Who needs a second hand anyway?


July 26, 2012

The Defakto Detail one hand watch is simple, elegant, and understated

The Defakto Detail one hand watch is simple, elegant, and understated

As someone of a certain age, as a young child I was taught how to read the time using an analogue dial on a clock or watch. I suspect things are a little different now, with kids more used to digital displays on computers and smartphones. But I have some not-so-fond memories of trying to grasp the concept of the minute and second hands on an analogue display. How different my childhood could have been had someone, somewhere designed a watch with one hand rather than two.

Watches with just one hand do exist, and this new offering from Defakto Detail takes a simple, elegant, and understated approach to the challenge. The single hand acts as both hour and minute marker, with seconds consigned to history. The face of the watch - which is available in either black or white - features 12 long tick marks denoting hours, with shorter marks denoting 15-minute segments, and even shorter marks denoting 5-minute segments. The solitary hand therefore makes a full rotation just twice in each 24-hour day, once in the AM and once in the PM. Despite being a little imprecise, it's still quick and simple way to tell what time it is within 2.5-minutes either way with nothing but a solitary glance.

The Defakto Detail one hand watch costs €280 (US$340).

Source: Defakto via Design Made In Germany

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

So I guess a watch with one hand would cost over a thousand dollars? And no hands -- priceless....


Clearly designed by somebody who does not have the concept of "On time" on his hard drive.


Hmmm, nice, but I would rather spend the extra and buy a Meistersinger one-hander.


"it's still quick and simple way to tell what time it is within 2.5-minutes either way with nothing but a solitary glance" Absolute rubbish! I can't tell what time the watch is showing without counting round the marks. With a conventional analogue watch a single glance is all that is required as the two hands produce recognisable patterns, and there are far fewer markings on the face. This is the reason why the conventional analogue watch is still produced in such huge numbers even since the availability of cheap digital watches that DO tell you the exact time at a single glance.


So similar to the Botta Design "UNO 24" I've had for years!

Uber Nemo

Old clocks didn't have a second or minute hand - look at old church towers. this isn't a new idea (as much of what appears on Gizmag!)


Why is it called a "hand" when it is more like an arm?

The addition of minutes and seconds pointers to clocks was considered a great advance in technology.

This is a backward step!


i agree it takes longer to tell an exact time with this thing, plus it still isn;t really exact

so it is a good way to waste time, trying to tell time




Far better is the Chromachron "color time" watch which has a pie slice shaped opening 1 hour wide moving over a field of 12 colors with a spiral covering the minuets. It is also available as an $4.95 app on the iPhone along with a world clock showing the time in color world wide and even a list of how many days have passed since your birth.

Charles Azar

This qualifies for the dumbest new product of the year, and decade.

What is the point of such a watch except for being a decoration on your wrist.


Style and time accurate for those of us who feel the need to be early. Yes, the first clocks did not have a minute hand, you can see these in the watch Museum in Nova Scotia. Just imagine how relaxing a visit would be if we had enough time to arrive 10, 15, or 20 minutes early. Hmmmm sounds like retirement bliss.

Mark A

Lets see you take a pulse with an accuracy of 2.5 min

Dave C

"What is the point of such a watch except for being a decoration on your wrist?"

That's true of umpteen watches though - many with stratospheric price tags.

If we just wanted something that told the time, none of us would buy anything more than cheap-and-cheerful LCD jobs.

Keith Reeder

I disagree with all. True, it can't be used by trainee doctors and nurses, but it makes sense to those who understand the concept. The numbers aren't written to make it minimalistic. Most people know they have to simply set out early for work. Exactly on time does not apply to 90 percent of the population. If it does, one. Can glance carefully and again try to be early. Numbers would be preferred on it. Future editions can be made more accurate. Plus this is also a speciality, I mean just look at what junk Tokyo watch churns out. And the price could be better. Last of all, everyone at some age learns and gets used to the regular analogue watch, and that too was a learning process. This can be got used to also.

Dawar Saify

not that clever, just different . . . remember the old slide rules? same concept . . . fast and accurate once you're use to it . . . . just a little expensive for me now, but I'd buy one.


Confusingly written article and headline. A "second hand"? I thought it was referring to the sweep. You know, the hand that moves to show the passing of SECONDS.


come on... one would not even be tempted to use this confusing watch even if it was only a clock face on a nano. how could people come with such bad designs like this? Braun once said: good design is little design as possible. I guess the designer of this watch hasn't understood the "path" of the Braun statement. Time itself has a way of taking time.


Love the concept of one-hand watches, especially the idea of the hand moving more slowly and not being too precise. Much more relaxed :)

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