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Top 10 Geek Watches 102

peanutbutter13 writes "Productdose lists their picks for best geek watches. From the article: "Considering the wealth of geek chic wristwear out there at the moment, we started thinking about the point where nerd-tech meets personal style...and we've compiled a list of our current wristwatch favorites, which we hope will help you channel your inner geek-gent."
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Top 10 Geek Watches

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  • by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:28AM (#14872949) Homepage Journal
    You don't get geekier than a watch with a PDA built into it, with little games. Hook a USB cable to it, or get an older model that works with a CRT monitor by flashing barcodes at a little eye sensor to transfer phone numbers and important lists and birthdays. I've had my original series Datalink watch since 1997, and it's only on its second battery, and I use the alarm every morning.
    • The only problem with the Timex Datalink is that, we being nerds, some of have very thin wrists that this watch doesn't look well on. I bought the Timex Data Link USB Watch 5B112 [], but it simply looks ridiculous on my stickly arms. If only I could bring myself away from the computer long enough to lift some weights and ingest plenty of weight gain supplements.
      • Ditto. I am a thin guy (110 lbs.) with small hands and wrists, and these watches would be too big and heavy for me. I still prefer the CASIO Databank [] calculator watches. I am currently wearing and using 150 model []. I have been wearing these types since junior high/middle school days. :) They work well for me. Plus, light and fits my wrist well.
    • The DataLink comes in two models: one with a shiny metal band, and one with a black rubber band. The rubber model has tiny 0's and 1's all over.

      Being geeks, my twin and I wondered if those bits spell a hidden message. Turns out, they do. Have you got it?
    • You mean you only do contact info?

      Every once in a while Amazon puts the Fossil Abacus [] on sale for $29.99 with free shipping. You got to catch it at the right time. Even at it's listed price, it's still a nice watch. It's basically a Palm V on the wrist. Not only do you have a contact list, but you can add graphing calculators and games and such. On a side note, screw some of the bad reviews on Amazon about battery life between charges. If you plug it in at night, you don't have to worry about the rechargabl
      • How's the usability (does it require a pen input like the regular PDAs?), weight compared to the Databank calculator watches, etc.? It looks interesting, but I don't need a full PDA (hence why I don't own one). Just something simple to record some schedules, some telephone #s, and a simple calculator.

        I am also worried about its physcial size and weight. Would it be too heavy, annoying, and big for say a kid? My wrist and hand are small and thin due my physical disabilities. Casio Databank calculator watches
        • My wrist is 7.25 inches in circumference. That was measured by wrapping my wrist with a string and then measuring the string length. It seems big, but I would put it at about average. The flat surface under the watch is 2 inches. After that, it's the flexible watchband. The watch body is nearly 2 inches wide, also. It looks big, and has a bit of weight that I wasn't used to. But it didn't take long to get used to it.

          I just listed the above for comparison. I don't know how it would look on smaller wrists, bu
          • Is there a holder for styllis? It loosk easy to lose. I have a hard time writing stuff without a table/wall. That is why I don't have a PDA. Watches work fine because they are on my wrist for support. I think I will wait until these PDA watches get better and lighter. Oh, and cheaper!
            • The little mini-stylus snaps right into the buckle of the watchband; it requires a little tug to get it out. I'm not worried about losing it...but they did ship a spare with the watch just in case.

              However, I wouldn't use that teeny little thing in anything but an emergency. Instead, I bought a Belkin Quadra pen/stylus, which also has a built-in LED flashlight and laser pointer. With the stylus tip extended, it works just fine for scrawling on the watch face.

              I have rather large wrists, so the Abacus l

              • Nice. Do any retail stores carry these watches so I can look at them in person? I live in Los Angeles, CA, USA area.
                • I don't think so anymore; I did see them in a store when they first came out (for about $125), but that was some years ago. I got mine via, and I at least had a chance to see the watch on TV before I bought it. (My wife was watching, and she pointed it out to me, and I needed a new watch, so...)

                  If they're anywhere, they'll most likely be at a Fossil retail store; in your area, there's stores at Universal CityWalk, South Coast Plaza, The Oaks in Thousand Oaks, on the Third Street Promenade

          • Bear in mind that, if you're a developer, you can get the WristPDA SDK from Fossil's Web site [], and use it in conjunction with the standard Palm SDK to adapt an application for use on the watch, including the use of special fonts, the button presses, etc.

            Then, too, the "rocker switch" on the side of the watch is encoded in the same fashion as the "jog dial" on the Sony Clie Palms, so many applications may support it already.

  • Lies (Score:3, Funny)

    by dcapel ( 913969 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:32AM (#14872958) Homepage
    I refuse to believe the top watch for geeks has come until it sshes into a linux box which then uses ntp to get the time from the atomic clock, and then sends it back. The time would of course be displayed in binary : octal : hex, for hour, minutes, and seconds, respectively.

    And, of course, it runs Linux.
    • Re:Lies (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:48AM (#14873007) Homepage
      I disagree. I think that best thing would be a watch that has all kinds of wizbang Linux features and yet manages to communicate everything in an analog display. Not all of us have jobs or social events that allow us to wear digital watches.
      • Re:Lies (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jamu ( 852752 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @04:16AM (#14873222)

        My ideal watch would just have an analog display showing the time. It would be powered by sunlight or some other green, non-interactive source. Its time would be set automatically, including the determination of which timezone it's in. It would have no buttons. The display would be black on white even in the dark.

        • Seiko Spring Drive (Score:3, Informative)

          by OmniGeek ( 72743 )
          I was just reading about this (hideously expensive prototype) watch, the Seiko Spring Drive [].

          It is a mechanical self-winding watch (an eccentric rotor winds the mainspring as you move about; nothing extraordinary per se), BUT it doesn't have the conventional mechanical escapement and balance wheel of a mechanical watch; instead, it has a tiny generator (a magnetic rotor and a set of stationary coils) that powers a chip with a quartz oscillator; the chip senses the speed of the rotor and varies the load o
        • I'm not sure about atomatically (though a few might do it), but Citizen makes a whole line of solar powered Eco-Drive watches. I wore one constantly (even sleeping and showering) for 6 years until the seal gave out, water got in it and it died.
        • Casio makes something similar to what you are asking for. It is called the Casio Wave Ceptor Tough Solar. It runs off solar power (batter backup for extended dark periods), the watch is available in black on white, or assorted other colors. It uses the Radio from Denver, CO to set itself. There are a few exceptions. The first is it does not automatically do timezone determination (I have had this before, believe me it is not a feature). The second is that it has buttons. While I have never used them i
        • Sounds a lot like my watch: Sets its time every night and is solar powered. Band and case is titanium which has no real benefit other than hey, it's titanium! It doesn't know the timezone automaticaly though and it has a single button that is inset so at least is unobtrusive. The watch came set to my timezone so I've never had to push the button (dunno how it works).

          Even with my limited exposure to daylight (and light in general) it seems to keep running just fine. Supposedly can store enough of a charge

        • My ideal watch would just have an analog display showing the time. It would be powered by sunlight or some other green, non-interactive source. Its time would be set automatically, including the determination of which timezone it's in. It would have no buttons. The display would be black on white even in the dark.

          I have just the watch to do that, its called a sundial. It's powered by the sun, the time is set automatically and dynamically adjusts to what timezone you are in (sun rises). It doesn't have a

      • Not all of us have jobs or social events that allow us to wear digital watches

        What, is there some sort of luddite movement that forbids digital watches at certain jobs? Are digital watches considered socially unacceptable among the upper crust?

        I'm not being an ass, I'm honestly asking. Until I saw your post I had no idea that there was even the possibility that a digital watch might be considered a faux pas...
        • I think to the parent it's just a sense of style. Digital watches say (to some) the same thing velcro strap tennis shoes, clip-on ties, and elastic waist band pants say - Convenient but tacky.
        • Re:Lies (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Rude Turnip ( 49495 )
          "What, is there some sort of luddite movement that forbids digital watches at certain jobs? Are digital watches considered socially unacceptable among the upper crust?"

          I do a lot of work for high-powered New York attorneys and their clients, which is about high as one can get in the crust. Here's how it is...nobody gives a crap about your watch or your shoes. I see digital watches all the time. Just wear a decent suit, be a good listener and a good worker and you'll fit right in. Heck, I just ordered a
      • by Eil ( 82413 )
        Eh, you mean...

        "I'm deeply and terribly sorry, Mr. Culver, your name is indeed on the guest list, but I'm afraid I cannot allow you to enter."

        "Well why not?!"

        "It seems, sir, that your watch is of the, er, digital persuasion."

        Funny old world you must live in...
    • What, it HAS to use linux and ssh to be for geeks?

      What if it merely uses a constilation of low Earth orbit satilites to set the time? (One of those watches does just that. There are other cheaper (and less battery-draining) watches that syncronize via shortwave.)

      But then, none of this is new or anything. Most of it isn't even new in a wrist-top formfactor. Yawn. (And what's with the Stanley thing with the ruler glued to the side? Is that a joke? Wouldn't a laser range-finder fit better into a wat

    • ...which then uses ntp to get the time from the atomic clock...

      Sorry, but I think NTP holds the patent on that idea.
  • Non-coral cache (Score:3, Informative)

    by afaik_ianal ( 918433 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:33AM (#14872964)
    And for those of us who can't access Coral (because of work restrictions), the story is also available here [].
  • Nothing beats... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by parasonic ( 699907 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:36AM (#14872972)
    ...the 70's wristwatch. I had a really hard time finding one, but the one that I bought has the following:

    • Red LED's

    • Displays 24-hour time

    • Does seconds if you hold down the illuminate button for greater than one second

    • Was made in Soviet Russia

    Yes, in Soviet Russia--by a company named Elektronika (the bezel is in Cyrillic)--where time kills you. And it keeps very good time.
  • Don't need to be new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clockmaker ( 626182 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:36AM (#14872975)
    I don't think that watches have to be new and digital to be geeky. Consider the Repeater Pocketwatch [] (Warning: pdf file), for example. The one described there is a 1920 Quarter repeater, but minute repeaters also exist. These watches chime the time when you press a button. Extremely fascinating and complex.
    • I agree. I wear an Oris automatic, which has a clear display so you can see the mechanical workings. I find this far more fascinating than most 'geek' watches, and can sit and stare at it for ages :-)
  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:39AM (#14872983)
    For those of us of a certain age, the Nixon Dictator Watch does not live up to the image conjured by the name. I was expecting something far more sinister; something even Dr. Evil wouldn't wear. [sigh]
  • by zephc ( 225327 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:44AM (#14872994)
    Who has time to look at their wrist, what with moving your face away from the monitor. This is what 'date' and 'cal' are for, or xclock, if you go for that kind of excess.
    • Sheer luxury. Real men use a custom PS1 with time,date,moonphase,uptime,uid,hostname,directory, Mom's birthday, local pizzeria's phone number, latest IRC message, among other things. Save those keystrokes !
    • Well, aren't you spiffy, with yer fancy-schmancy GUI tools.. Us hardcore nerds just python to tell us the time:

      from datetime import *

      Of course, back in the good ole days, we had to walk 30 miles (uphill, both ways) to get a stick to shove into the ground to tell time. Lemmie tell you, those saber-tooth tigers were mean bastards... had to beat them away from the stick clock with a rock...
    • I just use my cellphone if I'm rebooting or something.. *grin*
      Haven't had a wrist watch in years... The damn band would just hit the edge of my keyboard or the area beneath and annoy me anyway...

      • Cell phones are the new wrist watch.

        In my neck of the woods, watches are becoming relatively rare and mostly a fashion accessory. It's funny, I'm usually cheering the luddite posters who complain that cell phones should just make phone calls and not try to replace your whole personal electronics suite. This is one area where it seems that the cell phone legitimately replaces the function of something else.

        I guess fighter pilots (the first users of wriswatches?) don't want to go digging in their pock
  • Whoa! (Score:1, Offtopic)

    I just put two and two together and realized my friend designed that logo. I know he's working on the site more too. Link []
  • Is has to be an IWV Mark XV Pilot's watch. It must be the only watch with a version number.
  • Over the years I've has some serious geek watches:
    • Citizen Navihawk (white face, look at a pilot's wrist)
    • Casio Scientific calculator (not made anymore, I wish I could find my old one)
    • LAKS 256Mb analog from Think Geek
    • ACT FRS 2 way radio (no subtones, downer)
    • Binary watch from Think Geek
    • A timex LCD but with an analog display
    • Casio depth gauge / watch (better then Citizen Aqualand when life critical)

    The only one that looks good from TFA is the nixie tube watch.
    Is TFA real geek or marketing?

  • I still like CASIO Databank [] calculator watches (currently wearing and using 150 model []). I have been wearing these types since junior high/middle school days. :)
    • My DBX-102 is still going strong after about 10 years, but it's mostly just a watch these days, since the Palm in my pocket sort of makes the addressbook and calendar a bit redundant.

      It cost me about 15 tins of Berocca... []

      This model wasn't available in Australia, and I had a US colleague coming over for a visit soon, so I asked a friend there to buy me one and give it to said colleague to bring with him. This was in the days before easy international bank transfers an

  • My wife gave me one of these back when they were new and about $500, maybe 5-6 years ago. Much geekier than the modern GPS watch in the article - it was a much bigger challenge fitting all of those parts into a wrist-sized package back then. It didn't have a lot of features, and wasn't blazingly fast, but it was high geek cred, and I was very happy about it.
  • Ergonomics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @04:42AM (#14873301) Journal
    Looking at the list, I can't help but notice they are mostly about features, and not about ergonomics.

    Most of the features talked about don't really help you keep track of time better or use the 'watch' functions more easily. The only real advancement in watch design I've seen since illuminated faces is the watch(from Timex?) that used a simple rotating ring around the bezel to set the alarm. It would be nice if they made a watch that would let you use a control like that, or even an iPod-like touch scroll on the screen, to let you set the time, date, and alarm. It's a PITA setting those on regular digital watches because going too far by a few minutes adjusting them means having to cycle through a whole 12 or 24 hours to get to the time you want again.

    It would also be nice if you could activate the light without the other hand, like by knocking it or shaking it a few times. A thinner strap, and a latch that's next to the watch so I don't have the latch digging into my veins when I lay my wrist down would be cool, too. Aside from that, the only "non-watch" feature I would really want in a watch is a LED light that could illuminate the surroundings like one of those keychain lights.

    On the watches themselves:

    The first one looks cool, but it says that it goes to a 'negative display' (light text on black) at night. I currently have a digital watch with negative display, and one of the reasons I want to get a new watch is that it's harder to read than a positive display watch, especially in dark conditions. The digits are huge, about a full centimeter tall, but it's harder to read than a positive display watch with half-cm digits. Maybe if the light part where actually white instead of grayish and more reflective it would help, but right now it's very hard to read without the light.

    The ruler watch: Why?

    HF LED watch: Looks cool, but don't try to use it while driving or cycling, you might get a bit distracted trying to figure it out.

    Nixie watch: Good luck getting through airport security with that thing.
    • My Casio WL-S21H [] watch automatically lights its backlight when you rotate it from 90 degrees to 60 degrees (to vertical), making a stretch-your-arm-forward-and-look-at-the-watch movement. However it has so many false positives that the battery discharges in about 3 days of usage. Good thing that the watch recharges its battery from an integrated solar panel (a circle round the display). Anyway, I usually switch this feature off.
    • "The only real advancement in watch design I've seen since illuminated faces is the watch(from Timex?) that used a simple rotating ring around the bezel to set the alarm."

      Yes, in the Timex Expedition series. Fantastic watches, I loved them. It was so nice to have an alarm with an analog watch (I prefer analog watches). However, the reason I don't wear one anymore is that the alarm feature just stopped working. The first time I figured it was a fluke, and bought another one. When that stopped working to
  • by Zugok ( 17194 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @04:47AM (#14873317)
    Dr Aki Ross's watch from Final Fantasy: The spirits within []. I ordered one as soon as I heard about them. It doesn't come with the doctor or the holographic stuff, but it sure is a conversation piece.
    • I actually collect watches and this one is going on my list right next to the Fossil Frank Gehry Watch, Vestal Microdat Watch and the Monaco Sixtey Nine (best one there). Women go for the shoes. I go for the watch - because a man in a suit is standard and limiting in a professional atmosphere. The timepieces are truly unique.

  • And yes I've seen all the prototypes and the computer renderings. It still doesn't mean I can go to a store and buy one off a shelf. Here is what I want this mythical bluetooth watch to do:

    -When I have an incoming call it should: display the caller ID, light up the backlight on the watch, and maybe flash a little LED to get my attention. The watch needs one phone specific button to clear the alert and let the call ring out in silence then get sent to voice mail. That's all it needs. It would also be nice
    • Best comment so far.

      A watch should not try to be something else. It would be interesting to have something that would be a sort of central hub for many devices though, like a control for whatever you have on and a standard alerter.

      It could control or receive information from:
      • A cellphone
        • Flash for ring - caller id - text message display - accept/deny call - dial from address book
      • An iPod
        • Current song display - FM tuning - back/next - volume
      • A nearby computer
        • headlines - weather - alerts - appo
  • have to use the original/a. What is this world coming to? []
    • I was just going to preview, I really was! Then.. then they came, and I had to fight for my life and.. and.. you know, submit buttons were involved and one thing led to another. Someone probably just happened to push it while tumbling around.
  • Fossil - PDA watch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ratatask ( 905257 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @06:38AM (#14873650)
    He forgot This. []
    Slick. I want one.
  • Time Tags [] are pretty cool in that they just clip to your sleeve. Mind you, don't most geeks just use their mobile phones nowadays?
  • A USB drive digital watch? Note, I don't want a watch that lets me upload my address book via USB, I want a 256MB (or similar) USB drive inside a digital watch. Lots of people make this sort of thing with an analogue display, but I can't find a digital one.

    Alternatively, how about a "Fuzzy Watch". I always have my KDE clock set to fuzzy mode where it displays the time in words (e.g. "Quarter past eleven"). Can I get the same thing in a watch? I have seen some which display numbers as words (e.g. "Elev

      • RMFC!

        Fossil Frank Gehry Watch - I saw that, but it doesn't do what I want (perhaps nothing does). I want "Half past eleven", not "half past 11" and "Eight to ten", not "8 til 10".

        Mr.Gadget 1GB USB 2.0 Executive Watch - How could I have made it clearer in my comment that I am looking for a DIGITAL watch, not an ANALOGUE one?

        I accept that I am probably asking for things for which there is no market other than me. If so, then fair enough. I am just checking that I haven't missed my dream watch.

        • I have the digital one, and while great, I would much rather the executive myself cause the digital just LOOKS cheap, not nice and shiny like the executive. Sadly I do find just a normal keydisk to be a lot easier to use though.
  • by martinultima ( 832468 ) <> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:34AM (#14874031) Homepage Journal
    Personally I think my favorite watch would have to be just an ordinary Casio atomic watch, one of the ones with analog/digital/stopwatch/whatever. All that other geek stuff might be fun and amusing, but as far as actual function goes, the only thing I need is a device that keeps time, and doesn't need to be set.

    (It's also rather nice-looking, despite the fact that I've drowned it once and superglued it twice... my stuff tends to get abused ;-)

    My second favorite, for reasons still unknown, is one of those Shark Tale promotional things my friend got from a cereal box. I don't know why, I just like the thing.
  • for the fem-geek. I'd prefer something as functional but a bit more streamlined and feminine looking. Who says tech-wear has to be big and bulky?
    • I agree that the coolest watches are the most minimalist ones, and I'm a male (not that this tells anything about my sexual orientation ;) My favourite watches are made by Storm [], though I don't wear watches any more.
  • About 10 years ago I bought a Casio watch with altimeter, barometer, temp sensor, and compass built in. It's bulky enough to impress the geeks and repulse the snobs. It's built like a tank - it's a little beat up and I've replaced the watch band twice, but it still works great. I used to use the altimeter as a backup when I was flying my airplane, and I sometimes use it to check elevation changes as I'm riding my bike.

    And it keeps time.
  • Fancy smancy (Score:2, Interesting)

    I just received a nice watch from ebay. A 24 hour analog self winding wrist watch. Very nice and with it being self winding I don't have to worry about batteries dying. -HOUR-AUTOMATIC-WATCH_W0QQitemZ8911192154QQcategor yZ31387QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem [] for those who care.

    And no I'm not this coachgifts cat, it's just the only 24 hour analog self winding watch that's less than like $1500 that I could find period.

  • by hetairoi ( 63927 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:30AM (#14874604) Homepage
    I have the entire collection of reversible Star Wars watches from Burger King. And I wear them.

  • Honestly that cathode watch looked cool. But in reality I have this great self winding analog watch which I do where as an accessory for an important client maybe, but I am constantly resetting the thing and it tears my nails to do so. You take your watch off to type, etc., and the main thing is that phones tell the time and you always have your phone, so then you have two clocks. My phone has 5 alarms and a perpetual calendar too. So what happens is, I leave my watch at home and whenever I put it on I
  • I wish I could find a true 24-hour analog watch (hour hand makes one complete rotation each day) that isn't some ridiculously priced Swiss aviator-grade timepiece.
    • This watch is not super cheap (starts at about $400), but it's not too expensive either considering what it does:

      Yes watch (tech specs page) h_specs.html []

      They show the time with one hand, as well as digitally on the face. The face also shows daytime and nighttime by shading in the face of the watch to indicate when the sun is down, depending on the city you're in. Also shows moonset/moonrise/moon phase. Take a look, it's easier to understand from the pictu
  • What utter crap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rho ( 6063 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @04:34PM (#14878233) Homepage Journal
    All of the watches are junk. Some are simply expensive junk. Of what use is a USB storage watch that requires a cable in order to connect to the computer?

    While I'm at it, "geek chic" is officially annoying. "Ooh, look at the 'geek cred' I get from wearing a vacuum tube watch! What? What time is it? Well, it'll take a couple of seconds for the tube to heat up, but then I can tell you the time!" What utter shit.

    Here's a "geek watch"--it tells time, digitally; stopwatch; alarm; can communicate with your desktop over Bluetooth; has some kind of storage, also accessible via Bluetooth or via a standard USB connector; will sync alarms with iCal/schedule/PDA; can perhaps play a simple game such as Breakout or Othello. Extra-extra features: compass; altimeter; barometer. All of these in a watch would be huge, so select and choose a few. But don't give me some crap watch where it's arduous to tell what fucking time it is. How completely useless.

    IMO, a "real geek" will have either a $5 digital watch (that keeps perfect time, and may even have a stopwatch and alarm), or a calculator/databank watch (so they can do bigger math than they can do in their head).

  • . . . is what I wear on my wrist: The Casio MRG-2100 []. Consider:

    * All-titanium construction
    * Solar-powered
    * Receives radio time signals from both US and Japanese sources
    * Waterproof to 200m
    * Digital/analog face

    It's a Japan-only model; I had to import [] it. It's worth it, though; looks great with a button-down shirt.
  • I'm very supprised not to see anyone lookng for a watch which keeps solar and lunar time. What geeks have the chance to connect to mother earth and feel what she says the time is. A nice example is from [] anyone is welcome to buy me one :-).

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer