Published on April 22nd, 2014 | by Greg
Touch Time: A Simpler Digital Watch From Phosphor
More than eighteen months ago, backers pledged over six times the goal for a Kickstarter project, tallying up over $314,000 for a nifty new take on the classic wristwatch. Working with former Nike designer Stefan Andrén, this is a timepiece that blurs the lines, and they call it the “next generation of digital watches”. From the same company that made previous watches one of the most interesting uses for e-ink technology, this one isn’t really a smartwatch, as it doesn’t connect to your phone, won’t check your email or allow you to send text messages.
The Phosphor Touch Time is most easily defined by what is missing- there are no physical buttons to press, and it lacks the tracking, monitoring, and wireless technologies like Bluetooth that have made the wearable category so hot. We’ve seen recent fitness watches in every shape and size, though few have the charm or style of classic analog pieces. And even as digital watches pile on more and more features- GPS, altimeter, thermometer, barometer, compass- many people just want to stick to the basics but appreciate a little bit of technology too. The Touch Time allows you to select a few different ways to view time passing- up to 12 different dial schemes- and only a few other tools, like an alarm and a basic calendar, calculator, and stopwatch/timer.
The screen uses an LCD display, and the watch is water resistant. Plus, unlike any smartwatch, this one features a battery that will last a year or so, and is user replaceable (the Touch Time uses traditional coin cell batteries). We found the display to be easy to read in most conditions, and liked that a backlight is included, and the size about right- a bit small for some men, but a good fit for a watch that is aimed at both genders. The user interface is cool, but using gestures and swiping does get a bit old, as the watch isn’t quite as responsive as newer phones or devices- it feels a bit like last-generation technology. The silicone band is basic but fine- ours was black, but lots of colors are available, including blue, white, pink, and red. There are also two different stainless steel band versions as well.
For around $160, it’s not the most capable or the beautiful timepiece, but it will get your friends asking about the weird screen on your wrist that you keep swiping at. Cute and clever, it’s also quite functional. Available now, online and in stores.