What criteria do you use when buying a wrist watch? Form over function, or function over form? If you are just in the market for a cheap time piece, Walmart always has a stash of plastic novelty watches for around $5. But if price isn’t a motivator and you want people to notice you, then you are probably the perfect customer for Tokyoflash. Located in Japan, this store has a unique variety of watches that entertain while also reporting the current time.
When Christian at Tokyoflash asked if I would like to review the smallest LED watch in the world, I didn’t hesitate in responding back to him.
A week or so later, a colorful box arrived at my post office. Oooh, dragons are my fave!
Inside the box was the Saishin Retsu Blue LED watch. Also available in a Green LED version, the body of this watch is very compact at 1 x 1.25 x .31 in (25 x 30 x 8 mm). It weighs in at just 40g and is powered by a CR1620 battery.
The body of the watch is made of a very solid chunk of metal (I’m assuming stainless steel), that has a slightly brushed appearance. Slots are cut into the top surface providing a contemporary minimal design. Along the right edge is a Black band. There are 10 LEDs located under this band.
On the left side is the time adjustment switch and the main time activation button. A black suede wrist band with a brushed silver buckle keeps the watch securely on your wrist.
Here you see the watch on my 5.5 inch wrist. This is one of the first LED watches that I’ve tried that does not swallow my whole arm due to the size. This makes the Retsu a perfect choice for female watch geeks. :o) The band can accommodate a wrist up to approximately 9 in (230mm).
Setting the watch is easy and just requires the use of a small pointy object to activate the adjustment switch. Since this watch only tells time and does not have date or AM/PM indicators, you can quickly set the time and start enjoying this watch right away.
Some of the LED watches that I’ve seen on the market, have wacky ways to display the time of day. You need to carry around an instruction sheet just to figure out what time it is! Thankfully, the Retsu isn’t difficult to read. When you press the button on the side, the row of LEDs will light up starting with the bottom LED and progressing up to the first digit in the current hour. Then the next digit in the hour will light up in the same manner. Then the first digit in the minute will light up and lastly the last digit in the minute will light up. It’s actually easier to see than explain. So watch the video clip below. The watch will display the time of 10:22.
See it in action…
The Saishin Retsu is a cool watch. I had several people ask me “what kind of watch is that?” while I was wearing it to work. I had fun pressing the button on the side and asking them if they could figure out the time. No one had a problem figuring it out.
The only problem I have with this watch is that it’s hard to just sneak a peek at the time. You know how it is, when someone comes up to talk to you and you want to see how long you’ve been standing around. With a regular watch, it’s easy to secretly sneak a peek without being rude. With this watch it’s pretty much impossible. But let’s not kid ourselves, no one is going to buy this watch with the primary purpose of telling time. Nope, they are going to buy it to be noticed. And that’s exactly what will happen.
Available directly from Toykoflash for ¥13900 (approximately $120).