iBEAM Optical Timepiece

What kind of watch does your typical Gadgeteer wear? A no frills $7 Walmart special? Ummmmm, probably not. We tend to want our watches to do more than just tell time. A few of the more gadget worthy watches that we’ve reviewed in the past include the Microsoft SPOT watches, the NHJ VTV-101 watch and the FitSense Speedometer watch. Although these watches are packed with an abundance of unique features, they aren’t the type of watch that you would probably wear on a day to day basis. Sometimes you just want a good old fashioned analog watch that doesn’t have a dozen buttons and 3 dials on the front. Enter the iBEAM optical timepiece. Here’s a watch that doesn’t look like something Inspector Gadget would wear, but hidden behind a veil of ordinary are 2 features that give it real gadgeteer appeal.


Available in styles for both men and women, I was sent the men’s deluxe version. It came housed in a very nice presentation box lined in suede and covered in black leather.


Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a watch that is definitely not a $7 Walmart special.


The men’s deluxe iBEAM watch is a large chunky analog watch with a black face, chrome numerals, a red sweep second hand, luminous minute and hour hands, and a date indicator. Available in a silver or gold body, with either a black, brown croc style strap, or a silver or gold bracelet strap, I was sent the silver watch with black croc style strap to review.


The diameter of the entire watchcase is 40 mm (1.625 in), the diameter of the visible dial area is 27 mm (1.25 in), and it takes a 20 mm strap. This isn’t a small watch. On my wrist it looks quite large, but I don’t mind because I like chunky watches. It just looks like an ordinary analog timepiece at first glance doesn’t it?


When you press the spring loaded button on the bottom right side, the face pops open to reveal a 5x magnifying lens.


The force at which the magnifying lens flips open is pretty impressive. When a friend at work (Hi Ryan) saw the watch, he couldn’t stop flipping, closing, flipping, closing. That was until he discovered that you could use the watch as a catapult. Then he had fun flipping pennies and red-hots at me using the watch. Yes, Ryan is older than 12. ;o)


The quality of the magnifying lens is quite good. The maximum distance away from a item that you are magnifying is approximately 4 inches. Any farther away than that, and the item will appear blurry. You don’t need to remove the watch from your wrist in order to use it for magnifying things. I did so in the image above, just for ease of photographing it.


Another button is located at the top right side of the watch. Pressing this button will cause high-intensity LED incandescent flashlight to activate. Pressing the button a 2nd time will turn off the beam. Don’t worry, if you forget to turn off the light, it will automatically shut off after 30 seconds.


I wouldn’t want to rely on this flashlight as my only light source in a cave, but it’s surprisingly bright for one bulb. It’s great for finding the keyhole on your car door or house door in the dark and equally handy for shining on the back of your desktop computer to aid in cable hookups.

The LED is rated for 70,000 hours and has its own battery which is rated for 2yrs at 5 minutes a day of usage.

The battery for the watch is rated for 5yrs. A regular watch technician or jewelry store can replace the battery when required. You can also send it back to iBEAM and they will do it for you. They charge $5.00 per battery (the watch uses 1 and the LED uses 2) and $6.50 for shipping and handling.

The iBEAM watch is a nice looking watch that looks great with a suit or jeans. Its Swiss parts movement means you can trust that it will accurately report the time. It’s water resistant to 90 feet and the Sapphire coated scratch resistant lens means you don’t have to baby it. This watch makes a great present for men and women that appreciate a nice looking watch that has a few hidden features up its sleeve.


Product Information

  • Built in LED flashlight with automatic turn off
  • Built in 5x magnifying glass
  • Luminous hands aren't luminous

19 thoughts on “iBEAM Optical Timepiece”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Nice watch! I wonder if I can start fires with the lens…that’ll be a nice feature to have if I ever find myself stranded on an island somewhere. 😉

  3. I wondered the same thing (I’m a pyro)! Now if we could just combine the features of this watch with the Tissot T-touch we’d have the ultimate watch. :p

  4. I like the watch, from what I can see that is, but I have a rant…

    Why is it that companies don’t offer hardly any photos of their products on their websites? I will never understand this. Do you realize how often this is? They want to sell product but there is little to nothing available to look at.

    iBeam, for instance, offers their watch with or without datestamp (only in the men’s), in either Silver or Gold, and with a leather strap in either brown or black, or a bracelet in either Silver or Gold, in either men’s or women’s. And on top of that, they seem to make a few other models for women. This makes for quite a few different configurations.

    But they offer no large, sharp photos of the watches in all of these configurations – just a couple of tiny little photos of only the face in only a couple configurations. I want to see nice large, sharp photos of ALL angles of the watches – I want to see detail: the front (with and without the glass open, and with and without LED shining), of the side (with and without the glass open), and the back, and perhaps even the top where the LED resides. But in these photos, I also want to see the watch with the straps and bracelets. Without any photos of the case it comes in like what was available on the Gadgeteer, this makes for at least eight photos per watch. I want to see all these photos in each of the ten or more configurations.

    The photos must be large, sharp, and available. And you can’t rely on other sites to do this for you. I say to any company: If YOU make the product, YOU are responsible for the photos (and specs for that matter (at least iBeam offers those)) and for making them available on YOUR website.

    It just never ceases to amaze me how companies and retailers will try to sell product but they don’t offer any photos so that people can SEE what the products look like or which configurations they’re available in, so that people can determine what they would even want. Or they don’t even make the configurations they say exist, available for purchase. For example, I like the idea of the Gold Deluxe version of this watch with the Gold bracelet, but not only is there no photo of it with the bracelet (iBeam doesn’t even have these photos, or even good ones at that, and they’re the ones that make the watch!), but none of the retailers have them either or even offer the gold bracelet as an option on their websites, even though iBeam says it’s available. Being able to see photos of all possible configurations and angles, and then having the products in stock, and then making these options available for me to choose online when ordering, will ensure that a sale is made. How do you expect to get the right version of your product (or any version of your product) into my hands as a consumer if I can’t see it or don’t even know it exists?

    Even big corporations and retailers make this blunder often (or they don’t offer detailed specs of their products, which is equally bewildering), but big or small, it just makes for an incredibly frustrating and failed shopping experience.

    Photos are as close to seeing a product in person as one can get, without actually seeing it in person. I can’t and won’t buy, if I can’t see. Shopping involves sight more than anything, especially online, therefore people need to SEE what it is you’re selling. Photos help achieve this.

    Two plus two is…

    End of rant.

  5. Pressing this button will cause high-intensity LED incandescent flashlight to activate.

    How can you have an LED incandescent light? A white LED is flourescent.

  6. The light on the watch is Great. Although,,,, the lens sticks out too far from the watch and is easily struck and makes the watch top heavy. I’ve owned two (first replaced free, second just broke) and with in two months the lens is broken (my fault but its too easy to damage). They need a watch with a standard crystal and the built in light.

  7. When I remove the back of the watch (same model you have pictured here) I see the 2 cr1616 cells under the plastic clip, if these are for the light, where is the third for the movement? Light works, movement stopped….

  8. Nevermind I found it..almost damaging the little springs used to connect the power supply and timer circuit to the led, but managed to do a pretty good job with them in the end, watch works great and I am happy to have it..if anyone els has this watch a few notes, Ibeam doesnt service these analog watches anymore (apparently they just deal with the new lcd displays) but if you need help ( and they dont know much about the thing, but will service it if needed) Is Unitron, 3710 Rockwell Ave. Suite E Elmonte, CA 91731 1-800-221-1881. You can send them your watch and a check for 6.50 USD and they will service it ( at tleast that is what the lady on the phone told me) I managed with a little finesse to replace the 371 cell for the atch and the 2 cr1616 for the light no problem. I would recommend a watch repair place do it for you just let them know the watch battery is underneath!

  9. I have had one for 5 years, LOVE IT , use it every day!! Lifetime warranty, sent it in twice one for broken lense and one for battery. Repaired no problem except I had to do without it for a week. Sollution: One gold, one silver. Wish they had a high dollar model with real gold and diamonds, or gold band.

  10. if i tried to replace led batteries myself, what do they usually cost? are they common batteries? anyone know if any watch repair shop should be able replace the batteries OK[& for less than authorized place]? for how much? i think Timex was going to make these, but didn’t…wish they or ? would make them more affordable–think there would be huge market for them. thanks

  11. never mind above questions about the batteries–they’re cheap enough. would novice be able 2 replace them?–at least just for the led’s?

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