Sphere watch rotates the time in 3D

Design submitted by Peter from the UK.

Peter says: Traditional wrist watches tend to tell the time in a very 2D format, I am fascinated by the idea of using 3D to tell the time. I decided to use a sphere as it is about as 3D as it gets, also a sphere is omni-directional which lends it self to telling the time using more than one axis.

I have decided to show 2 different time display methods using the sphere.

The white watch sphere rotates in two directions: the minutes are displayed using the Y axis like a conventional analogue watch, the hours by the x axis. Where the hours meet the bezel (which has the minute markers on it) is the time.

The black watch sphere rotates in one direction using the x axis to display the hours, the bezel rotates for the minutes, where the hours meets the bezel is the time.

This design tells the time in a unique manner and will appeal to unique people. The method is unusual but instantly recognisable and readable. The 3D element should appeal to quirky people who like products that are a little different.

This design literally stands out because of the 3D element. The sphere could be powered by a conventional analogue movement using a simple gearbox or by using two analogue movements, one for minutes and one for hours. Thus making the principle manufacturable.

There is an Animation of the watch in action. [5MB]

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Sphere watch rotates the time in 3D, 3.6 out of 5 based on 90 ratings

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40 Responses to “Sphere watch rotates the time in 3D”

  1. avatar Pete says:

    Thanks TF for adding this design to the blog! :D

  2. avatar Gordon says:

    sweet, its like a gyro instrument on an aircraft “time to kick the tires and light the fires”

  3. avatar Ranjan says:

    Hey Peter … awesome sphere … really a different and out of box idea … very catchy n’ vivid style … we all TokyoFlash lovers will wait for your magical sphere … :-) … Best of luck to your future imaginations and designs …

    • avatar Pete says:

      Im glag you like it Ranjan, thanks for the compliment! Lets hope they dont have to wait too long! x^^x
      Thanks for the positive words!

  4. avatar Heather says:

    boy, pete, you’re really on the ball! ;)
    i like the version 1 time-telling method better.
    and i love the all metal one that is showing “19:30″.
    i think the red lights you show would look better on an all black watch, rather than the color combination shown.
    i think white or blue lights would be better for these.
    i would buy the all metal one with time-telling version 1. :D
    5* great work!

    • avatar Pete says:

      hehehe puns all a”round” lol
      Im glad you like it Heather, yeah the No1 time telling method is the original and my favorite too.
      All metal one with white lights for you madam.
      Thanks for the epic comment and the vote! :D

  5. avatar Firdaus says:

    unique and okay!

  6. avatar mushy says:

    Well done Pete! Good luck with it. 5Y.

  7. avatar CLP says:

    Now this I like, its very simple but works just great. Love the idea of 3D time telling and I love the graphite looking one. I hope this one gets picked for development its got huge potential! 5 and Yes

    • avatar Pete says:

      Im glad you like it CLP, I like the Graphite coloured too.
      I also hope it gets picked for development too! lol x^^x
      Thanks for the huge potential and the vote! :D

  8. avatar Laszlo says:

    Analog masterpiece! I love it! 5/Y

  9. avatar Patrick says:

    Pete does not certainly have the same feeding as an ordinary person, because the ideas are pretty crazy.
    5 * / Yes!

  10. avatar Samukun says:

    I don’t know where this 3.4 come from, but I say, this is epic.

    The time telling works fantastic! And it looks so cool! The 19:30 version for me please. Preordered it. I like the simplicity of the look. It’s smooth and elegant and the ball is prominent but not too bulgy. 5°/YESSY!

    • avatar Pete says:

      ummm 3.4 does seem a little harsh, hopefully it will improve over time.
      The metal one so far is in the lead! Yeah there’s nothing worse than a bulgy ball! lol
      Im glad you like it, Thanks for the positive words and the high five! :D

  11. avatar GC says:

    Wow this is unusual but looks totally right. Its unique yet completely intuative. I love the metal one, put me down for one! 5***** /Yes

    • avatar Pete says:

      Another vote for the metal version! hehe
      Yeah when I first thought of using the ball it seem right and un-forced. Hopefully TF will agree!
      Thanks for the comment and the vote! :D

  12. avatar Derek says:

    This is very cool, loving the 3D idea. The metal is sooo slick! I would buy this! 5/yes

  13. avatar yoann says:

    Nice, i got the same idea but with the moon :)

  14. avatar CLP says:

    I have already commented on this design but I really like it so Im commenting again.
    Would vote again 5* and Yes if I could.
    Also I have to say that 3.4 for this design is a joke! should be 4+ imho!

    • avatar Pete says:

      Hi CLP, I appreciate you commenting again and I wish you could vote again!
      Sphere needs all the help it can get!
      Yeah so far the rating is a bit disapointing but its still early days and in all honesty its not that important.
      If the progress report proves anything is that the rating plays only a small part in TF’s descision making, some of the chosen designs for consideration werent the highest scoring. So I will just have to hope TF see potential in this concept. Thanks again for commenting! :D

  15. avatar kf says:

    cool idea pete, I’d like to see the inner mechanisms worked out too. Almost reminds me of those belt type watches that were big last year. However I don’t see how the sphere would rotate, or be comfortable, when wearing the watch if the bottom part touches your arm. Chances are friction will ruin the innards, shuffling the watch up and down your arm could ruin the innards as well by forcing the sphere in a direction it doesn’t want to go. I think the best solution for this watch to make it practical, would be to keep the bottom of the sphere encased within the watch and have a regular battery cover backing, while having the top of the rotating sphere covered by a plexi or glass dome so that it doesn’t accidentally get rubbed or spun unintentionally.

    Best of luck!

    • avatar Pete says:

      Hi KF, there is a glass dome covering the sphere both at the top and the bottom (its just about visible on some of the views) as you rightly say any friction will do the inner workings no good at all.
      I am working on a simple package drawing to show to TF that illustrates the internal mechaism using a conventional analogue watch movement be it a small unit out of a ladies watch.
      I shall describe it now but whether it will mean anything to you in text:

      The ball is mounted in a cylidrical chassis. This is driven in the “Y” axis by a small gear on the analogue movement to tell the minutes. The ball pivots in the cylidrical chassis for the “X” axis, on the end of said pivot would be another samll gear. This gear would react to a rack mounted in the case so as the chassis is rotated for the minutes the ball would rotate in relation the the rack for the hours. The rack may only consist of one tooth at the 12 O’clock so it changes on the hour like a jump hour watch.

      I hope this makes some sense to you, but to cut a long story short I think it is feasible should TF choose to develop the idea further.
      Thanks for the feedback and the interest in this design! :D

  16. avatar Pete says:

    Time is quickly running out for this entry so will wrap things up.
    I had high hopes for this concept but sadly it hasnt caught the imagination of the masses.
    Hopefully TF will see more potential than the rating suggests.

    Thanks to everyone who did support this design, and thanks to TF for posting it.

    Kind Regards

    Pete from the UK :D