How To: Make a Totally Geeky LED Pocket Watch That Tells Time in Colors

Make a Totally Geeky LED Pocket Watch That Tells Time in Colors

The cell phone may have replaced the pocket watch, but thanks to some clever mods and hacks, "old-fashioned" time telling is making a comeback. Smart watches that connect to your mobile device cannot only tell you what time it is, but also change the song you're listening to and let you know how many Facebook notifications are waiting for you.

Frank Zhao, an electrical engineering student at the University of Waterloo, decided to do something a little different with his LED pocket watch. It has three rings of LEDs—12 for the hour, and 60 each for the minute and second. It only takes a glance to tell what time it is, but it looks so cool you won't want to leave it in your pocket.

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The watch uses a rechargable lithium-ion coin cell battery, which Frank says should last a few months with normal (aka non-obsessive) use. It even has an alarm setting and a low battery warning.

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The watch itself is made of a printed circuit board, two pieces of clear acrylic, and a 3D printed casing.

One of the coolest features is that you can actually watch the second "hand" tick from one light to the next. Check out the video to see it in action.

You'll definitely need your soldering skills and a pretty decent chunk of time to finish this project, but it would make for one hell of a Christmas gift—if you can bear to part with it, that is.

Frank posted all of the source code, schematics, and 3D models for printing over on his Github, and you can find a very detailed step-by-step tutorial over on Instructables.

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