Phosphor's magnetic crystal watch is a bit gaudy, since by its very nature it needs to be adorned by Swarovski crystals. And as everyone knows, Swarovski is not German for the word "restraint." But a watch that mimics an LCD screen by manually flipping over crystals? That's damn cool.

Plusses

It's very neat. As a concept, having something mechanical mimic the functionality of something traditionally digital is just...good. There's no logical reason why something like this is necessary. It's not. But I just like it, even if it's just because of the concept. Sometimes you don't need to go deeper than that.

Minuses

The mechanism makes it a bit larger than normal watches, but not so large that you'll get a workout. What really irritates is the small "tick" sound that the watch puts off when it flicks digits. Cool you're wearing it, but annoying when it's sitting on a coffee table. The huge design flaw is that even though you can shut off the display—effectively muting the sound and also saving battery life—the display re-activates itself every night at midnight. I can understand that Phosphor doesn't want people to be confused and think that their watch is broken, but if I shut off the display, I want it to stay shut off.

Price

$200 at Phosphor.