Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

The Epson Trume is one of the world's leading technological powerhouses flipping the table and saying "Attention please, this is what we can really do when we don't give our stuff away to the family's favorite, Seiko. This is the True Me."

Upon first hearing about it, the Trume got me as excited as I have not been about a watch in a long time. Minutes after learning about it, I was watching Japanese launch videos, only to then find myself on Page 95 of its online owner's manual (the only official thing written in English about this watch), reading up on the GPS-assisted Waypoint feature.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

I clearly got way ahead of myself there, but one thing I can say right away is that there's no way we can possibly discuss all its features and advancements in technology and design in one news article... And, frankly, at this stage it wouldn't make much sense anyway, as what really matters is how well they perform out in the real world. For now, then, let us look at what the Epson Trume is, where it's coming from, the most interesting ways in how it's new, and how it is not – and please humor me occasionally freaking out over it in the process.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

An Epson Watch?

If you are really, really into watches, you'll know that Seiko and Epson are two related companies. Contrary to common belief, though, Epson does not own Seiko: there, of course, has to be a complicated corporate structure behind it all. Both of them are located under the Seiko Group umbrella that comprises three core companies:

  • Seiko Holdings Corp. (Seiko): this contains watch brand Seiko as well as Seiko Clock Inc., Seiko Time Systems, and specialty "upscale" retailers Wako, Cronos, and more.
  • Seiko Instruments Inc. (SII) is mainly about nano- and micro-technology, R&D.
  • Seiko Epson Corp. (Epson) contains all things Epson and, strangely, Orient Watch.

Seiko (the watch brand) belongs under Seiko Holdings Corp.
while Epson is located "laterally" within the Seiko Group; therefore Seiko (the watch brand) doesn't belong under Epson or vice versa.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

Despite all this, the two do have a history of working together. Epson prides itself in helping out Seiko with the miniaturization of the quartz technology that enabled Seiko to launch the world's first quartz wristwatch, the Astron 35SQ in 1969. Epson goes so far as to call it "one of Epson's biggest contributions to the world." Read more about that cool story here. It was also Epson who helped Seiko create the Astron GPS, the first light-powered GPS watch... To this we'll come back soon.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

As such, a watch from Epson isn't extraordinary from a technical viewpoint, but it sure is quite a stretch from a branding perspective for a company the broader public associates with selling office printers. This view is apparently shared by the powers to be at Epson, who decided to launch Epson's latest and greatest watch under a totally new brand: Trume.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

True + Me = Trume

Quietly launched in July and still very much under the radar outside of Japan, Trume is yet another adorable exercise in Japanese product naming practices, something that puts a smile on my face even a while after first learning about it. It is this honest approach that tries to reach to the very core of the product and the well-meaning concept behind it, something that I'm sure makes crystal clear sense in Japanese... And then try and find a unique English equivalent to it that can be used as a brand name.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

Trume, I think I can say this rather objectively, is not exactly a luxurious sounding name: it doesn't look, read, or sound like it. Looking at this watch – even without holding it in my hand to experience what I expect to be high quality craftsmanship – I feel a considerable disconnect between this word and the product itself. Even the Japanese characters for the same word I'd find much more suitable, somehow – why isn't that a thing, at least on such nerdy, niche products?

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

Digging a bit deeper into the philosophy behind the word, we find an Epson that wants to show to the world its true self: a technological and watchmaking powerhouse that considers itself second-to-none. On the many-eth page of the Japanese press release, Epson refers to its self-esteem and strengths as a manufacturing enterprise that is closer to being a truly "in-house" brand than most others in the world.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

TRUME may sound a lot like trauma and look like the word "Trump" from a not so great distance, but there is so, so much going on beyond it. Epson has outlined "9 main reasons for Trume." These are arranged around Epson setting out to make a watch only they could create thanks to their proprietary expertise in the miniaturization and energy consumption optimization of quartz movements, GPS, Bluetooth, and sensor technologies (direction, altitude, atmospheric pressure, etc.).

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

A focus on "time, space, humanity," as well as a "fusion" between "beautiful, orderly, highly functional" and "armor-inspired" aesthetics, and operability are also mentioned, along with top-tier materials and manufacturing know-how. We'll look at all this in a moment, but before that, let me just add one last note.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

I get it that this stuff about armors and fusion and functionality sounds all made-up to those of us embittered by the constant and limitless self-aggrandizing marketing practices that we get to endure from the Swiss and the Germans, who call entire collections "Royal," "Excellence," "Superlative," "Master," "Da Vinci," and other hilarious egotistic nonsense like that. Trume, by contrast, is the epitome of the Japanese brands' longstanding lack of understanding of all that, and that's precisely why I like them so much.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

The Most Unusual Features Of The Epson Trume

The Epson Trume is a GPS, Bluetooth, atmospheric pressure, altitude sensor, direction sensor-equipped, light-charged, fully analog, navigation-capable (!), titanium and ceramic-clad watch developed and manufactured entirely by Epson that comes with a remote accessory. The most unusual stuff in all that will be the GPS capabilities and the remote sensor.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

We have been seeing a slow but steady uptick in GPS-equipped watches, some of which are actually really affordable by now – largely thanks to Epson, actually, with the Wristable GPS line. The serious stuff remains the Astron GPS by Seiko and the Satellite Wave line by Citizen. Where the Trume is different is in offering a so-called Waypoint feature. The Waypoint feature of the GPS allows you to mark a spot wherever you are, go about in town (sightseeing, etc.) and then have the watch lead you back to the marked spot from the place you wandered off to.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

The way it works is this: when you start the navigation, the watch will determine your current position and show you both the direction and the distance to your previously determined base point. The upper left sub-dial's hand will indicate the direction in which the base point is, while the upper right sub-dial with its two hands will indicate the distance in meters up to 9,900 meters – that's right around 6 miles. Needless to say, it won't navigate you down streets or anything like that, but it will give you a good idea on which direction to go if you get lost in the wilderness of a forest or a concrete jungle.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

I'm trying to figure out if I should be less impressed by this than I am right now, so party poopers are invited to tell me how, if at all, this isn't seriously impressive from a fully analog wristwatch. I think I can grasp the basic principle behind how this works, but remain impressed by it all going down inside an analog watch.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases
The Epson Trume TR-MB 8005 next to the Expanded Sensor. Source: getnews.jp

The other quirky thing isn't inside the watch: behold the "Expanded Sensor," a small remote control-looking thing that in itself is equipped with a bunch of sensors whose gathered data is displayed on the watch exclusively. The Expanded Sensor (translated from Japanese) is designed to measure strength of UV radiation, temperature, as well as your step count for the day, and burned calorie count – you can also check its remaining battery charge.

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases
The Expanded Sensor of the Epson Trume. Source: getnews.jp

The Expanded Sensor is powered by a battery with a life of approximately 6 months. It's a CR2032 coin battery, which you'd have to replace as you would in a quartz watch. It is crafted from plastic and metal, weighs only 21 grams and is IPX 5 waterproof, meaning it can withstand splashes and some mild direct jet water, but cannot be submerged (that would be IPX 7 and IPX 8). Its operating temperature range is between -10 and +60 °C – same is true for the watch itself – something good to know if you want to use its temperature sensor.

 

Epson Trume: The Most Advanced Analog Watch Ever Comes With An External Sensor Watch Releases

The Expanded Sensor is sold with 6 of the 8 available references (TR-MB 7001 and TR-MB 7002 don't get it) and has a buckle on its metal frame and a clip on its back, so you can attach it to your belt – on hand to help you relive those fond '90s pager memories... Though I grew up seeing weapons grade Nokias on belts more than I did seeing pagers. The – mind you, strictly Japanese – Epson product site of the Trume watch helps you figure out how the watch works in tandem with the remote sensor through an animated little segment on the page.

What do you think?
  • Interesting (49)
  • I want it! (27)
  • Thumbs up (23)
  • I love it! (14)
  • Classy (3)
  • Mikita
    • Sheez Gagoo

      Trump already had a watch brand named “Trump” (who thought? )
      They were Miyota powered Rolex- and Hublot “hommages”.

      • Berndt Norten

        Sad

  • Don Wrigley

    I want to see the guy who came up with this design and called it “true me”.

  • Mikita

    No, seriously, TRUME? Solloshi and Berndt, I wait your rhymes on this!

    • Berndt Norten

      Words fail… I can’t sink to the challenge!

    • Berndt Norten

      OK, i just posted up, home boy

    • Solloshi B. Hawkins

      I’m in

  • Tea Hound

    Originally Epson was going to call this watch the SPURME (for ‘spur me’) until an English speaking member of the marking staff had a quiet word with the product team.

  • Phil

    That is hideous.
    I’m sure the digital bezel is useful for some function or other.
    Perhaps when the EU makes the world change to digital time (100 seconds in a minute) a software update will handle it.

    If you want GPS, get a Garmin Fenix.

  • JosephWelke

    Like so many other Japanese watches: a technological tour-de-force; wonderfully engineered and constructed; then blasted into irrevalance by hideous design and gargantuan, unusable size. Also, the external sensor looks cheap; somewhat like a remote control on a kid’s toy robot.

    That being said, I love the Waypoint feature. How many times has Johnny Quest or another cartoon used a watch or something like it to track an object or a location, with the hands moving to point toward it? Also very Bond, I could see Q issuing this to 007. Too bad the feature is in this clunker.

    • David Bredan

      If they had launched it in 1 reference, I’d say this was a tour de force or a concept, and just that. However, since it’s launched in 8 different references, it is a tour de force that apparently is seriously meant to be out there in the market, which is weird, considering the near-unusable size. I couldn’t find a single wristshot of it anywhere (there is a quick moment in a Japanese news video but from the single worst angle). Still, the watch is out there, apparently: https://twitter.com/ISHIDA_Omosan/status/935797438115332097 Even on these less than ideal images the watch looks really well-made (no surprises there).

  • SuperStrapper

    True + Me = Trume. That’s interesting. I assumed Trump + Yuge = Trume.

    Seriously, what a monster. Was this made in collaboration with Musk? Their watches have many features and tend to be on the larger size as well:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b7d35913492929deb8c40f46415c450060f80d73e7c96e06ed57f10bc3c3799e.jpg

    Does anyone, author or otherwise, know where in the Seiko umbrella S-Yard lives? I assume a Seiko holdings company. They make really high end golf gear oddly enough but I’ve never seen it over here; I think its all JDM. But They use the same typefaces and even logos as the watches do, which I always found odd.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/48bf82f5aef6e8945543592375a02cc9fe0632f06ccc0d4291587e124b6134ef.png

    I’ve seen guys using their stuff in the tri-sanctioned tour son I know its real, but this screenshot is from their website: is that really saying some 50-odd thousand dollars for a club set?

    • David Bredan

      Let’s make a deal. I give you details about S-Yard and you remove that Musk image, because it’s such a truly unbearable sight.

      • SuperStrapper

        Readily accepted. I had to post it near blind as I was covering my eyes anyway.

        • David Bredan

          Haha, I can totally understand that. Here.
          Seiko S-Yard Co. Ltd. is engaged in the product planning and sales of golf clubs for domestic and overseas markets. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Tokyo, Japan. Seiko S-Yard Co. Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Seiko Holdings Corporation.

  • BNABOD

    The beauty of this clearly over engineeerd thing is that it even comes w its own remote. Seriously all you need now to carry is your bolt pack. Come on think about it who doesn’t need a remote w their watch right?… see that is what I thought, now go spend 2 and a half grand on that printer watch and be loud and proud to show it off. Remember always when you are carrying it that it truly is you not me because I would never ever consider this ever….

  • Jason Hackworth

    Not sure anyone cares, but I’d say the pronunciation of the name rhymes with “plume,” (the katakana graphic on the first page would be read “tru-mu”) and would not be spoken as True + Me.

    • Solloshi B. Hawkins

      Blome
      🙂

  • Marius

    I think the watch looks good and I want to like it, but:
    It’s too big
    The remote is pointless (just link it to your phone FFS!) and stupid (lost with a month?)
    The name is ridiculous. Surely the mighty Epson corporation could afford to hire a native English speaker to look at that name and say: “Er… sorry chaps but that word is just meaningless and silly”? I’d rather have Epson on it.
    The waypoint feature sounds cool but is entirely redundant thanks to google maps.

    • Yep, just saying “EPSON” on the watch would give it more cred in my book. TRUEME sounds like it is some Chinese watch.

      • Berndt Norten

        He’s back! Cut loose from some noose that was holding you back?

        • I’ve been busy with my “day job” (software engineer) plus I’ve been burning a lot of midnight oil on a new website Ariel, Richard Paige and I will be launching soon (watch related of course).

  • Mikita

    Just finished reading – wow. David, you really did into some interesting stuff, I’ve never come across these Trump-Trume (typical Japan! they have never been strong at promonting stuff). Personally, I’d be stopped right at 48.6 mm diameter, but compared to some Breitling models – still bearable and has good reasons for being that big. I believe the full black models will look smaller. Anyway, I won’t consider these for myself, but damn how I’d love to play with them for some time! Especially with Waypoint GPS feature.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    This watch is more Japanese than weird game shows and animes with big eyed little girls fleeing from giant octopusses.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Someone’s been watching Family Guy 🙂

      • Sheez Gagoo

        I thought I added the video with that scene. So something went wrong.

      • Sheez Gagoo
    • Mikita

      More than kancho? 🙂

      • Sheez Gagoo

        Just googled that. Wtf?

        • Mikita

          Japanese humor..

      • Sheez Gagoo

        Just googled that. Wtf?

  • BJ314

    It’s ugly. Nothing else is relevant after that.

  • Phil Dix

    Is it a printer?

    • Solloshi B. Hawkins

      more of a mini-fax

  • Berndt Norten

    So Trume
    Always on time, but never in line for our dreams
    Head over heels when toe to toe
    This is the sound of Ray’s soul
    This is the sound of quartz, you know

    Ray bought a ticket to the world
    But now he’s come back again
    Why does he find it hard to write the next line?
    I want BILL’s truth to be said

    Ha-ha–ha-Hasselhoff
    I know this watch is called Trume
    Ha-ha-ha-hasselhoff
    unleashed liberty in Europe (it’s true)

    With a thrill in BILL’s head and a pill on Dan’s tongue
    Dissolve Sheez’s nerves, Mikita we’ve just begun
    Listening to Berndt-Dogg all night long
    This is the sound of my soul
    Too much novocaine made a hole

    Always slipping through my hands
    the days of our lives the times that we had
    Why do I find it hard to write the next line?
    Oh I want this Trume to be dead!

    • Raymond Wilkie

      That comment was pure gold

      • Berndt Norten

        Thank you Raymond

        • Solloshi B. Hawkins

          Thank you, India.

          • Berndt Norten

            Thank you Alanis
            Now get back to riding that one album gravy train

    • Mikita

      … … this was your moment of pure glory! Agree with Ray. Trume Ballade.

      • Berndt Norten

        Danke

    • Solloshi B. Hawkins

      OPUS

    • Solloshi B. Hawkins

      Robbie and Juli-ha-sel-hoff

  • Mikita
  • Ranchracer

    It’s an Astron with some additional, questionably useful complications. And the external sensor is an answer to a question nobody asked. The best part of this article:

    “I get it that this stuff about armors and fusion and functionality sounds all made-up to those of us embittered by the constant and limitless self-aggrandizing marketing practices that we get to endure from the Swiss and the Germans, who call entire collections “Royal,” “Excellence,” “Superlative,” “Master,” “Da Vinci,” and other hilarious egotistic nonsense like that.”

  • frauss

    My first impression was that it looked like some Transformer-like device that rolls around cities knocking down buildings.

  • Andre Braz

    Seems like some Orient and Casio Edifice. I pass

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    Ironically the only thing it cannot do is open your garage door.

    • Yep. Epson missed a great opportunity to partner with HomeLink on that feature.

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    Cold winter streets, the blacktop is icing, I freeze my toes
    Trying to laugh but the chill sucks the air from my lungs
    Strange voices are saying -What do they say? -I don’t speak Japanese
    It’s too close for comfort and this watch is not yet in my hands

    It’s a Trume, Trume winter
    Leaving me colder than cold
    It’s a Trume, Trume winter
    Please be gone

    The comments are crowded but I feel alone, lost in falling snow
    I need GPS but I don’t think I need it that bad

    It’s a Trume, Trume winter
    Leaving me colder than cold
    It’s a Trume, Trume winter
    Please be gone
    Don’t think I’m the only one

    It’s a Trume, Trume winter
    Leaving me coldr and coldr
    It’s a Trume, Trume winter
    Think I’d rather a BOLDR
    Now I’m gone.

    • Berndt Norten

      Wake me up before you go go
      Cuz I’m not planning on Truming solo

      • Solloshi B. Hawkins

        I will be your Trueme Figure
        Put your tiny hand in mine
        I will be your preacher, teacher
        We’ll begin with Donkey Limes

        • Berndt Norten

          That’s all you wanted
          A timepiece sacred
          Timepiece special
          To tell time

          • Solloshi B. Hawkins

            ’til the end of…

            TIME

      • Solloshi B. Hawkins

        Truming? On a Tuesday afternoon?

        Well I never…

        • Berndt Norten

          That makes me kinda moody, kinda blue.

    • Mikita

      Awesome comment you awesome awesome!

  • Larry Holmack

    Okay…so Epson….a company I know from my years working in the computer retail field as a corporate salesman and then as a software trainer…is making a watch now. Yeah it’s a big one….a size I wear daily…..but goodness….it bores me to even read about it. ( No fault of your David….just it’s just a boring watch ) Plus….who wants to take the time to learn how to work all the functions of the doohickie that comes with the watch???

    Just make a nice looking 3 hand mechanical automatic watch…..on a great bracelet….at an affordable price.

    • You’re missing the point entirely! There are already thousands of 3 hand mechs out there, why make another one?
      Epson is very clearly trying to make a statement, a watch, yes, but separate from almost anything else you can buy.

      • Larry Holmack

        I understand where they are coming from….that’s not the problem. What this watch can do…most of us already have a Smart Phone that can do all this with an app. But…I am sure they will sell a ton of them in Japan. I just don’t see the need for it.

        Three hand mechanical’s ….or in this case….2 hands with a sub dial for seconds…..can be unique looking. Not every 3 hand or 2 hands with a seconds sub dial has to be a Sub clone. My point in case….Mark Carson’s newest watch! I don’t remember what the cost is for his newest design, but if I had the money….I’d buy his watch over the Trume any day!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84e3536ac7f2c11486401d7a52c9a434e4cd8a732d79f7bac97625ec21228eb2.jpg

        • Well, there’s really no need for watches. Any watch! As you’ve said, we have smartphones.

          And yes, the Epson watch fails to show itself off, all that features and a boring dial/design.

  • Thanks for the article David. Not sure what to think about the “watch.” But it is a good read.

  • IG

    Would it have been that hard to put a Geiger-Müller counter in it? Damn.

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    C’mon c’mon c’mon c’mon now Trume me babe
    Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
    What was that Epson that you made?
    Why when I wear it can’t get laid?

    Now I’m gonna Trume ya ’til the heavens stop the rain.
    I’m gonna Trume ya ’til the Trume falls from the Trume…
    For me and Trume.

    Stronger than Trume!

    • Berndt Norten

      I’m gonna TRUME ya
      Till the stars fall from the sky
      For you and I!!!!

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    TrumeLegit
    TrumeLegitTrumeQuit

    yeah, yeah!

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    This Trume is on fi-ya!
    With Waypoint I’ll find ya!

    • Berndt Norten

      Don’t forget to tip the chauffeur

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    Going out
    In a Trume of Glory!

  • Solloshi B. Hawkins

    It’s been fun.
    My work is done.
    To my boys:
    Keep making noise.

    To Zeta Global:
    You don’t deserve a rhyme. Suck my Big Data.

    BILL out!

    I think…

    • Berndt Norten

      We had joy we had fun
      We had Holidays in the Sun

  • spiceballs

    Fascinating honest piece on an interesting watch – thx David. Never knew Epson (or S-Yard!) was part of the Seiko group. As noted very Astron-looking but clearly with a lot more features and larger. Having just acquired a (smaller – 45mm ex crown) Ti/Cer Astron (at a good price) I can attest to the (remarkable) comfort of these, and the reliability of all my Epson printers, but can’t see me needing all those features. Sensor battery life is 6 months but the watch – solar?

  • Ulysses31

    A few interesting features but it is ugly and has a stupid name.

  • I can’t imagine why any company in the 21st Century would think that someone would carry around a bulky remote sensor that does exactly what the phone in their pocket already does. It looks like a house arrest monitoring device that you’re forced to wear; spending that amount of money on such a hideous watch should indeed be a crime.