STARS watch galactic view tells the time

Design submitted by Nev from the UK.

Nev says: My fascination with images of distant stars and galaxies has meant I have always wanted a watch containing a starfield with star flares showing the time, so here’s ‘STARS’.

This would be best using a real starfield image (e.g. from Hubble), but here showing stylised stars.

‘STARS’ has time and alarm modes.

Star flares in 12/12/4 format: hours / 5-minutes in roughly traditional positions and additional 4 minutes in the centre.


  • Central nebula for PM
  • White star flares for Alarm mode
  • Starfield density levels: 1 (easy: just time telling stars) to 4 (hard: densely packed).

This should appeal to anyone interested in the night sky or images of the distant universe.

Images shown here are all stylised, and limited by my skills with the software packages used – they would definitely be better in real life πŸ™‚

I believe stars within a starfield have not been used to show the time on a watch before.

Showing the star flares Β as brighter (LED) stars, rather than the large stars shown here, would be better and definitely needed if a real star field image was used.

46 thoughts on “STARS watch galactic view tells the time

  1. Fantastic idea Nev. It would provide an impressive effect & very easy to read once you know how.

    I expect a TFT screen would be needed, that isn’t a problem & it would allow for some spectacular animations such as flying through the stars or panning across the sky as if looking though a telescope.

    I am conflicted as to whether a fictitious star view or real one would be best.
    A real view having the correct magnitude, position & colour for the time-telling stars might be difficult, but it would be amazing especially if the view can label some star names too!
    A fictitious view could be equally impressive if it took a more sci-fi theme, perhaps with navigational data etc.

    Thanks for sending this in, it sparks my imagination!


    • Thanks for posting my first submission and the great comment.

      I thought a real image would be best, but the fictional ones would give more flexibility in animation, easy or cryptic views etc. Maybe it would be possible to have an animation that transitions from a real image to a ‘time telling’ one.

      Thanks again and I hope this captures everyone else’s imagination too.


  2. Awesome design Nev. Great images!!

    Maybe for the passing of every 15 mins you could have a comet streak across the screen or some alien UFO battle or something lol.

    5/Y for a stellar idea…(see what I did there)


    • Thanks for the feedback and support Justin. Thanks also for the tooling when I was working on this.

      You are right that there are great animation opportunities here. Hope we see them on a real watch.


  3. Before anyone else comments, the time is 6:55 on the last but one image rather than 6:59. I usually spot these mistakes on everyone else’s submissions, so have to do it on mine too πŸ˜‰


  4. Nice first submission Nev! Welcome to the fold as it were! There are some nice ideas in this concept, I especially like the fact you can alter density and the time telling doesn’t interfere to much with the looks. I have often considered doing a swirling galaxy watch but never found a satisfactory look. I like the idea of extra information or being able of overlay charts or navigation info like you were flying a spacecraft. Maybe it could be as simple as a interchangeable lens with grooves and text cut into it (check out one of my and Sam’s coops “s-line” we had a spacey version of that with a stylised chart which would works as a lens) anyway waffle over, much potential here! 5/best of luck sir! πŸ˜€


    • Thanks for the “epic feedback” and support, Pete (using your phrase). So I’ve finally transitioned from just being a reviewer now, eh!
      Yes, there are lots of possibilities here. I like the idea of different lenses, but even different ‘covers’ framing the watch face could give different styles. I think there could be at least 2 views with the alarm mode having a different starfield displayed to the one for the main time. We’ll see if anything comes of it.
      Thanks again for the support.


    • Me too!! We will have to wait and see if it gets made though, I’m afraid. I hope we both get what we want.
      Thanks for the support and feedback, JD.


  5. Hi Nev.
    Your idea is awesome! Even if I am not fan of strap and case (personal taste).
    A watch with stars, I’ll buy it! πŸ˜‰


    • Thanks for your support, Delphine.
      I see the case and strap shown here as just a shell demonstrating the watch face – not fixed at all. My skill with the design tools are not really up to producing the professional looking strap / case you see on some other design, but what I was hoping to get across was that the flare from a star would appear on the strap in some way (whether coloured as shown or just embossed). Personally, I would like a metal strap. The case could be any shape and buttons not needed if it was a touch screen watch. Lots of flexibility here.
      If TF go for this design, I’m sure they would produce something good and you’d hopefully be happier with the case/strap and your purchase πŸ™‚


  6. This is a great space / star themed wristwatch & will appeal to astronomers & stargazers alike. I agree with Pete that this display would befit from a density / difficulty settings so the user can make it easier or harder to read.


    • Thanks, Andrew.
      I agree totally, hence the selectable density options from Density 1 (easy and just shows the stars used to tell the time), through to Density 4 (very dense (more like the Hubble image I showed) and would therefore be harder to read). These would be reading modes selected through set up, just like can be done on other TF watches (e.g. Rorschach).
      People may start at the ‘easy’ level and move on as they get used to reading the time. As the time-telling stars are only roughly in traditional positions (a star field would not be perfectly aligned), even ‘easy’ might take require some thought at first, but that’s the fun of having a TF watch, isn’t it.


  7. Amazing design Nev! Really like it, and with only a few minutes studying I could understand it. Definitely a 5/Y from me πŸ™‚


  8. Cool idea with an interesting inspiration! I like the seemingly random cluster of lights in the display, and the way the time stands out if you know how to look for it. I also think you did right in making the case as understated as it is; it shouldn’t really draw attention, just function as a delivery mechanism for the display. Kind of…=)

    Much as there is to like about it, I’m not quite friends with it… I’m having trouble pinpointing what it is, but I think it might be the natural/random-looking display pattern combined with the crisp, artificial look of the ‘stars’ themselves. If the display could be made to look more like one of the Hubble images (some sort of unevenly blurring overlay?) I think I’d like it more. Alternatively, if the lights are kept razor sharp then I think it’d work better with a slightly more ordered layout.

    But that’s just my opinion…=) Best of luck!


  9. Thanks for the feedback, Anders.

    For me the random nature of the stars makes this more like a real starscape, and is a key part of the display, so glad you like that. I think the other aspects you are highlighting are more about my inexperience with the 3D and rendering tools, rather than fixed design features – both the “crisp, artificial look of the stars” and the “understated case”!

    I would love the display to be either a real image (like the extract I added in the 3rd image, which is pretty crisp itself) or, as you mention, look more like one of these images – I just couldn’t do that myself, so produced very stylised artificial stars to demonstrate the concept rather than the final product.

    If it helps the appearance to be more realistic, your suggestion to “unevenly blur” would be good, as long as it doesn’t make it too easy to read the time πŸ™‚


  10. I want it! that is a watch id be willing to pay 160 or so dollars for πŸ™‚ especially if it is realistic (no ufo battles)


    • Any UFO battles added would be animations, which TF always make a selectable option on their watches, so you would be able to turn that off. Of course they would have to decide to make it first!

      Anyway, glad you like it, thanks for the support and let’s hope you get to spend those dollars on it πŸ™‚


    • No problem. I know that looking up at the night sky in awe is not for everyone. I won’t force you to buy if it gets made πŸ˜‰


  11. Great design, stylish and original. I really like the concept Nev. Let me know when I can have the chance to buy one.


    • If TF decide to make it, it’ll appear on the watches page – best place to look out for it. Or sign up for their email alerts on new watches. Glad you like it and hope you get the chance to buy one πŸ™‚


  12. Looks good Nev, once you understand how to read the time it’s easy. If it was LCD maybe you could have a choice of star maps.


    • I really like the idea of choosing the star map – make the watch show what you want. The maps would need star in appropriate places, of course. Great idea, Stu, and thanks for the support.


  13. First of all welcome to the other side hehe, to the ones who deliver ideas.

    You first concept is quite a tough one for me. I really see the intention but right now I’m not a fan of this one. There is no way to not think, the stars are more a noise that rather confuse the display unnecessarily. So there is the empty mode. But then there are only 5 dots on the display. So if it’s full, it’s noisy, if it’s empty, it’s too empty. The time telling method works fine but it’s not innovative. That’s not bad, but it could look more catching.

    Ok what would I do. What about a holographic display… not star trek sci-fi air projection but already existing 3d-effect holography. That would give the display a more spacey look and would really make people go like “huh you have space in there?” I think then the time telling method would be just alright.

    I do appreciate minimalistic designs and I know your designing abilities are limited so I just throw in an idea for the protocol… The case could look a bit more sciency. Like an abstract telescope maybe or a retro CRT monitor from the old stargazing days. Not really like a telescope or a monitor but a subtle hint in these directions. Otherwise you have a square with noise. Thiswise you have an observing gadget with something noisy but obviously worth observing, hence the look of the sciency looking gadget. You see, playing with the topic a bit more than just trapping it in a square.

    If I had a starry watch, I would look out for zodiak signs… Maybe the watch could display those too. If a watch can have calendar, zodiak signs could be easily programmed inside it. Maybe there could be a digital time telling method too, letting numbers be zodiac signs.

    So a more sciency look, maybe a fake 3D effekt, two time telling methods, then hell yes!!

    Man, I hope I didn’t punch you too hard. There have been simple ideas become true and my taste is special so as I said, just for the protocol. Maybe there was something useful for you πŸ™‚ I do know that you want it honest so tada! Good luck in any case and again, welcome to the creative side of the blog!


    • Wow! I think you’ve done a word count of all the lengthy comments I’ve given, added the numbers and still managed a larger word count here!
      What I wanted was a telescope-like case, so we do think alike on that, and that continuing into the strap, but didn’t think my limited skills will the tools were up to it, so went for the basic shell as, for me, the face was the important thing. And that’s what you really don’t like!
      We will have to differ on the star field and ‘noise’. What I wanted was something that looked like the Hubble picture, or better still a real one. So the ‘noise’ is what’s important here! I knew it wouldn’t appeal to everyone, so you are probably not alone.
      I do like minimalistic designs, but also like the opposite if appropriate, and I think that applies here. I also think easy to read displays are for learning (although I never use them), so the simplest one shown here was really just for that purpose – training the eye where to look when moving on to the real star field images.
      I like the idea of a 3D image, which I certainly couldn’t show. That would be great, but couldn’t be a Hubble image, so would have to be an artificial one, which would be a shame.
      Real zodiac signs certainly work for images visible to the naked eye from this planet, but that limits the possibilities and is what Delphine’s watch was all about, so probably shouldn’t go there. Could work as digital, ‘invented’ constellations in a non-earth bound star field, though, and I like that idea, but probably wouldn’t use it myself as joined-up constellations spoil the view for me.
      So, 3 design enhancements – thank you for you input. Being a critic is great on this blog if you provide enhancement ideas, rather than simple design destruction, so no problem here.
      I’ll try to stay on both sides, but let me know when you have a 4-week holiday and I’ll try to get a submission in then πŸ˜€
      Battered and nearly broken of the UK.
      Only joking πŸ™‚


    • Hey! Just noticed your first sentence!!
      Critics, if they do what I try when I see room for improvement, are more ‘enhancers’ and can deliver ideas, but don’t deliver visual representations. πŸ˜‰


  14. Welcome to the dark side of the mind, Nev.
    Interesting and creative approach to start.
    Regarding the concept itself has a lot of variables and possibilities too numerous to try to explore them all.
    I’ll stick with your basic idea and from there it is another story.
    Best of luck. πŸ™‚


    • Thanks, Jose.
      Some would say that the commentator or critic is the one on the dark side πŸ˜‰ – all a matter of perspective!


  15. Time’s just about run out for comments and votes for this watch design. Thanks to everyone that contributed & voted.

    I’ve found it interesting being on the receiving end of comments / suggestions / criticism.

    My design skills mean I can’t implement any of the great suggestions but, for now, here’s a quick summary:

    1. Use TFT screen
    – enabler for a lot of possibilities for both animations and main display

    2. Animation possibilities
    – comets every 15 minutes (set as an option like animation on Spider)
    – panning across the sky to the time telling display
    – flying through the stars to the time telling display
    – maybe space battles or starships flying across, but that would probably limit the target audience
    – I think pressing a button (or touching screen) and getting extra info on the display may be possible (e.g. naming stars), but would be limited by the screen size

    3. Choices for main display image
    – use of real image (e.g. from Nasa), which was what I originally wanted
    – “created” image that delivers the best stylised image (and would be easier to prune to make lower densities)
    – 3D image variant of the one above, but would be so cool and certainly great for flying through stars”

    4. Choice of star map
    – for both animation and main display

    5. Better case and strap than my “shells”
    – would depend on the animation options, but I did originally want a telescope-like appearance

    6. Digital format
    – joining up stars to create “constellations” gives the possibility of a digital format for the time, as an alternative to the analogue version here – maybe selectable option like the density


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