Solar-powered Watch Design

Design submitted by Sam from Germany.

This solar watch uses its free energy to light up a twine on a transparent LED membrane.  The single vertical line goes through curves and ribbons, and forms the four numbers to show time.  A solar cell saves up energy to the battery and ensures continuous function.  Case and straps blend together making the watch look like it’s made in one metal piece.  The smooth strap ends are magnetic so there is no need for any lock mechanism.

A smart and powerful design for both men and women.

87 thoughts on “Solar-powered Watch Design

  1. Wow! I love this one! It’s great! Wow! Ok, i love this shape and display. I think it’s gonna be big challenge for tokyoflash to produce this lines display. But it does not matter, i would buy it even if it shows flowers, little pigs or whatever, standard electronic display would make me happy as well, I just LOVE this concept. All of it, it is perfect. Please produce. I salute you Sam.


  2. The idea is really really good sam!!
    I love the red line effect! I don t know if the watch has to be solar powered here… wouldn’t it increase much the size and the price? I think it doesn’t really brings anything to the design except if the LEDs can be always on thanks to that!!


  3. it’s a beautiful and elegant design for sure. i’m curious how the red line begins and ends, since it’s not shown in the renderings.. seems like it would be a pesky thing to solve.

    i agree that while solar is cool, usb recharging would be just as efficient and possible cheaper.

    overall a great idea.. i would totally buy and wear this!


  4. This is a sublime rendering, great work Sam! It’s like a piece of art and the “distressed” numbers really are a nice touch. I wonder if solar power could be done? I like the magnetic clasp idea too – I wonder if this would be practical though, you wouldn’t want it to fall off. I would love to see this on a wrist to see how it looks before considering buying. Looks rather large to me.


  5. This is one of our favorite designs so far! I think it would be difficult to make exactly like the renderings but if we could get close I personally would love to see this one produced. This design really has it all. 🙂


    • Wow that sounds nice 🙂

      Oh final products often don’t reach the quality of their concept designs but still show the strong intial idea. But you know that already, tehehe.

      My technical imagination is limited – I really wonder what can be done. It’s exciting!


  6. Hello everybody, I made this design.

    Thanks you all for your input. It is cool the see you brainstorming. I went through some issues and finally submitted this without knowing aaaaalll the technical feasibility 🙂

    @said: I played with the width and tried to make it not too slim. It still looks a bit bracelet-ish but more like a big cool screen. I believe solar cells aren’t that expensive. I some countries they are supported by the government because they are energy-friendly. I believe in germany (my country) the support ends soon because they had enough time to establish now.

    @Maciej: I could imagine other display stiles. But I’m afraid the watch would loose its consistency. If it would be something biiig and fully screen using, that would be an alternative. To stay with the ito (twine) topic, I could imagine small leds instead of the organic (hard to produce) line. But its cool, the raw geometry finds it’s fans.

    @cortjezter: The lines simply start and end 🙂 Look at this: Usb? Nice nice. But you must admit, laying back and let the sun do its work is easier 🙂 The price… thats an important issue though.

    @Avatara: I’m not sure about it too, but the relation between solar panel size and actual time telling displays is pretty good. Red light is also less energy taking than other colors so maybe its enough. About the magnetig strap: Check out Neodym magnets. Those are pretty strong and could be used. You can run and shake you arm and they would hold. There would be alot of testing necessary though. Oh is it large 😛 I thought about making it wide for men and slim for women (more bracelet-ish)…

    Yeah many points wich need to be concretized. It’s so cool that my design makes people think about how it can be done.


  7. This is the best design I’ve seen. I would absolutely buy it if were produced. I would love to see different options for LED colours.


  8. Sam…i love you….heehehhehehehehehe epic watch. the best design on the entire blog. this wil lget produced definatly!!


  9. Hola buenas, me he enamorado de este reloj pero no se muy bien como se puede comprar. Me he registrado pero no encuentro como comprarlo. Es posible que aún no esté a la venta? Se venderá finalmente?



    • Marc said: Hello, I love this watch but it’s not very good that it can’T buy. I registered but can not find and buy. You may still not be on sale? It finally sold?

      Hola Marc. Este reloj es hasta el momento sólo un proyecto. Tokio Flash está buscando personas que tienen ideas realmente grandes. Tal vez no es este reloj en el futuro.

      Google translator rocks 🙂


  10. This would be the first TF watch I would like more than the Oberon. I’d pay twice as much for this one! It’s nearly perfect, design-wise, and I like the idea of magnetic clasps and solar power as well. Include a bluetooth alert system that we could key to our mobiles, and it’d be perfect.


  11. Did i say it’s beautiful? Oh yes i did. Billion times! And i will say that every time i see it. Just wondering. Something has to be wrong with those ratings. I understand not everyone likes this design. But some of them are much worse & still overrated, other brilliant concepts are underrated. Anyway this one in my opinion should have additional 6 star for FANTASTIC!


    • I know that feeling, I also made my second post to another watch. Thanks Maciej. I wonder too, but I actually don’t know the mechanics of the ratings… many influences. Tastes are different and I hope Tokyo Flash will choose wisely 🙂


    • Agree on the rating part, maybe it just people who a jealous and click the 1 star in revenge to bring the rating down??? 🙂 Think a 4.7 or more is in order here. Star Rating is not the only factor for sure, maybe accounts for 20% if other things don’t add up then it will effect the decision.
      Have to say we are having a bit of a dilemma here as there are just far too many great designs being posted and really we would love nothing more than to make a lot of these cool designs, but then reality kicks in and we know we can only make a very few, unless we can sell a lot more watches. I hope this will be the trend, but we can only make enough designs to match the sales. I hope this blog and all the people here will be helping promote sales or spreading the word, once the first few designs come out, then we can do more and more designs.
      For this design I can only think of E-paper, which is just grey not exciting like the renderings done. So we would need to find some new technology to get this effect.
      We have looked into solar for LEDs, the amount of solar panels to power 1 LED would probably be bigger than the entire watch and that is if you are in the sun the whole day, so USB recharge would be the best option, and if you really wanted to go solar, then have a solar panel to charge the USB charging unit.


      • Thanks you for making things more clear 🙂 Jealousy is bad think. I must admit as a one of the designer that some of the watches are much better that mine ones 🙂 But i still respect them. I am happy to be within the group of fantastic designers. Anyway i just wonder how long this contest will last for, i have some more ideas but i can work on them only weekends. So do not know how much time i have before the final. By the way, this concept is Amazing, i am so jealous 😀


      • Hi Maciej, there is no final it’s on going. Our Graphic designer posted DESIGN CHALLENGE which is a bit misleading, we will be doing this continually as we have been very impressed by what people have submitted in such a short time. We are really overwhelmed right now with great designs. One design has so much work to make correctly so it’s a bit of a waiting game. Main point is your idea is a good one, and seems many agree! 🙂


      • LCD will be limited even if you use flexible one, you will not get this same outlook. One of the cool parts of this design is the continuous line, LCD need gaps between segments, so that part is lost, then there is the lighting, need to be bright and consistent not patchy looking. I think if there is a will there is a way, but cost grow accordingly.


  12. Sam, myself I’m also a designer and one of my design is also on the blog, and I have no hesitation to admit what a great design it is, you have done such a fantastic work, you only make my work more challenging, so to all other designers as well. I believe great work has to be appreciated.
    Keep up the good work champ


    • Agreed and we really appreciate how people are posting such great constructive comments here.


  13. @all: Wow thank you for your comments. I appreciate your honesty and you constructivity. I am jealous about other watches too. I just hope they get made 😛 No matter how good the other projects are, if you are still proud of your own work, thats good. When you have fun in doing this, the people will see that too. Tokyo Flash will see your idea, even if you don’t have much 3d knowldege.

    @Tokyoflash: Oh I’m glad how you think about the ratings.

    I see your dilemma. You have alot to do now 😛

    Yeah E-paper… I have a visual image in my mind to make this look good. But yes,it would look less wow… maybe…

    Ok, I see, solar power and light do not work together. I thought about a bent tft screen then, with a resolution like a computer tft screen. Thats 130 pixels per inch respectively 50 pixels per cm. So the twine still could look organic. But I belive a whole new tft screen would cost. And that watch would be rigid.

    I saw something at my electronics shop. I don’t know the name so I googgled. Check out “el sheet”. That’s flexible light emitting sheets wich come in many colors. If you overlay those with an lcd display wich is fully black and cut out where the twine is, it would come close to the renderings. Not that bright I think, but still cool. I don’t know about the costs and the energy efficeny though… But I will try to make a rendering soon.

    There is no final? Wow, this will be a cool collection of watches. You will have more and more work to do!


  14. Sam, this is my first time commenting on another designer’s watch. I really appreciate that you are trying to be both innovative and minimalistic with the display. I can’t speak about the practicality of manufacturing it, but, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I think it’s great.


  15. @logan: Thanks alot logan. Yeah simple but new, that was my plan. I like to

    dream a bit and visualize that. The practicality of manufacturing… I can’t

    speak about it too, tehehe. If that’s really your first comment on another’s

    watch, I might recommend you to leave more comments on other’s watches. This

    blog can’t have enough different perspectives. If Tokyo Flash really has no

    limit, it will develop because of what we write here too.

    @Tokyoflash: How about making a book about this blog? When this year is over you

    can make one 😀 Futures Watches 2010. I know, paper books are a bit antiquated

    but printed work looks more precious than on screen. If you decided for a watch

    by then, you could also show the way from the design submission to the final

    product (ok summer 2011 for the book). If that’s not too secret 🙂

    Ok, back to the topic. I made some images. I’d like to let you know what’s going through my head.

    This is an imagination of a high resolution LED display (I called it tft before):

    Not the whole width of the watch would need to be LEDs if this small technology

    is expensive. It looks good in original view. The twine would be two pixels wide in straight, and three pixels maximum with different brightness when bending.

    I tried an EL-sheet version of the watch:

    I think this is how the watch would look, if an cut-out-LCD-dislpay is overlayed

    to an EL-sheet. It is not that bright and glowing like a more powerful

    lightsource, but technically imaginable.

    And I wanted to see how an E-paper version would look like:

    If it is E-paper then it has to be a bright watch I think. White matte plastic

    would fit very well. I saw white E-paper, so I used it here. The covering

    “glass” is a little bit rough on the inside, so the twine gets blurred a tiny

    little bit, wich looks cool. It is like glowing, but dark.

    Well, that’s my thoughts at the moment.


  16. Hey TokyoFlash what if a watch such as this one and the Tron watch have such good ratings and people saying they will buy it? Will you produce both? How long does it take you guys to produce them?


  17. I would also like to know. Also I’ve seen many design with the same high rating how do you guys decide which one to produce, I’ve seen the watches you sell now and they are terrible then I see these designs and they are amazing.


  18. When can I purchase this?? I hope it’s coming to the store soon..

    It’s been 5 years since my last purchase from Tokyoflash..


  19. 糸を使って時間を表示するなんて斬新ですね!ただ見た目が呪い系っていうか、ちょっと恐いような、そんな感じをイメージしちゃいます。色が赤っていうのもあるのかな。


    • Ok I think honda-san said this:

      “showing the time with a twine is a novelty!” Yes I think so.

      “the appearance is a little scaring” o.O I hope the translation is wrong 🙂

      “red color, yes please” It’s my favorite for this watch too.

      本田さん、答えてくれてありがとう. はい、赤く糸は新しい表示です。どうして見た目は恐いですか。それでも、赤い色は一番。


  20. @Jonathan,sovy,Daniel and Kate: Thanks for your short but significant posts. It’s nice to know that people like my work 🙂


    • I really like your watch im sure if TokyoFlash doesn’t produce it you can go to another watch company and show them your idea and make millions


  21. I haven’t seen all the watches yet, but this one is a highlight! How do you come up with such an idea? I love the single line idea. It’s so simple! The bracelett is not fully my taste but when I see that watch here in the shop, I would buy it.

    Oh you’re from germany too? Beste Grüße! Tolle Uhr! Great watch man!


    • Yes I’m german. Danke für deinen Kommentar!

      Coming up with such an idea is easy, when you love futuristic watches and you always think about them. Well, refining an idea takes a bit and translating it into a significant image too. It’s interesting and thrilling work.


      • I’ve seen all the watches here now. Yours just rocks! Some others are very very good too, but in an other way. But the most are “just” ok. Good luck!


  22. Honestly between this watch and Tron witch are the most highly rated, I personally think that this design is more ingenious but, harder to make.


    • Oh Ginji, you cannot buy this watch yet. It is still a concept watch. I did not plan buttons for this watch, just to emphasize my idea of a one-piece-watch. But they can be integrated in the metal border. Letting the watch be radio controlled would be cool in my opinion.


  23. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL…. Make one now….. I mean like NOW…. You cannot come out with this watch fast enough. Im telling you. it would be a hit.


  24. @josh: That’s the shortest entry ever 😀
    @cecile:Thank you!
    @Omar: That sounds nice. I believe you are right 🙂
    @ Monseigneur: Oh that’s hard to tell. It would depend on the technique wich is used to make the watch and how close it is to the concept renderings. If Tokyo Flash really considers to make it, they would need to do research about what is possible, wich people they are aiming, and if the final price is justified… hard work.


  25. wonder if someone would know how to read the time on this very sleek design very beautiful watch when the time would be 11:11


  26. @ Daniel: 11:11, you got it right! I would wait for this time every day, tehehe

    @ Jane: That’s a clear statement, thank you 🙂


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