Kanjiflow Concept Watch Design


Design submitted by Sam from Germany.

Sam says: “My idea comes from the code displays from the inspiring movie The Matrix. I really like these “raining” numbers and tried to make something similar for a wrist watch. I am not sure about the feasability. I can imagine an LED layer on top of a light-sheet. That light-sheet would have a highly reflective surface to provide a good readability during day time.

I tried to keep it simple – only black or blank space, no shades in between and only one color. If somehow possible, I’d like to have this display always on, so that there is a constant flow on your wrist. USB recharge would be very modern! There is a big display with flowing symbols. Some of them seem to be brighter – they show the time. I used chinese kanji as symbols (not katakana and numbers like in the movie) because there are so many (13.000 including traditional, simplified and radicals) and they have different “gray values”. There are kanji with a low gray value which appear dark on the display (the ones with a low stroke count) and there are kanji which look really bright (the ones with a high stroke count). While the kanji flow down the watch, I use the most dense kanji to form the four digits of the time display (or date). So if you know that there are the numbers, it is easy to read. You have to concentrate on the space between the thicker parts of the case. You don’t need the backlight at daytime, if it is bright.

Some ideas which would be nice: the ability to change to negative mode which is less energy consuming. You can set the always-on-display on or off to save energy when you are alone or to impress people when you are outside. You can set the flowing speed of the kanji. The screen part is about the half of the watch. The rest is a segmented strap wich can be adjusted according to your wrist. The material is brushed gunmetal in this concept.

This code display has inspired many other movies so I think this watch is best for sci-fi fans.  Matrix fans might appreciate it.  The watch is pretty geeky but not too offensive in my opinion, so it could suit both serious and casual occasions.

It has a big display wich is constantly changing (I hope that it is technically possible). I googled a long time and I didn’t find a watch which has something similar, so I believe there is no watch like this. I’m not sure though, I cannot imagine noone has had this idea before. If you google for yourself, watch out the “dot matrix watches” they are everywhere. Well, this watch looks strange and is easy to read, just like other watches… but different.”

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Kanjiflow Concept Watch Design, 4.6 out of 5 based on 553 ratings

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50 Responses to “Kanjiflow Concept Watch Design”

  1. avatar crazydingo より:

    Awesome watch, I love it!

  2. avatar GN より:

    Superb idea. i imagine looking at someone wearing this watch, from a distance – that’d be a man.. and he’d be like… reading the newspaper!! haha i love the visual play on time reading, it’s suits the sci-fi theme. :)
    [Note: it'd be more interesting if the characters can make up words or sentences]

    Keep up the great work Samu-kun, loving your style!

  3. avatar Aphosno より:

    I would rate 10 stars but it only goes to 5. I think it can be done. Hard work and some compromises maybe but possible. Don’t worry about it, just keep your designs coming! GN is right, add some actually readable information, then this watch would be perfectly used. Green is already the best color. Red would be cool too or blue. The first matrix film was a classic. You made me think about the old times. Bought!

    • avatar Aphosno より:

      I bookmarked your watch websites from the blog, I check them often and I cannot wait until Tokyoflash sais yes. I think it is very cool how you take care about what people post here. And I like how you handle the critiques. Further down, john asks about your solar powered watch design. I wonder what will happen with that one too. I’ll be back, lol

  4. avatar Ace より:

    Make a blue version with Japanese kanji and I like it.

  5. avatar Patrick より:

    On this blog, there are watches that come from other galaxies, but there is Sam who does not belong to our world? ah ah ah

    Incredible modernity (my Watches are the Stone Age)
    All Sam Watches are superb and this one one of them!

  6. avatar David より:

    Another awesome concept Sam. I could also imagine a similar idea with the time display moving around the wrist band instead of remaining static, like a Mexican wave.

    I think you must have the top ten designs so far.

  7. avatar Chris Clarke より:

    Slightly retro in that it borrows a major idea from The Matrix, but it’s awesome for it and does it even better :)

    I would totally buy this watch :)

  8. avatar Smiley B より:

    I think this is possible big seller. But does the time pop up link my shinshoku watch???

  9. avatar ombre より:

    Love the idea, really wanna have one. Saw the character “囧”…… LOL~~!!Well Done!

  10. avatar logan より:

    Sam, I am trying to think of a practical way to make this without breaking the bank. I like the concept a lot and tried something similar (just 0s and 1s instead of Kanji, but I prefer your Kanji), but it wasn’t as spectacular without your style of animation. So, how to make the animation a reality…

    Also, I love the zooms on your presentation. Perhaps, Tokyoflash can include more zoomed photos on its own product descriptions.

  11. avatar Wim's より:

    Hey, this is really cool and original. Critical point would probably be about the battery except if those kanji only flash when you press a button. But cool, really ! Love it !

  12. avatar Rascle McPherson より:

    Fantastic design!!! Definately on my watch list!

  13. avatar Paul より:

    i would buy one immediately!
    The great Idea to see the Time everytime is very important for me!

  14. avatar Andrey より:

    I am one of the Matrix fan, i will absolutely by this watch.

  15. avatar nick より:

    Great design and concept! Hope they will produce it soon! ^^

  16. avatar iznogoud より:

    Ohhhhhhh, please please please please please please please. Make this design, please.
    I want seven watches, one for each day of the week.

    Sorry, my english is very bad. I´m from Spain.

    Este reloj me encanta, si lo fabricáis prometo ser mejor persona de aquí en adelante. XD

  17. avatar Johnny より:

    Awesome design! I would love to have that.

  18. avatar said より:

    Matrix-kun is among us!

  19. avatar Laszlo Scheffer より:

    Very nice work Sam! Congratulayions!

  20. avatar Avatara より:

    Fantastic design! This is right up there with the best. Well done Sam, you have done it again! Love the pattern and the way the numbers are darkened makes it easy to read whilst keeping the display interesting. The kanji are interesting as well, they make a beautiful, mysterious backdrop to the time.

    I just can’t imagine what technology could be used to make this reality… Would be interesting to know. I like this very much, from a creative perspective.

  21. avatar AznDomination より:

    Extremely Amzing watch! I woold Definetly Buy

    Sam u hav amazing ideas

    its perfect no room for errors!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  22. avatar Samukun より:

    Thanks alot for all your messages! I really appreciate them. I have noted all the suggestions and hints and think about them. I made a red version just to see if it really looks like cylon code (like seen on cylon basestar in BSG or Graystone computer table in Caprica). I also made a pure japanese version in blue. The contrast for the time display is higher here, since the kana mostly take care about the dark parts. Here is the link to both versions: http://www.abload.de/img/sam-jerichow-image-06-5yfd.png Best regards to all of you!

  23. avatar Jay より:

    Awesome, I don’t know how practical it can be with the current battery technology out there, but if they can pull it off, it would be sick. Def would buy.

  24. avatar Dima Ch. より:

    That’s really great!
    I’d buy this watch is certain!

  25. avatar Highlander より:

    I’ve come back to look at this wact several times in the last few days, this is a must have watch.

  26. avatar Highlander より:

    Red, and green, purple and blue would look awesome not sure if one watch could change colors. Consider having the scrolling in four modes occurring every 15 minutes, once an hour, always on or always off. Oberon watch, my favorite watch now, scrolls when you enter the button and remaining off the rest of the time. That affect would look awesome on this watch in any color and very unique as it would be a large display and mini Kanji characters. Mind numbing!

  27. avatar Reds より:

    very cool, my husband would love this

  28. avatar Cherubim より:


  29. avatar Samukun より:

    Thanks to all! I appreciate your opinions. I will comment some suggestions/hints you gave until here. It is a little long, I hope you don’t mind.

    About having readable content: Hmmm what could it be? Self written text wich could be submitted via usb for example. Or bluetooth info from your mobile phone (wheather, updates, calls…)

    About color variations: I planned this watch with one color only to save money. I think green is the best, but maybe further research about likes and dislikes have to be done. I wouldn’t defend against a cheap option for color changing.

    About different animations: I believe this watch would cost a bit and enriching it with alternative animations or characters is a very good idea. I believe it is a matter of software – on the watch or on your computer. If a usb connection can be implemented, then you can upolad or maybe even create your own animations or download updates from Tokyoflash…

    About time being on all the time: If technically possible and energetically tolerable, I’d really like to have the display always on. I planned a reduced display (only black or nothing) and a higly reflective background (you don’t need light everytime) to save energy. Theoretically :) It is meant to be a “living” watch on your hand, not just a thing. If that’s not possible, then animations each 15 minutes or similar fun would be cool. It is really only matter of software… and energy :)

    About the animation: It looks like flowing in the preview image (at the blog front page) but it is an illusion :) The Kanji don’t move, they just change to a more or less dense state. The kanji density value just hops from one digit to the other. So the display is not flowing, but quickly changing the displayed kanji. I’m not sure wich is more energy taking. Making it reality… Some trickily written algorithms could do that I believe. But I can’t code, so everything looks like magic to me.

    About the energy needs: I believe this huge display needs quite some energy, especially when having it always on. Usb-rechargeability seems to be a good thing. But if your battery only lasts a week, it could be annoying. I see that energy is the biggest issue here.

    I’m glad the watch itself seems to be alright. It is a little retro. I was a little little bit inspired by the nokia 8110. Brushed gunmetal is not plastic, but it is smooth like matte plastic and more precious. The LCD idea also comes from the phone, as well as the idea of a simple shape with little detail. I thought about an opening mechanism, but I cancelled it for a couple of reasons.

    I really like your input. Very very welcome!!! Best regards from Germany :D

  30. avatar Anon より:

    This is possible using AMOLED’s; it would not require a backlight.

  31. avatar Toys より:

    JUST GREAT!! I WOULD BUY 5 OF THEM (in case someone breaks or blablablaa…), the design is one of the best i’ve ever seen, i think the best type of screen for this one is sony’s flexible oled or samsung’s felxible amoled,either way right now it may cost a fortune, i really don’t know but maybe in 2 or 3 years it cheaper, and it would be AWESOME.
    Just one thing, the strap would be plastic and how could you adjust it? because from what i’ve seen it’s like a standard measure, and the desing would be completely spherical or heliptical??

    CONTINUE CREATING THOSE ESPLENDID DESIGNS, you’re my top 1 watch designer

  32. avatar Samukun より:

    @ Anon: Oh yeah great! I found “FOLED” too. Thanks for the input! My hope was to find a highly reflective background so you can read the watch at daytime without using backlight. Seperating the information layer from the light layer was just my idea to achieve that. But I don’t know so much about such technical things. Any idea is welcome :)

    @ Toys: Wow thanks alot! Interesting thoughts you have. Oh yes that’s the FOLED. ANd you are right, the price is quite high. About case and straps: The case and the straps are planned as brushed gunmetal. The case section is elliptical. The rest of the ellipse is a segmented adjustable strap. Adjusting would occur by adding or removing segments. Now I think the case section is a little too big and the adjustability is a little too narrow. So I had these thoughts: http://www.abload.de/img/sam-jerichow-image-07-8pmy.png Still a strong design I think. Smaller display though… but cheaper :D Thanks Toys.

  33. avatar John より:


    • avatar Samukun より:

      No news about the watch. That is a very tough decision for Tokyoflash I believe. Like for this watch quite advanced technology is necessary. In the end it is a matter of price. I cannot imagine what different things have to be considered… I cross my fingers :)

      Thank you for your statement!

  34. avatar John より:

    Hey Samkuan when you get news about it can you send me an email sheen1_1sheen@yahoo.com I really want that watch no matter if its 1000$

  35. avatar Max より:

    I would definitely buy this watch

  36. avatar Toys より:

    @samukun: http://www.abload.de/img/sam-jerichow-image-07-8pmy.png i prefer the 3/4 case and the 1/4 strap, because it will feel like the kanji have a larger path to run through

  37. avatar Airelite より:

    Very cool! Try your best to have the numbers continously scrolling, because that is awesome and it would not (for me) be worth it just to have stationary symbols or even symbols that sometimes scroll.

  38. avatar Clark Lupine より:

    What an incredible idea… Seriously, my favourite so far. In this came out, no questions asked, I would definitely buy it. I’m a huge fan of the Matrix franchise, and to have this on my wrist would just be incredible. I’d be the sexiest man alive.

  39. avatar Samukun より:

    @ John: I’ll let you know. I might cheer on facebook, if this really happens. If…. :D Wow 1000 bucks, that’s a statement!
    @ Max: Cool, thanks!
    @ Toys: You’re right. I had a doubt about being practical, feasible, affordable… Still a little flexible on the actual execution though :) Thanks for your statement!
    @ Airelite: Thanks for telling! Yeah the continuity is the leading idea and needs to be there. An empty screen wich gets crowded by symbols wich run through numbers before leaving the screen isn’t so bad though. But I would prefer the uninterrupted flow.
    @ Clark Lupine: Oh nice :) I’m glad you liked it right away. Thanks for letting me know!

  40. avatar Cater より:

    I want to buy it^^

  41. avatar Lakshmi より:

    I would love to buy this watch. I love the constant scrolling of the script.

  42. avatar SUPERPIXEL より:

    WOW ! AWESOME watch ! The Matrix effect on this kanji is so cool ! Please TokyoFlash, distrib this watch, the FR love it.

  43. avatar Jun Fan Lee より:


  44. avatar Samukun より:

    @ all above: Thanks alot for your messages! Pretty auspicious (if that’s the right word :) )

    @ Jun Fan Lee: Do you know? Tokyoflash just brought out the RPM (http://www.tokyoflash.com/blog/2010/02/rpm) wich was submitted by an external designer. There is alot of time between the submission and the watch production due to decision making and research so it takes a while to see another watch from the blog become reality. I totally cross my fingers, I can hardly type xD Thanks for your input.

  45. avatar Tank より:

    Hello; I got one or two questions:
    Is the case flexible? If not it yould be hard to put the watch on, or at least the three-quater-design. It also wouldn’t adapt to your wrist size. But thats all unimportant beside the display problem you need to solve first. Have you ever thought about a monochromatic OLED-Display; theese are used in car radios theese days. Of course you would have to get one with a higher resolution. But it i recommend to stay at “one colour per watch” since normal OLED-displays (and any other displays too) are MUCH more expensive. Tokyoflash would also have to order an bendable display, since the watch is naturally curved.
    Anyway, the best watch design i ever saw so far; i would totally buy it.
    I really hope it’s technically possible, and that i might gave you an idea how to solve some problems.

    Tank from Austria

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Hallo Tank! You see it right. I think the 50-50 version with unflexible case and single color display is the most feasable one. I wanted to have a rigid case in the first place due to financial issues it imagined. Have you heard of FOLED? I don’t know the price but that could serve the needs because it was made to be bent.
      But I actually thought about the “last millenium LCD” – I don’t know how to call them actually. You know, not like those in LCD TV but like what you have in LCD watches or in your calculator etc. That with a high resolution and on top of a highly reflective and translucent background layer is still expensive but much cheaper than OLED I believe. But I’m not a technician :)

      Thanks alot for your technical thoughts and of course for your optimistic words!

  46. avatar Polymorfale より:

    Trés belle montre!!! autant que celle de Tron, je veux les deux!!!