Alas, it’s here: our Tokyoflash Kisai Online watch. Nobody uses watches anymore to tell time, right? Because the Kisai Online LCD Watch doesn’t make time-telling the easiest. This unique watch uses a series of lines to display the time; as the watch is turned to your face, the display switches from cryptic mode, to reveal mode, matrix-style.
As the resident boy writer here at Chip Chick, I was entrusted to review the Tokyo Flash watch after Chip Chick herself realized that it’s too big for her taste. And it is indeed a large timepiece; it has a chunky face, a wide band, and some real heft.
The Kisai Online watch comes in a few different schemas; you can either buy a red, blue, or “natural” LCD color, on either a black or silver band. If you’re looking at their website, the vividness of the LCD is deceiving. Sure, we could take a similar picture of our model, but the LCD doesn’t pop in regular lighting conditions. It has a backlight, but that lights up the entire screen, not just the lines.
Okay, let’s talk about the time. The Kisai onLINE is designed to look like a series of lines running all the way around the watch (they’re engraved into the band). There’s a key you have to learn to read the time, though it’s not too difficult. There is a cryptic mode and a reveal mode. Cryptic mode is a lot harder to read. There is a built-in accelerometer that toggles to reveal mode as you turn the watch to your face. This was one of the fundamental issues: it’s tough to figure out the time from a quick glance, your wrist actually needs to be turned so the watch face is perpendicular from the ground.
The transition from cryptic to reveal is actually one of the watch’s coolest feature. It goes all matrix. Similarly, you can turn on an animation that animates a line every two seconds, also matrix-style.
There is also an AM/PM and alarm on/off indicator, but you need to learn what it looks like in line form. The Kisai Online has regular watch functions like date and alarm.
The Kisai Online’s band is pretty nice; it has stainless steel links with a squeeze-lock clasp. The watch comes sized for an extra-large wrist and requires a jewelry screwdriver to take links off. The battery is supposed to last 12 months. Fortunately, you can replace it yourself and shouldn’t need to go to a jewelry store.
Our biggest gripe with the Kisai Online watch is that the “natural” LCD color model seems a lot more dull than the Red LCD and Blue LCD models that are also available, which seem to sport more vivid lines. But all-in-all, the Tokyoflash Kisai Online watch is a very neat watch, but mostly it’s more of a conversation piece than it is a functional device. The watch costs $169 at Toykoflash.com.
The Good: Very unique concept for reading time, Comfortable, Animations, Built-In Alarm, Different Color LCD Options
The Bad: Difficult to Read the Time, Pricey, LCD Not Vivid Enough, Not Easy to Remove Band Links