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Flash forward into the future with Tokyoflash [Video]

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August 2015


The Japanese watch brand has designed a unique collection of futuristic watches with integrated technology that make art out of telling time.

Japan has always been on the leading edge of design. The watch world is no exception, with Japanese brands like Seiko and Casio pushing watchmaking into the future, one bold step at a time. It was Seiko that first succeeded in mass producing quartz movements, which put the Swiss watchmakers in crisis. Casio too, has been a leading figure, introducing the grandfathers of our modern smartwatches through their digital displays.

And now we have one more brand that we might add to that list one day. More in tune with the current “smartwatch wave” Tokyoflash Japan has just launched four new Bluetooth enabled watch designs. Each design features their so called Kisai Link, which is seamlessly integrated into the strap. It allows the wearer to pair the integrated smart strap with a smartphone. It will then gently vibrate and an LED indicator will illuminate when you receive a call, email, SMS or social alert. And for those absent-minded, the Kisai Link also has a ’Find Phone’ function and ’Forget Phone’ alert.

Kisai Link
Kisai Link

Adding smart functionality to the bracelet of watches is nothing new. Brands that don’t want to dive right into the smartwatch wars have chosen to wade in instead. Montblanc and the like have kept their traditional mechanical watches intact and have simply provided wearable technology through their smart straps.

But these minimalistic Tokyoflash models are far from the mechanical marvels of Switzerland. Rather, we can marvel at how exactly Tokyoflash’s watches actually tell the time!

Kisai Blade Wood Link LED
Kisai Blade Wood Link LED

As the brand’s name suggests, flash is the name of the game. In this case, it’s telling the time using LED lights. One of the four models is the Kisai Blade Wood, which has two different ways to display the time.

In turning mode, the LED blades spin around the face, highlighting three blades which indicate the hour and minutes. In flashing mode, the LED blades show hours and minutes at a glance. The date can also be viewed in the same way as the time, by pressing the upper button twice. To get a true feel about how flashing time works, see the video below.

The watch truly comes to life through its animations. When turned on, the vivid LED blades rotate rapidly once every 15 minutes, between 6pm and midnight. You will be able to enjoy the flash of this watch for up to one month at a time, which is its battery life after only a 3.5 hour charge (through USB). Unfortunately the Kisai Link does not have the same endurance. It takes 1.5 hours to charge and will last up to 5 days.

Three other models are included in the wood link collection, offering the same tech integration through the Kisai Link. But each has a different look and its own unique way of telling the time.

The Kisai Xtal Wood Link sports a dark sandalwood case and fabric mesh to conceal the time on the dial. It is a throwback to classic TV sets from the 1950s.

Kisai Xtal Wood Link LED
Kisai Xtal Wood Link LED

In a similar design move, the Kisai Sequence Wood Link also uses fabric mesh and dark sandalwood to create the appearance of a retro speaker.

Kisai Sequence Wood Link LED
Kisai Sequence Wood Link LED

Rounding off the line is the Kisai Spider Wood Link, which uses transparent LCD to create the illusion that time is displayed on a spider web dial.

Kisai Spider Wood Link LCD
Kisai Spider Wood Link LCD

Whether or not these offers by Tokyoflash reach the iconic status of the Casios and Seikos of decades past is debatable. Those older generation watches were made for the “everyman”, while the Kisai line seems to have a more narrow target demographic. Nevertheless, the watches bring the flash and functionality at a surprisingly low cost of around 150 USD. While the watches might not be for the everyman, their price point certainly is. (VJ)