Kerala Trance Binary Watch Review

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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.

kerala trance wrist


  • 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)
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This is billed as a man’s watch due to the thickness of the band, roughly 25mm at its thinnest, as well as the large case.  I prefer my watches to be on the chunkier side, and this fits my hand and wrist nicely.  The case might be large but it wasn’t obnoxiously thick and the bevel helps to de-emphasize the chunk.  The leather band tapers from about the same width as the case to that 25mm width, right around the sides of the wrist.  With the thick band, the watch kind of reminded me a bit of a wrist cuff.
The band is made of genuine leather and the inside is stamped with the THE ONE logo.
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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.

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In order to view the time, simply press the top button.  The LEDs will display for roughly 5 seconds.

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The time is 6:44

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.

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Back panel

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.

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Right-side view

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.

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Left side view

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 and will run $209 , not too shabby for a fashion watch.


Product Information

Manufacturer:The One
  • Stylish, binary time
  • No date feature, hard to read in the dark

2 thoughts on “Kerala Trance Binary Watch Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
    1. I will answer it myself since i just got it: indeed the buttons a way easier than most other silicon casing. They are … Not a deal breaker but could have been softer.

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