Hidden LEDs Give This Wood-Faced Watch a Digital Display

Watch faces have been made from some strange and wonderful materials, but can anything beat the natural beauty of wood? The folks at Tokyo Flash don't think so—they've figured out how make a digital watch display disappear under a wood veneer.

The Tokyo Flash Night Vision Wood features a sneaky LED display that shines through the watch's wooden face when activated, but disappears completely when turned off. It's got all the features you'd expect in a chintzy digital watch (time, date, alarm) and a USB-rechargeable battery. It's also got a pretty novel way of displaying the time, first seen on the original Night Vision: the missing block in the illuminated outer ring functions as the "little hand," while the minutes past the hour are displayed in the center. In the photo up top, the watch reads 2:05.

Yes, wearing a watch that looks like a non-functional wooden mock-up of a drugstore timepiece is a bit of a party trick, the kind of sight gag that would appeal to people who've only slightly outgrown the old joy buzzer. That said, the sight of plain ol' wood emitting an LED glow is kind of intriguing in a parallel-future way. If that's worth $150 to you, I don't think this watch has any competition. [Tokyo Flash via The Red Ferret]