the last one told you the time this not only tells you the time but the day, date and AM/PM.

The illustration with the instructions shows the first two rows having four LED's the third having five and the forth having nine. It transpires that these are the ones that function. The illustration also shows four items - one at the top of each row - to denote the mode time, date, day and AM/PM. These it turns out are the top LED in each row.

The left row is from the bottom, five, ten, fifteen and twenty hours. The second row again from the bottom is one, two, three and four hours thus arriving at up to twenty four hours. The third column uses the bottom five for tens of minutes, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty. Finally the forth column uses the bottom nine to display the ones of minutes.

In date mode the left two columns equal the month, the right two columns for day. For the day of the week the right column from the bottom, 1 is Sun, 2 is Mon etc.

Writing this has made my brain hurt with the effort of doing the explanations, it does work but as with the one above do set it sober and I would suggest you also need to be sober to interpret it. The price of this unit from the link below is £94.09.

In both cases I needed to set the unit of currency to £ as it seems to default back to yen. I would think that younger sharper people than me might enjoy having something like either of the watches above. There are lots of other designs on their website.

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