Phosphor World Time Curved E-ink Watch Review

[rating: 3.5/5]


  • Uses E-ink technology
  • Looks cool for the money
  • Easy to read display


  • No backlight
  • No chronograph
  • Watch band is not replaceable

Last year I checked out Phosphor’s E-Ink Digital Calendar Watch. For the most part I liked what I saw. This year the company released their World Time Curved E-ink watch.

At first glance the new model appears to be analogous to that of last year’s offering, but with closer examination there are some updates as well as upgrades.

Phosphor Calendar Vs World Watch

First and foremost the watch body has been slimmed down to a more svelte finish as well as trimmed in the weight category. The two buttons that were found in last year’s watch – they resulted in finger numb tips – have now been removed and replaced with a rocker button on the face of the watch that has a left/right action. The band, which is available in rubber, leather or metal is now integrated into the watches body and is NOT replaceable – we’re not happy about that since after long term use of any watch the band could wear out. Fortunately, the battery is still user changeable.

Phosphor says that the World Watch is water resistant up to 50 meters, though we didn’t take ours for a dunk since it feels and looks nice enough to be removed for water based activities, despite only costing $150.

There are 5 different displays that you can cycle through, all of which can be inverted from black text on a white screen to white text on a black screen. They include: a large time display, small time display, military time and date display with day of the week, world time and a dual time zone display of your choosing.

Black text with a white background is the easier to read, but it’s nice to have the option to invert it in the event you get bored with the other. To toggle this mode you simply hold down the left side of the rocker button for about a second and the screen will flash. The screen will also flash (i.e. refresh) when the time changes.

To set the watch, you simply hold down the right side of the button, where it’s engraved with the word “Phosphor”. It’s a pretty standard setup and should be intuitive to most. In order to set the default world time, you’ll need to toggle to that screen and follow the same procedure. Since this time is dictated by the watches’ core time, you’ll toggle one hour at a time and the top of the screen, which displays three letters representing the location, will change with each subsequent push. The locations seem to be represented by each cities’ major airport or best known abbreviation ; LAX for Los Angeles, LON for London and so forth. Some of the three letter abbreviations we’re beyond my knowledge, but I’m sure if lived there or needed to know the time in that location I’d be able to figure it out.

The Phosphor World Time watch is limited to just 12 times zone, where as the world sports up to 40 times zones, though many of those are a result of time zones with a 15 minute differential. Nonetheless, the watch doesn’t cover the entire globe, but seems to capture the major locations. Once in the world time zone mode, you can cycle through the different time zones by pressing left on the rocker button.

While there is a metal band and leather band option, we opted for the rubber (polyurethane) band. It’s comfortable to wear for long periods of time and seemed to hold up to daily wearing over a 1 week period; no scuffs or scratches.

Like previous models, the Phosphor E-ink World watch lacks a backlight and sports a ‘segmented display’ as opposed to a dot matrix one, making it a bit more challenging to read at a quick glance. It’s probably not the most practical of time keepers, but who cares, the cache of this watch is found in the technology (e-ink) and overall aesthetic. Just make sure you don’t wear out that the band too quickly.

Head to Phosphor to get yours. They start at $150.

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Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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