Polarizer Watch Design: LCD With Soul

Design submitted by Logan from the USA.

The soul of an LCD is polarized light.  The analog animation in this watch bears that soul.

Polarizer is a mixed digital-analog LCD watch with an electroluminescent backlight.  The digital part is obvious: twelve LCD segments at the top count the hours, and two segmented digits are displayed at the bottom for the minutes.

What about the analog part?  Between the face of the watch and the LCD is a rotating polarizer that turns through 90 degrees every 30 seconds.  At 0 seconds after any minute, the digits are white on black, but at 30 seconds after any minute, the digits are black on white.  This transition is continuous because of the analog rotation, and the display changes from positive to negative and back to positive every minute.  This also allows the seconds to be estimated in an unusual way — by the polarity of the display and whether it is getting more negative or more positive.  The rotating polarizer takes the place of the top polarizer that is normally found on the LCD. An electroluminescent backlight is used instead of an LED, to provide room for the rotating polarizer without making the case too large.

This is a great watch for people who like the always-on nature of LCD watches, but also like the dynamic visual effects of LED watches.  It should also appeal to people looking for an unusual watch that does not require much math or counting (here, you only have to count the hours, and that can be done very quickly since they are aligned with the minutes segments).

The continuous animation of the LCD polarity, changing smoothly between positive and negative is unique and visually exciting.

8 thoughts on “Polarizer Watch Design: LCD With Soul

  1. Hmmm Logan 🙂 The polarity idea is good, but I think you could have done more with it. Only positive-negative isn’t enough I believe. But i like it so far. It’s totall cool, that it works that easily and can be made pretty affordable. Case is alright: minimalistic design and modern 45° angles, yay!

    Hey I got an alternative idea, mail me at samukun@gmx.de ok Logan?


  2. Hey i actually really really like this watch. I see it kinda old school and discretely geek, which is perfect. I’ve fallen in love with many watches on this site, but only this one would i consider buying because it’s not over flashy!
    This is great, if you get a deal, i’ll be the first buyer!


    • update, there is one downside to this, for like 20 seconds every minute and a half the display will be hard to read, won’t it?


      • Hi, Zadkiel. Thanks very much for your enthusiasm about this watch. I’m glad you like the subtlety and I hope you’ll find that in some of my upcoming designs, too. Please keep commenting, it’s good to hear new voices.

        Regarding the period of time when the the display will be hard to read, I’m not sure exactly how long it will last, but I think 20 seconds is an overestimate. If the rotation is linear, I think it will be 10 seconds or less, because the human eye can perceive quite small contrast differences, and the polarization differences will be more evident if the wearer just moves his wrist a bit.

        That’s if the rotation is linear, as I have illustrated. Another approach could be to speed up the rotation slightly during that period, so that it’s only for a second or two that the contrast is very low. Maybe that’s actually best and I should have illustrated it that way.


  3. I totally get the intention to mix LCD panel with LED animation, but does the fade in fade out effect is really appropriate?
    Anyway, I think you are thinking in the right direction Logan!


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