Astrolabe watch helps navigate though the space–time continuum

Design submitted by Anders from Sweden.

Anders says: Scribbling away one day, I sketched a display with curving lines across it. It looked to me like some sort of scanner display as seen in countless SF films. A few more lines and I had a concept; Astrolabe. The always-on OLED display adds visual punch.

Time telling is easy; it’s basically analog with minutes told by lines along the circumference and hours told by intersecting lines; the hour position indicated by a dot at one of the intersections. To heighten the ‘star-map’ feel, random extra lines are also lit. A smoked-glass bottom lens aids readability.

The case is detachable from the strap making quick strap changes possible, and to use it as a pocketwatch as well. The case is slim, with styling subtly referencing ancient astronomical charts. The display and strap could be virtually any colour, and a metal strap is of course also possible.

Astrolabe should appeal to anyone into retro-futurism without wanting to draw too much attention. It’s perhaps too masculine for most ladies, but the option to wear it as a pocket watch or pendant may help ameliorate this. The OLED display tech feels fresh, and should make it a conversation piece.

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Astrolabe watch helps navigate though the space–time continuum, 4.4 out of 5 based on 71 ratings

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35 Responses to “Astrolabe watch helps navigate though the space–time continuum”

  1. avatar Tokyoflash Japan Product Design Studio says:

    What I like about this is how you kept the display uncluttered & it has really worked to add a sense of realism.
    I’m sure it would be tempting to add all kinds of icons & markers to the display, but by keeping it minimal it accentuates the vastness of space. That helps me believe this is a real astro navigation device.

    • avatar Anders S says:

      Thanks for the kind words, and for publishing the concept!

      I was going for a certain simplicity, but with enough lines in the display (for the hours) to make it possible to vary the look and keep it interesting. Judging by the response it looks like I succeeded…=)

  2. avatar DJ Arctic says:

    Really nice watch! It really does look like some kind of star chart from days long gone, while making it seem like a futuristic, constantly updating star map. I also like the idea of easily being able to switch watch straps and even being able to put it on a chain for use as a pocket watch. I hope this becomes a new Kisai watch, cause I can’t wait for it!

    • avatar Anders S says:

      Thanks very much DJ! That look is precisely what I was going for; like the Incas or the ancient Egyptians had kept on going, and built this at some point in the 23rd century…=)

  3. avatar Samukun says:

    Wow very nice indeed! DJ discribes it perferctly. I like the theme and the thin lines on spacey display. Asymmetry rocks here too. 5*/YES/to infinity and beyond!

  4. avatar dzign555 says:

    Very very sleek! You design the best watches, Anders! 5y

  5. avatar Pete says:

    Looks nice Anders, looks technical yet understatedly simple. The time reading looks cryptic but is really easy. Nothing I would add or take away. 5/Y best of luck sir! To the infirmary and beyond because I was looking at this and not where I was going! ;)

    • avatar Anders S says:

      Thanks Pete, glad you like it!
      That’s why the face is transparent; so people can avoid accidents…=)

  6. avatar Patrick says:

    For my part, one of most beautiful watch of Anders!
    5*/Yes, very beautiful watch.

  7. avatar plumblossom says:

    Very very elegant and beautiful. But I do have one question about the time reading. Apologies in advance for this, I probably missed something…
    I don’t understand how you can tell which end of the minutes line signifies the correct reading. For instance in the 04:38 example, how can you tell that the minutes aren’t indicated by the opposite end of the line, located at 5 minutes past the hour?

    • avatar Anders S says:

      Thanks for the praise plumblossom, and thanks for the question. Always nice to get a chance to explain. =)

      Simply put, you have to look on the clockwise side of the 5-minute line (the one running across the face). In the case of 04:38, one side of the circumference is filled with minute markers, showing that the current minute is past 30. This indicates which end of the 5-minute line to count from.

      Hope that helps!

  8. avatar Heather says:

    beautiful work. 5*/Y

  9. avatar Krautesh Vakir says:

    This is another one I’d love to have, 5/Y :)

  10. avatar Spencer says:

    I have 2 points that that i do not like about the watch (and a lot of points why i like it!):
    First is the Minutes design, i think it is hard to read. Especially when looking on the watch face from an angle.
    Second point is the feasibility. Transparent OLED-Displays can be done, with a high enough resolution and brightness. But to make the design work, the frame can’t be very thick and/or broad and that will mae it hard to realize. Since you us an OLED for the design and would love to have a button so you can llight up the date.

    • avatar Anders S says:

      Thanks for the comment Spencer, I’m glad you like my design, and that you’ve taken the time to voice your opinion.

      I’m not sure if you think the minutes are hard to read generally (which I agree would be a problem), or if you mean specifically from an angle, in which case I see your point. The visibility is dependent on variables like how dep-set the display is, how thick and how bevelled the case is. I’m sure a production version would have these issues adressed.

      Yes, feasibility is the big one, isn’t it? =) I realized when I was modelling this that a real watch may prove to need more space to fit the batteries for example. It shouldn’t be impossible to achieve (the Kisai Spider manages, after all), by increasing the thickness or altering the protrusions to make space for the internals. As long as this is done with an eye toward the look of the original concept it shouldn’t be a problem.

      The date could easily be shown by using the hour markers for the months and the minute markers for the days. With some detail to make it possible to tell time from date, of course.

  11. avatar Jonathan says:

    My god! This has got to be one of THE best designs I have ever seen here!

  12. avatar Jose says:

    I love your design, very craetivo and very well presented.
    I think it’s one of your best designs so far.
    I can not add anything more constructive to the above by other mates.
    Good job.
    5 * / Y

  13. avatar Javier-Brazil says:

    Hi..Nice!!! I liked so much your design, light, clean, and so beatiful. Good job

  14. avatar Chris says:

    This is the watch I’ve been looking for all my life. I really hope Tokyoflash makes it, it’ll be a day 1 buy for me!

  15. avatar Dom says:

    I absolutely love the “star map” face to display the time. It’s incredibly original and such an eye catcher.
    I don’t want to be the one downer here but the case/bezel is just not doing it for me :-( It’s always just a matter of taste but in my opinion it just doesn’t mache the spacey feel of the display….maybe something more, futuristic, and I would definately want one! Inspired design Anders!

    • avatar Anders S says:

      It’s ok Dom, nothing works for everyone. The current design might prove to be impossble to make, in which case it’ll have to be adjusted anyway… If TF in their wisdom decide to produce it, of course. =)
      Thanks for the praise, I’m pleased that the display’s such a hit.

  16. avatar Alex says:

    What a nice watch, the concept is really creative, a piece of art.

  17. avatar Makkovik says:

    I don’t like astrophysic stuff. I wouldn’t buy.

    However, the asymmetrical case is nice.