This is the Phosphor Reveal watch - and it is sort of a bling object for watch nerds (and nerdettes). This is a new type of timepiece for Phosphor - as up until now they were known for offering well-priced e-ink screen watches such as the World Time and Digital Hour Clock. The Reveal is not an e-ink watch but rather a timepiece that uses "micro-magnetic mechanical digital" technology. Basically, the movements use magnets to flip around the crystals to display the time digitally.
It is on a base quartz movement with the complex mechanism on top if working to show the time. For this first collection Phosphor chose to do this with crystals. Thinking about it - I would guess that they aren't limited to crystals, and the same effect can be done with small balls or other textures. If this watch is successful enough, then I hope to see Phosphor really experimenting and playing with this tech in the future. For now we have a few Reveal watch styles. For you to check out here is a men's version and women's version. Each of the watches are in approx. 45mm wide steel cases. The men's model is done in black, while the women's model is in polished steel. As you can likely see, the cases are pretty bland given what the dial has got going on. Though the women's model is spruced up a bit more.
At the same time, the cases offer a lot of space for some clever aftermarket guy to modify these timepieces in an interesting manner. The case has just two buttons to operate the watch. This includes setting the time, and switching between the three displays. You can blank out the dial to see just the crystals, see the time, or see the seconds.
If you look closely at the sections that turn over, they are little groups of crystals and turn over faster than the eye can detect. From a distance it is hard to understand how the dials work, but you get a better understanding looking at the dials up close. There is a lot of novelty here which I appreciate - the Phosphor Reveal is a neat watch whether or not you like the looks. When the time changes, you hear a little clicking noise as things shuffle about.
Like I said, the watch shows the time and another screen will show the seconds. No date or anything like that. Phosphor points out that there is a special security system if you drop the watch. Some senor detects a fall or impact (just like certain portable Hard Drives) and locks the crystals in place so that they don't get messed up. And even if they do, there is apparently a way to reset the positions of the crystals. I like that such a level of engineering went in to the user experience.
The men's model is the most simple with a black leather strap and standard round case. It is comfortable on the wrist, but large so as to make a visual statement. Like I said, it is a sort of gadgety watch, but the shiny crystals on the dial change that. The intersection of showy and techie is rather amusing. The women's watch is much better composed. There is a red patent leather strap and more little crystals in a double row around the bezel. For women it is a fun timepiece with a good spirit and ton of character. Though again it is about 45mm wide so it won't look dazzling on petite wrists.
This fun time toy shouldn't cost to much and is available now. Prices start at $199 for a polished steel case. $210 for this IP black case, and $250 for the women's model. Learn more or get a Phosphor Reveal here.
Thanks for Phosphor for the review unit. Opinions are 100% Independent.