Grayscale LCD Watch Design Concept

Design submitted by Logan from the USA.

A fascinating and ingenious concept from Logan here. He says: “While trying to illustrate a different idea, I made a mistake and saw a pattern that led me to this design.4th Committee is an always-on watch, using either 4-level grayscale LCD or e-ink. The 40 square pixels in the 4×10 display can each be black, white, light gray, or dark gray. The 4×5 top section shows the hours and the 4×5 bottom section shows the minute. In each 4×5 section, two 3×5 digits are displayed, but since that would normally require a 6×5 section instead of 4×5, the two digits overlap in the middle.  One digit uses white pixels, the other dark gray, and their overlap is light gray.  The partial overlap creates an interesting pattern, while keeping both digits readable at a glance.  The background pixels are black.

The watch could come with several color options for the case and strap — white, dark gray, red, green, and yellow are illustrated — and this might help broaden the appeal because the display is just grayscale.

User-selectable 24-hour mode (with times like 22:57, shown) or 12-hour mode where PM is indicated by reversing the color order of the digits — so, the first hours digit is dark gray instead of white, and the second is white instead of dark gray.

This design is great for someone who wants a display that is readable at a glance and always on, but is still visually interesting.  Goes great with a sophisticated black-and-gray outfit, your Ansel Adams photography collection, or zen workspace.

14 thoughts on “Grayscale LCD Watch Design Concept”

  1. I think this is a neat idea. I’m usually not that into the classic digital look, but this is just the right amount of clever for me…=) Simple, stylish and easy enough to read. Thumbs up!


    1. Thanks for your feedback, Gabriel. If you can think of any way to make it easier to read, but using the same concept, please let me know.


  2. I love it!!! I have a similar idea in my sketch book but yours is more stylish, really! This is a great reading (not calculating or counting) watch wich still looks cryptic and stylish. I totally love the pixel look – very contemporary. Instant buy for me. 5*!!!


  3. I like it. Could be interesting with an e-ink screen, although you might want lighting in that case. (Side-mount a LED across the top or side? Hmm.)


    1. DStaal, thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree there should be LED lighting — maybe, one side-mounted at the top and one side-mounted at the bottom? Some of Tokyoflash’s past LCD watches used more than one LED for backlighting, such as Negative. I don’t know how much e-ink costs vs. grayscale LCD, but I hope this type of e-ink would be affordable, since you only need 40 “segments.” It wouldn’t need to be like a Kindle screen with high resolution.


  4. I think Anders sums it up when he says “simple, stylish and easy to read” – this is a great display idea. Shades of LCD would look great I think and it would always be on, as you say in your description above. I would love to see this one developed. 5/5 for me! Maybe you could try a colored LCD variation in a different case shape.


  5. We are looking for some more LCD and Analogue designs NOT LED for a few months. We have so many and more being made. We are looking to choose 5 new designs by the end of Jan so hope to see your ideas coming in. We will be considering past designs and if they can be done in LCD as well. Must be easy to read as well. No harder than 12/11/4 or 12/5/9 preferably easier than that even. Commissions seem very very attractive enough to put a sizable down payment on a house, so it’s not just fun and games, there is real money to be made! It’s like the “American Idol” of watches.


    Tokyoflash Design Studio


  6. Mark, Aphosno, Avatara: thank you for your feedback. I am very glad to see that there are so many fans of this idea! I try a lot of different styles and comments like this help me to focus on what you will like best.


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