Introducing The F*Watch, A Fully Open Electronic Watch

As one of their colleagues was retiring, several CERN engineers got together after hours during 4 months to develop his gift: a fully open electronic watch. It is called the F*Watch and is packed with sensors: GPS, barometer, compass, accelerometer and light sensor. The microcontroller used is a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 SiLabs Giant Gecko which contains 128KB of RAM and 1MB of Flash. In the above picture you’ll notice a 1.28″ 128×128 pixels Sharp Memory LCD but the main board also contains a micro-USB connector for battery charging and connectivity, a micro-SD card slot, a buzzer and a vibration motor.

The watch is powered by a 500mA LiPo battery. All the tools that were used to build it are open source (FreeCAD, KiCad, GCC, openOCD, GDB) and our readers may make one by downloading all the source files located in their repository. After the break is embedded a video showing their adventure.

24 thoughts on “Introducing The F*Watch, A Fully Open Electronic Watch

  1. Looks really good, the component choice is amazing! I’ve been looking for an IC like the one they used to charge the battery while powering the watch from USB for ages!

  2. Quite an impressive watch; however, it seems to suffer from the same issue plaguing all these types of watches – it doesn’t look cool to me.

    I realize the goal was to have it open sourced and 3D printing the case helped them keep the development localized but why can’t people make these things look nicer?

    Suunto for example has (and has had for some time) watches full of sensors but the difference their stuff LOOKS like a watch.

    I know I’m nitpicking and comparing apples to oranges, but still – I’d love to see someone make a watch of this caliber that I’d actually want to wear.

    1. Apple kind of did / is. But they have spent a huge amount of resources developing a large set of fully integrated, proprietary hardware to maximize the consumer appeal and manufacturability and economy of scale. This has its own positives and negatives.

      This is actually a pretty damn good effort, even if it lacks a bit of the polish that some consumers might expect to see from said above corporation.

      1. The LG G watch R and the Moto 360 look more like watches or a cool accessory I’d have on my wrist than the Apple watch IMO. I think you’d have to be pretty devoted to apple / iphone and their designs to want to wear the Apple watch. A square smart watch could still look good, but I’ve yet to see one design (even a render) that I’d be willing to wear.

        Some of the smart ‘bands’ look alright, but seem to lack functionality.

        1. Exactly. I don’t care much for the Apple watch either to be honest but maybe it is me and square watches (though I do like Bell & Ross watches). Then again, with the exception of my Suunto X9i, all my watches are mechanical anyway.

          So far my X9i has been the only thing digital that I’ve ever liked but even it looks ancient compared to the Moto 360 or even the Amblit 3. Heh, I guess I’m just snobby about the whole thing though.

    2. .. so what we are saying is… the watch is fine, now we need a cool open source case to put it in… well that is the whole point of open source, you get to change the bits you dont like.. start making suggestions, lets see if we can come up with the next big thing… Mooltiwatch parhaps.

    3. Give people time. I think there’s room for improvement in the PCB design. Some actually don’t need GPS nor some of the stuff they have there. If you can make it smaller we can make better cases for the thing and give it pussy magnet.

    1. It is temporary.
      The Open Hardware Repository server (ohwr.org) went down, probably due to the increased number of visits triggered by this article. It should be fixed soon so stay tuned !

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