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Is the new Kisai Spider Acetate watch the hardest watch in the world to read?


December 13, 2013

Can you read the time? (Photo: TokyoFlash)

Can you read the time? (Photo: TokyoFlash)

Image Gallery (6 images)

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.

Source: TokyoFlash

About the Author
Brian Dodson From an early age Brian wanted to become a scientist. He did, earning a Ph.D. in physics and embarking on an R&D career which has recently broken the 40th anniversary. What he didn't expect was that along the way he would become a patent agent, a rocket scientist, a gourmet cook, a biotech entrepreneur, an opera tenor and a science writer. All articles by Brian Dodson

Given the complexity of this device and the absolute stupidity of anyone buying it, it is perhaps fortunate that most owners will not have finished trying to determine just how late they are for the meeting they are hurrying to by the time their distraction has caused them to wrap their car round a tree and in doing so, remove their genes from the gene pool.

It would make a lovely gift for any politician, especially one prone to being late for meetings.

Mel Tisdale

I'm waiting to hear about the first auto accident where the driver claims he was distorted by trying to tell the time


Perfection at last!

Perfectly ugly.

Perfectly non functional

Perfectly transparent so you can observe whether or not your freckles are moving.

Gawd... please save us!

Lewis Dickens

Maybe, one day, these guys will learn to make a watch that takes up less than a city block of wrist space - and one thinner than a 9-volt battery. I like the alt point of view aspect but cannot reconcile the size of these things. Just making a thinner version would be a game changer.


Too bad it's so big. Anyway, I'd like a watch that shows time spiraling away, showing each date's 24 hours receding from sight.


Along with similar lines, I have Morse code ring tones assigned to my friends. So if they call, I can tell by listening the Morse code who is ringing. The thing now is that none of my friends ring me as there is SMS, Facebook, email, Skype etc....

Haykey Kaariainen
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