Elements watch causes Chemists to react

Design Submitted by Ron from USA

At Tokyoflash this design got us thinking. Its a simple idea, but we think it would be popular with anyone studying science especially Chemistry of course. In the past we have had a few watches that really grabbed the attention of a certain group. For example, the Morse Code watch was very popular with Radio enthusiasts.

We also think there is room to develop this idea further. Copernicium (112) & Boron (5) could be 11:25. Could we have some screen animation with Ball & Stick models of molecules?

Ron says: I’ve always appreciated the perfect design that is the periodic table of elements. It can be used for all kinds of design projects and I think telling time with elements would be really fun.

The design would be either e-ink or LCD. The display would show two blocks, one for hours and one for minutes (or months and days in date mode). The number of hours or minutes would correspond to the chemical element of the same number. So 11:39 would show Na Br or Sodium and Bromine. Each block has the number in the top left of the box, so it is extremely easy to read.
Science fans would be the most likely wearers of this watch, although it would appeal to anyone who wants an easy to read watch with a simple, minimalist design that looks complex at first glance.

I’ve never seen a watch that uses chemical elements to tell time before. I think that people who see the watch on your wrist would wonder what it meant, but that once they understood, it’s a really easy way to tell time.

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24 Responses to “Elements watch causes Chemists to react”

  1. avatar Pete says:

    Neat Idea, Interesting principle with an educational twist. The case is simple and stylish. Me likey 5 stars and Yes

  2. avatar logan says:

    I like the idea very much, but I’d like to add one element, literally. Your choice of a small sample from a list of (non-hazardous) elements, which would be embedded somewhere in the watch (e.g., piece of titanium, or samarium, or whatever you want). That would be an interesting way to customize the watch, instead of different color cases, LEDs, etc. Well, that was part of my design, but Ron beat me to the submission. There is a proven market for this type of product, in the many analog elemental wall clocks that exist.

  3. avatar logan says:

    And if you want to develop the idea further, an even geekier approach is to use a different, real, chemical formula for each minute. For example, AlF3=13:27 (Al=13, F3=9*3=27) and you provide a scrolling LCD with info about the chemical aluminum fluoride. I started compiling a spreadsheet with real chemical formulas for each of the minutes, but you’ll have to add other computational rules to cover everything (like negative display to reverse the reading order, H20=2:08 but negatively displayed H20=8:02, ions, etc.). Happy to donate my very incomplete spreadsheet to TF if interested. I filled it out manually to only about 150 entries, but I think the best approach would be an automated search of chemical databases, using whatever rules you set on.

    • avatar Patrick says:

      Logan, why not present your watch?

      • avatar logan says:

        Even if the design is different, the basic display method, using elements for numbers, is the same. And that’s the part that matters most. Ron submitted first so I think that precludes other element-themed designs.

        • avatar Pete says:

          At least you saw it before submitting! I’ve missed a couple now and its depressing! especially if people think you just ripped it off!

        • avatar Patrick says:

          Logan, if everyone is aware that you had done a similar project, nothing prevents you to propose, it would be interesting to see an alternative.
          Sam and Pete asked me if they could propose projects that resembled way to mine, I immediately accepted, because the diversity of the concepts, do all to us to advance.

        • avatar Patrick says:

          Pete, I am the first who proposed a project already on the site, without noticing (unfortunately), but if it is announced in advance and if there are real differences, why not proposed it?

  4. avatar Gordon says:

    very clever, this is why i love this blog, anything goes

  5. avatar Samukun says:

    It’s a cool and geeky idea without being cheesy. I like the suggestion, that one time can be shown with different elements (112/5 = 11/25), that adds more possibilities. You can learn more! The educational part is great. For those who are interested in it… Well I’m gaining interest right now actually. When the numbers would be turned off (for those who bravely learned) the really geeky part begins. Oh my god, it is Magnesium already, hahaha!

    Showing stick-ball-molecules? COOL! If it were four which show the time, having a maximum atomic number of 9 each, they would be still recognizable. E-paper should allow a cool molecular display… since it can do anything ;)

    All times have to be researched for every display mode and a decision has to be found for the digit 0.

    This idea is inspiring and has potential to become a hit.

  6. avatar Ron Ellison says:

    Wow thanks for posting my idea. I think there are a lot of ideas on how to expand the design. Some of them are in the comments above. I didn’t propose anything more complicated because I didn’t want anything to get in the way of practically producing this watch. In my mind, there would only be two boxes and a button that switched from time to date mode rather than putting four boxes on the display. Another thing you could do is add color by using the standard color scheme for elements like noble gasses and rare earths. I’d personally prefer to keep things white.

    This is my first idea to be submitted to TF. I really want to see it come to life.

    • avatar Pete says:

      Welcome to the blog Ron! This is a new and interesting concept.
      If this your typical standard then I look forward to your other submissions.
      Best of luck! :)

  7. avatar Firdaus public says:

    Great prescription. Interesting concept. Endorsed ;-)

  8. avatar Patrick says:

    A new direction to learn something other than just the present moment. Rod, beautiful idea!
    5 * / Yes.

  9. avatar Jun Fan Lee says:

    I would definatly wear this if i was still at school, then maybe I would have got a higher science grade heheheeh…its cool and unique

  10. avatar Pete says:

    I didnt realise I was amongst so many geeks! hehe Just kidding its cool and very Geek Chic! :)

  11. avatar Ranjan says:

    Its really a great design … love to have one … nice pedagogic watch …

  12. avatar The Fancy Walrus says:

    It looks like a fun watch. I really like the wrist band too. I think since this is leaned twords the science geeks there should be a little more to it. Maybe make it touch screen and add a calculator. Overall, it’s a very polished and well thought out idea!

  13. avatar VG says:

    I LOVE THIS ONE! I gues this should be reality somehow ;)

  14. avatar Fr0zen says:

    Um not really a chemistry fan…and definitely not an enthusiast of da famous “Periodic Table”…but da watch concept iz awesome…very simple…tellz u da time straight up…without any calculationz or whatsoever…and along da way…u keep learnin da Periodic Table too…good one :)

  15. avatar SBBHBM says:

    I’d definitely purchase this watch. I’m in love with it. Let me know if the design ever gets produced.

  16. avatar Gvk says:

    Love it! Very fresh concept for watches. Encourages people to learn the Periodic Table too… haha