Is the new Kisai Spider Acetate watch the hardest watch in the world to read?
By Brian Dodson
December 13, 2013
TokyoFlash is a supplier of limited-edition LCD and LED watches that have joyfully substituted the conventional clock hands and dull numerals for exotic displays featuring counter-intuitive ideograms, that transform telling the time into an exercise in decryption. Its new Kisai Spider Acetate watch has arguably set a new standard for inscrutability.
Gizmag has covered the design excesses of TokyoFlash watches for years, watching as their displays became more and more arcane. There really isn't much to say about the newest member of this group, the Kisai Spider Acetate, as a watch: it is a quartz watch with an LCD screen and an LED light for checking the time in the dark, the sort sold by the millions at US$5.99. What apparently makes the Kisai Spider Acetate worth $159.00 is that it is so hard to read. If that is a desirable feature, the Spider Acetate is worth every penny of its price.
Above appears a diagram of the watch and a selection of diagram patterns for the times and dates identified. The large diagram does not appear to be a real time, as a bar seems to be missing. I believe it is supposed to be 5:56, but won't guarantee it. Still stymied? The next figure reveals the madness.
Pattern recognition has never been my best skill, so even with this figure in front of me, it still took about 10 minutes before I could decipher the time on an unlabeled display. Your mileage may vary.
The final mystery about the Spider Acetate is the transparent display. TokyoFlash makes a fair bit of fuss about this feature: "The innovative Kisai Spider Acetate watch uses transparent LCD to create the illusion that time is floating on your wrist." A number of bloggers have also waxed eloquent about this feature, but to me all it means is I can see a freckle on my wrist when I check the time. Well, no accounting for taste. A video showcasing the watch appears in the usual place.