‘KISAI X’ – Decode Time [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

‘KISAI X’ – Decode Time [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]


Okay, it’s not mobile-related (granted) … However, I wanted to give you all my initial first impressions on something cool that arrived on my doorstep this morning from Japan.

Wanting to do this properly, (and considering the growing popularity and talk surrounding the “smartwatch”), I’ve thus gone ahead and created a brand new category for posts like this going forward.


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First things, first — I’m a big fan of wearing watches. More specifically, digital watches — and so, about a week ago, I put an order in for the KISAI X from TokyoFlash Japan.

The watch arrived early this morning, and having removed 4-5 links to size the watch to my (relatively scrawny) wrist, I have to be honest — I am in love with this thing.

It’s the first product I’ve ordered directly from Japan, and, (as you do), I’d heard stories about ordering products directly from manufacturers located in China and Japan due to reported reliability and shipping issues. Let’s just leave it at there appears to be wide varying levels of quality control.

The ‘Kisai X,’ though, is a totally different story.

kisai_codex_cryptic_led_watch_design_from_tokyoflash_japan_02

(Concept Design: The watch was originally pitched with the branding “Codex”)

Originally submitted to the TokyoFlash Design Studio Blog as a joint concept idea by Firdaus Rohman, (located in Malaysia), and Heather Sable from the USA, ‘Kisai X,’ is a stylish LED buddy for your wrist which stands out from the regular digital watches thanks to the truly unique way it displays time.

Featuring a faceted mineral crystal pyramidal lens, LED-lit digital digits, (which, by the way, are super-bright even outdoors), custom made stainless steel case, and strap, this watch is not for the faint-heated — especially if you prefer to simply have the time in front of you without having to do a little work.

For those who want to make a statement, though — (or those who simply like things which light up)‘Kisai X’ is a serious choice.

kisai_x_black_blue

Available in silver or black (with a blue, green or red display), on a first cursory glance you might think that it is virtually impossible to tell the time on something as complicated as the ‘Kisai X’.

Heavily inspired by cryptography(the practice and study of techniques for secure communication) – you’d be quick to be forgiven for assuming that ‘Kisai X’ is something that may have just fallen out of a science-fiction movie.

Fortunately, though, Kisai X has a secret. See, the watch shown to you above is actually displaying the time using normal digits as if on a regular clock. No trickery, or dots you have to add together – (a feature of TokyoFlash’s other offerings).

Just the time — Hidden in plain sight.

decode_the_time_diagram

Here’s how you read it — Once you understand how to discern the individual figures on Kisai X‘s display (see diagram above), the hour is read from top to bottom, and the minutes are read from left to right. So, the time shown on Kisai X at the top of this article is 15:50.

The digital LED watch has four modes. Time, Date, Alarm and Animation, and setting each of these to conform to your specific timezone couldn’t be simpler. It’s just a case of pressing KISAI’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ buttons in the right combination and at the right times.

The first three are generic, (granted), and largely appear on all digital watches – (albeit without the same unique style). It’s Kisai‘s ‘animation’ mode, though, (coupled with its approach to serving you a cryptic set of lines for time), that really sets it apart.

It’s a well known fact that the general culture of Japan centers heavily around technology, and the ‘Kisai X’ plays on this fact by allowing the user to set an predefined animation, which, (once activated), will animate every 10 minutes between 6pm and midnight (the time which you’re most likely be to clubbing, etc). Perhaps the best part is, this can be turned on or off in ‘Settings’ mode if you don’t require it.

in-the-dark

Here’s what the KISAI X looks like – (in the dark!)

Overall, I’m more than pleased with my first purchase from TokyoFlash Japan, (and indeed Japan, itself). Sure, it’s no Pebble, MotoACTIV or Metawatch. It doesn’t carry out-of-the-box support for IFTTT, and it won’t alert you when you receive a tweet, or SMS.

That said, ‘Kisai X’ does what it was designed to do. That is, to tell the time in a truly unique and awe-inspiring way that is sure to have a few people asking you for the time, (if only to find out how you read the thing!). Did I mention you only have to charge it via the included (proprietary) USB cable once a month?

If you want one, you’ll have to hurry. KISAI X, (which launched at the beginning of this month), will set you back £98.23 (~$140) and is being produced as a ‘Limited Edition’ run — Pretty soon, the LED watch will move into the TokyoFlash ‘Watch Museum’, where it will remain – forever.

Note to UK shippers: Delivery times will obviously vary dependent on your area. I’m pleased to say, though, ‘KISAI X’ managed to arrive from Japan to Singapore (TokyoFlash’s shipping depo), in around a day, and then took a further day to arrive in the UK. It passed customs in 48-hours. Overall, delivery time was inside the quoted 3-5 days.