LED Watch with User Actuation To Reveal Time

Design submitted by Peter from the UK.

Peter says: “This is “Actuator”, an evolution of my “Hybrid” design. The original Hybrid concept was popular when it featured on the blog in March 2012, but proved to be too costly to make and technically difficult due to the heavy metallic disc. This version uses a similar time telling method but gets around the technical issues.led_watch_with_user_actuation_to_reveal_time_outlook

The time telling method is very similar to the original Hybrid concept, only in this case there is no mechanical movement. The user “Actuates” the display themselves, making the design technically simple.


There are a few variations possible.Β The first is a single knob or disc which features 12 LEDs for displaying the hours and a triangular LED for highlighting the minutes. The wearer simply rotates the knob or disc which activates the hour LEDs, then when the triangular LED is pointing towards the appropriate minute it also illuminates to describe the time accurately.



The colour of the LEDs could change to describe the AM or PM to keep the number of LEDs to a minimum.


It may also be possible that the “Actuation” of the knob or disc could generate power (kinetically) giving a longer period between charges.



The second variation has two rotatable knobs or discs, one for hours and one for minutes. This is simpler in the fact it reduces the number of LEDs to just two but requires more electronic contacts/pickups.





This design has a unique and industrial look which will appeal to folks who like unusal products that are simple and intuitive.

The simple time telling method combined with the manual aspect and industrial element makes this design stand out from others.”

28 thoughts on “LED Watch with User Actuation To Reveal Time

  1. Really cool! I like this new interpretation. This or the Hybrid have to be made! The two LEDs versions don’t rock this hard but still look nicey. I’m crossing all crossables for the new arrow version. 5*/YAY


    • Thanks a lot Sam! Yeah hopefully one of these variants will tickle TFs taste buds. Styling aside I think the manual nature of the concept has merit. It’s like your measure time with a tool like a vernia or micrometer etc etc. cheers for the feedback and support sir! πŸ˜€


  2. Cool idea, for sure, the first thing I thought of when I saw it was ‘safe-cracker’…=) Which is also my main issue with it; is there not a danger that you’d be frustrated trying to find the current minute in a hurry? Or am I missing something? Apart from that, the raised knob looks a little too high to suit the rest of the watch, but perhaps it needs to be in order to be useable…? On looks alone I much prefer the second two-LED version, it has a nice mechanical vibe to it.
    Oh, and I think the idea of using the twisting motion to recharge is brilliant. Good luck with it!


    • Hey Anders,
      The safe-cracker ascociation is not a bad one, I was worried people might see a egg timer! lol
      I dont think it would be that time consuming or frustrating IMHO, you would give it a quick spin and the the light would flash and then you would turn it back roughly to that area. You arent listening in to a subtle click like the safe-cracker. Also just being in the rough minute area would be enough for most peoples needs.
      I must admit I prefer the flater disc style examples at the end. They were an afterthough as I realised that the style of my original “Hybrid” design could be used. Like you say it gives the watch a mechanical Industrial feel. Some pros and cons there, cheers for the feedback sir! πŸ˜€


      • Hehe, yeah, egg-timer would have been worse! =)

        I see your point, and I’m sure it’d work fine for most people. I would probably only start to spin it compulsively whenever I had my mind on something else, and wear it out in two weeks time…

        Hehehehe, I just noticed the censored word in my original comment…=) I’m sure you can guess what it is, it’s a very British (slightly naughty) eufemism, and I actually toyed with the idea of making some sort of joke about it ‘looking too high’ or about it being ‘grab-able’ but I refrained… Wisely, I feel…=)


      • haha yeah I think I could guess the word. Yeah there are a few jokes we could have gone with! Its a good job we went high brow in this instance, it wouldn’t have been very ‘hard’ to go all smutty! Especially as there is a kinetic re-charge facility for when un-expected battery dis-charge occurs! lol πŸ˜‰


    • If the arrow tip (single arrow design) had two LEDs, one could light up when you get in the right 5-min interval, and the second illuminates when you are on the correct minute. In this way, you only add 12 contacts for the additional LED. I have illustrated this in very poor ASCII art below, which hopefully will look the same when I post it πŸ˜›

      This design is really cool, and with the single arrow, I would probably buy one. The two arrow looks cool, but might be more annoying to find the time.
      / < 1 min. LED lights up on correct minute
      / < 5 min. LED lights up for approximation/easier finding


      • I understood what you are getting at Darin, cheers for the input. Its a nice idea to make the time telling quicker. The other way would be to have the LED flash or glow as you got closer to the correct minute like a detector of some sort. Cheers for the comments and the feedback! πŸ˜€


  3. Hey, Crazy Pete (just trying it out)! You know, I did think of an egg timer, but more importantly you reminded me of what I just googled as Super Perfection, but found nothing; then I dug into the bowels of my memories from 1975 and remembered it was called ‘Superfection’:
    Superfection game
    In that spirit I think you should make the wearer point the dial to the correct time within 10 seconds, or the dials violetly shoot off in their face, care of Crazy Pete Recreation (CPR).


    • Haha you know your showing your age now! In 1975 I wasn’t even a frisky thought in my Dad’s eye! lol
      Cool idea about the kinda self destruct element. After Anders’s comment earlier I did think it might be nice if the LEDs around the correct time LED glowed to tell you your getting closer. That would speed up the time telling and give a nice effect. Might also cause less lawsuits than dial in eye incidents too! πŸ˜‰ cheers for the epic feedback zainy Xian! πŸ˜€


  4. I don’t mind the hand sticking up Pete. In fact, I like that one best. Practically speaking, however, it might be easy to knock and damage and I wonder how easy it would be to break the mechanism when twisting the knob. Maybe something like the bottom design would be the best solution. I gave you 5Y the other day. πŸ™‚ Good luck with it.


      • Yeah Anders fell into that censorship trap too! lol
        I dont breakage would be an issue because the er dial could be turned either way so worst case scenori is it catches your clothes etc. I think the flatter ones would probably be more practical and arguably more attarctive. Cheers for the feedback, the potentially rude word and the vote sir! πŸ˜€


    • Sundials are a cool association, I did do a sun-dial based design back in the day. May be that’s a bonus feature that if the battery goes flat you could point in a certain direction on a sunny day and it will still tell the time. Cheers for the comment sir! πŸ˜€


  5. I love the black version with chrome grid and red arrow (I thought draw a clock with the same grid, but Pete was faster than me)
    5 * and Yes, nice work.


    • Sorry about that Patrick! I’m not precious about these things so please finish your design! Thanks for the support and the nice words sir! πŸ˜€


  6. I prefer the last 2 models because the arrows are flat, like the original. I like the safe wheel look. I like the dual-tone band. At first, I wasn’t sure about the “actuator” idea because of when you’re in a hurry but it’s kinda fun that it look broken because it doesn’t move. ( It remind me of the “hermes Temps Suspendu” mechanical watch that can be put to pause for as long as you want ( the H & M hands form a V at 11 & 1. The date hand hide in the case ) & when you switch it on again, it find the current time/date & work normally ) +, when you’re bored, you have something to spin.


    • The flat two (disc style) were an after thought but I must admit they are my favorits too. I like to think of the manual aspect as like a measuring tool, like a calliper for measuring time. Its a slightly retro thing but I like analogue mechanical things sometimes. If the discs have a nice mechanical feel with a satisfying click it could feel like a really quality piece. Cheers for the support and the nice comparisons! πŸ˜€


    • 2 things I forgot to mention & 1 mistake :

      1 ) the hermes is : Hermes arceau temps suspendu ( which doesn’t matter much for google search ).
      2 ) the unlimited version cost about 17 000 & the limited ( 174 ) cost about 36 000.
      3 ) I like the “3D/deepness” effect on the “OCR A Extended” texts.


  7. The bells soon toll for this design too, so big thanks to TF for adding it to the blog and everyone who supported it! Cheers!

    Pete from the UK πŸ˜€


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