Screwz – A Mechanical Watch Design

Design submitted by Sam from Germany.

Sam wanted to create a watch which has a mechanical look but with a time display which does not look mechanical. He says “a mechanical look can mean anything and after some sketching I decided for simple slotted screws”.

I use 16 screws to display time in a pretty cool new way.  2×2 screws show each number and the orientation of the slots show what number it is. There are 4 groups like this and so we have the four numbers of the time display.

You need to set the time with the screws on the side of the panel using a screwdriver. The overall look is geometrically simple. I chose wood and steel for the case and leather for the strap to give it a slightly industrial, crafted look.

The simple geometry and the characteristic screw heads allows the materials to be changed to whatever you can imagine without breaking the design.

Everyone can find a watch wich fits his/her taste. The original watch is made for those interested in construction; enginieers, architects, designers who like it technical but trendy. Party people can wear the multicolor plastic watch, fashion people might like the black transparent one, artists like to wear a little illustration maybe. Anything is possible.

This design does not look like a watch, it is a little art object with a cool mechanic. It has a strong idea wich can be expressed in countless ways – there could be a new design every year. It never gets old, because it is timeless.

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26 Responses to “Screwz – A Mechanical Watch Design”

  1. avatar Gabriel Balas-Baconschi says:

    I like a lot mecanical ideea, and the screw concept.

    But it looks difficult to read the time. Maybe more intuitive ?

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Thank you :) Yeah, maybe easier to read screw orientations can be found, that is open for testing. But I think I made the numbers distinguishable. It looks difficult in the first moment wich is the effect that makes other people amaze.

  2. avatar Maciej says:

    Hmm, looks very interesting, definitely different that other designs. And i like wood-metal combination. I think i would buy it, i am not any fan of technical, mechanical world. Just curious how & what technology can be used to turn so many screws. If it’s possible you have my vote.

  3. avatar cortjezter says:

    wow, what a brilliant concept… and one that doesn’t rely on flashy lights, etc; all analogue!

    i personally think the screw orientations for numbers works, though a couple might benefit from some tweaking. once i caught on what you were trying to do, i could see myself enjoying it a lot. the only other usability feature i might suggest is to add some sort of subtle break between the four main quadrants so identifying each number is a little easier. perhaps it’s a small cross hair in the centre, or something entirely different.

    design-wise, i really like it. part of me would prefer the face be flush; i can see debris, dust, etc easily making a mess of this, plus it would look a lot cleaner. i do like the variety of colour options, though considering the typical audience for a watch like this, i’d suggest materials that look and feel a bit more high-end, i.e. glossy black wood grain vs unfinished pine, or steel vs the translucent plastic.

    i’d buy this in a heartbeat.. excellent work!

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Thanks for your constructive input!

      Oh a cross hair would be the best to divide the 4 screw groups. It is subtle but helpful.

      The dust and debris point is very important! I believe in the magic hands of the watch makers :) When I look around me I see computer keyboard (dusty in times) Sony PSP (buttons look fine) remote controls (ok/ little dusty) digital camera (totally ok) digital dictionary (ok too) my 12-5-9 L (it’s so fine) I believe making things loose but clean is possible :)

      Yes I imagine a high-end materials as well as cheaper ones. The good thing is, you can go with the current fashion or taste. I had a full chrome version in mind, or a military camoufflage version… This watch is like a canvas wich wants to be coloured.

  4. avatar Gery says:

    hey..!! I really love those watches..!! are so interesting and the design is amazing..!! I want it! please tell me where can I buy one of those?

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Oh Gery that’s cool you like them. But they can’t be bought… This is a design blog for suggestions. Maybe, if many factors get together, this watch will be made.

  5. avatar Bharat says:

    Hello Sam, very creative it is, I liked the idea it seems it will look great in metal casing, also I want you to please comment on my latest desigh “eclipse” even if you don’t like it I just want your comments on that.

  6. avatar Brian says:

    Very cool design. You could call it SCREWED UP or something funny like that. Bet it would cost a fortune to engineer.

    • avatar Samukun says:

      I had “screwed” in my mind, but that’s the exact opposite I think…. At least from what I heard, tehehe.

  7. avatar ANMOL says:

    can i open this watch with my screw driver??????????

  8. avatar said says:

    Nice screws concept! Loving it!

  9. avatar Tokyo Pimp says:

    Hey but I prefer the PHILIPS screws better, can you do a X version? ;)

  10. avatar Samukun says:

    I can, I can :P But it is already too hard to read for some people – X-screws are even harder to read. The look would be pretty cool of course. Would be an option for people who think, this is too easy to read, tehehe

  11. avatar Aphosno says:

    Wow. No leds? Just screws? How cool is that!? I personally can read the numbers pretty fine. Maybe I’m just willing to do so because the style rocks. I take the black transparent one.

  12. avatar honda says:


    • avatar Samukun says:

      第一印象は非常に重要ですね。はい、時間の読み取りは少し難しいです。難易度を読んで東京フラッシュの時計の登録商標です。:D スマートか… 賢さが相対的ですね。

      (honda: The first impression is very cool. The display is almost impossible to read. Do you have the feeling it is a smart choice?

      Me: The first impression is very important, isn’t it. Yes, the reading is hard. Reading difficulty is a trademark of Tokyo Flash watches. Smart? Smartness is relative.)

      no guarantee this is all correct :P

      Wow, it seems there is much imagination needed to read the numbers. Just look at the explanation image. Try to write the numbers, like with a pen, and follow the lines of the screws. That works for the most numbers. Once you get used to it (wich you are willing to when the first impression really is that cool) it goes pretty quick. Well, it’s not the first time you have to torture your brain for a good looking attachment on your wrist :P

  13. avatar Turtle says:

    A bit late to the party, found this through another site just today. Very interesting, easy to pick up on the numbers (the eight is the only awkward one to me, though I see the logic in it). Very excellent example of a tactile interface. I could see this being popular among the visually handicapped crowd. (I’m blind as a bat myself and just use a pocket watch for ease of reading.)

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Late :) Never too late for this blog.

      It’s cool, you have no serious problems with the numbers. I didn’t mean to have a tactile display. But that’s a considerable point. Maybe “outside slots” would be better then. Hm…. that makes me think :D

  14. avatar Reddata says:

    I really like this one. For me, I really wasn’t too hooked on the design until I saw the oriented screws representing numbers. That is really cool. Other people may think it’s too complicated, but I’m really impressed with it.

    I would however say that the slot in each screw should be backlit somehow so that you can tell the time at night. Unless you wanted people to be touching the screw heads to decipher the time.

    I like the woodface model, but I think black metal with wood looks best. I also think that less rounded corners on the case would be more “mechanical” looking, but that’s just me.

    There is a practical issue with the idea, though: refresh rate. How frequently would you refresh the time? If you did it automatically every minute, your batteries would need replacement after a relatively short time. You could perhaps sacrifice actual screw heads for LED representations, but that’s not as mechanical. You could also relegate it to a refresh-on-demand scheme.

    Overall, very impressive. I would definitely buy this if it was produced.

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Thank you for the constructive comment!

      Yes a backlit version would be great.

      Refresh rate is a good point. I am not familiar with energy needs of LEDs and little motors. Maybe magnets are energy-friendly…I liked it to have auto refresh. But manual refresh is even better! The watch keeps the state it had, when you last refreshed – that’s cool.

  15. avatar LA_Shoe says:

    Genius. I would definitely buy this. Hats off to you, Sam.

  16. avatar t-mies says:

    Let us know if you decide to produce these. Would definitely buy one.

  17. avatar Samukun says:

    Thanks at LA and t :)

  18. avatar Samukun says:

    Two hours left… I want to use the chance to thank all who posted their opinion as well as doubts. This is an unusual watch, planned without LEDs and little bit hard to read. But it seems you liked it :)

    Best regards,
    Sam from Germany