Build Your Own Wristwatch


[rgbphil] has done a great job detailing how he built his Microdot wristwatch.This project is a lot more approachable than the pong watch we saw last month. If you’ve made a few printed circuit boards, but haven’t yet tried working with surface mount component, this is a great way to give it a try.

The parts count is pretty low, a few switches, resistors, capacitors, LEDs, a watch crystal, and a PIC 16F88 microcontroller.[rgbphil] is using a charlieplex so that a separate shift register is not needed to drive all of the LEDs. He goes into detail about the process of laying out the circuit. Some of the problems he encounters include how to manage all of the charlieplex connections in a simple way, how to program the chip once it’s on the board, and how to layout the controls for the device.

The display looks great in the video we’ve embedded after the break. We’re going to add these components to our next parts order and make this project part of the plan for getting us through the long cold winter ahead.


12 thoughts on “Build Your Own Wristwatch

  1. too bad if you wear this thing you look like a pretentious douche to everyone. “OMG GUYS LOOK AT ME I’M SO COOL I WEAR AN OVERSIZED CIRCUIT BOARD FOR A WATCH”. Couldn’t they have at least TRIED to make it look the least bit classy?

  2. once he fabs this into an actual watch (rather than, as mentioned in previous comments, a bare circuit board), this would actually be pretty sweet.

    the video’s lacking commentary but it definitely looks to have a good variety of features.

  3. too bad i´m not as much into building and designing circuits as i´d like, so i have to ask: would it be too difficult to add a microphone of sorts and give the display sound reactive capabilities? like a graphic equalizer?

  4. Noone’s seen Dave Jones’ watch…?

    You’re probably not going to get laid wearing it (and if you do, she’s a keeper!), but it’s very well done. And he’s a riot.

    I’d always assumed that someone would get one and re-skin it with a laser-cut faceplate, but I haven’t seen it happen yet.

  5. The thing that’s failed to be mentioned in this post is that the project is a hair over 3 years old. Not that that’s a problem, it’s just that usually a “This one managed to slip by us” or similar phrase is thrown into the project.

    Still, it’s good to have hacks, be they new or old. Good work folks

  6. @kirov

    Apparently you need more social interaction. This watch (once finished with a faceplate, bezel, and strap) would make a great conversational piece and I’m sure garner a lot of positive interest.

    Try not to be so narrow minded.

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