The Kerala Trance watch immediately evoked that “whoa!” reaction from me when I first saw it–and that’s before seeing it lit up. From the picture alone there was just something sleek and sexy about its simple design of steel on black. Kerala Trance is the creation of the company THE ONE, who have been creating binary watches since 2004. Their idea was to create a watch no one had ever seen before that used LED technology, as well as the IT computer code–or binary. THE ONE watches are made to create a statement about the wearer, and not follow any particular trend. In my line of work (programming) I rarely have the need to dress up, so instead I like to wear a slick or eye catching watch. I have been fascinated by binary watches for awhile, so when I saw that WatchCo was offering this watch for a review, I asked Julie for a chance to review it.
- Case Material: Stainless Steel
- Band: Leather
- Thickness: 11.35mm
- Case Width: 38.5mm
- Case Length: 48mm
- Band Width: 25mm
- Quartz movement
- Water resistant up to 3 ATM (30 meters)
I have seen binary watches rendered practically indecipherable to the layperson with what the lights and placement mean. Kerala Trance makes this much easier by displaying printed numbers above each of the lights. The top row of numbers are the hours and the bottom row are the minutes. To tell the time, it’s just a matter of adding up the numbers a light appears under. Time to dust off those rusty double-digit adding skills, no pun intended.
In order to view the time, simply press the top button. The LEDs will display for roughly 5 seconds.
The bright blue LEDs are easy to see, and contrast beautifully against the black background. They’re bright enough to see in full daylight, but it looks the best under indoor lighting conditions. The numbers themselves aren’t lit in any way so it’s a little more challenging to get an accurate time in the dark without memorizing the placement of the numbers.
The limited glow length is to conserve on battery. Under normal use, the battery should last between 12 and 16 months. A regular CR2032 watch battery is all it runs on.
It looks amazing, but there are a few quibbles I have. There is no way of differentiating AM or PM in the time, nor is there any display for the date. The former doesn’t really bother me much, but having a way to see the date is something I’ve come to expect with my watches. Maybe I’m a bit old school, since everyone nowadays practically lives with a smartphone attached to their hand, but I still like having it on my watch.
Although this “lack” of features makes setting the watch a breeze. There are only two buttons on the right side of the watch–buttons A (top) and B (bottom). Time is set by holding down B for 5 seconds, then cycling the lights on and off for the hour using A and confirming the light and moving on to the minutes by using B again. Other than setting the time, button B serves no other purpose. The LEDs are turned on to tell time only with the top button.
This isn’t the watch to buy if you don’t want to be noticed. It’s going to get a lot of oohs, aahs, and requests to try it on from people who see it. In a slow to start meeting at work, I casually checked the time and suddenly there was dead silence in the room. I looked up to see several sets of jealous eyes on my wrist, with murmurs of “awesome watch”. At a happy hour this week, it made its way around the bar with people getting a kick out of the binary lights.
With the leather band and stainless steel casing, it is snazzy enough to wear with a suit but also casual enough for the jeans and t-shirt weekends. The Kerala Trance watch is available through WatchCo.com and will run $209 , not too shabby for a fashion watch.