by Inigo del Castillo in Tech on Monday 13 January 2014

TokyoFlash, Japanese maker of limited-edition LED and LCD watches, is known for its long line of mind-boggling and arcane concept watches that may or may not give you brain damage (I’m leaning towards the former). Their latest creation, the Kisai Spider Acetate, is no exception.

Like its predecessors, the Spider Acetate requires its wearer to solve a challenging puzzle in order to know the time. The digital watch has a transparent hexagonal display with four hexagonal rings in the middle, supposedly inspired by the patterns of a spider’s web. These four rings, despite looking like just a bunch of lines and gibberish, actually represents the time.

In order to decipher it, you have to look at the outer ring first to know the hour. Then bit by bit, make your way towards the inner rings to know the minute(s). We could have settled for traditional clock hands and digits, but where’s the fun in that?

You can choose between displaying the time in 12 or 24 hour mode. There’s also a button on the left side that will display the date. Of course, you still have to solve another puzzle altogether. Just think of it as doing push-ups and pull-ups for your brain.

The thing I like about TokyoFlash watches is that while it forces you to stare at your wrist for a good amount of time, the aesthetic of it makes the staring worth it. The quartz watch has a hand-cut and individually polished white acetate case with a transparent LCD display that gives it a futuristic vibe.

It comes with two white LED lights to help you decipher the time in the dark, and an LCD display that comes in green, red, black, or blue. It also has a PU wrist band with leather effect.

If you’re extremely bored, the Kisai Spider has a programmed animation which mimics a spider’s web being spun. The animation comes around every 15 minutes, or you can turn it off if it’s getting annoying.

At a price tag of $159, the question everyone is asking: ‘why would I pay that much for something that would make me solve puzzles just to know the time?’ It’s a hit-or-miss thing. The brand doesn’t cater to everyone’s taste and it doesn’t pretend to. These out-of-this-world wrist watches are for those quirky people who want a break from monotony and routine. Looking at a puzzle just to find out the time presents a fun, new way of interacting with something old and ordinary.