Mar 22 2014

N|Watch – DIY Wristwatch Kit

Orders now closed!

There probably won’t be a batch #3, but if I do decide to do another batch then subscribe here to be notified about it.

Batch #2 progress: Completed



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  1. W. Zwiers

    Soldered it!, Only got a blinking red light (lcd is off), any tips?
    Thanks 😉

    1. Zak Kemble

      Blinking red LED means it’s in the bootloader, should only stay in it for a second or 2. Probably resetting its self. Check around RN1 area for shorts, probably the lower 2 pins on the right of the network or the 2 MCU pins just below them are shorted.

      1. W. Zwiers

        Awesome advice, reflowed RN1, got one step further, buttons and sound work, but the display stays dark, any tips? 😉

        1. W. Zwiers

          More awesomeness ;P Did some rework on the display… it works. awesome kit!

          1. Zak Kemble

            Whoo! Good to hear! 😀

  2. dayne

    Got mine in the mail today. The wait was long but it was totally worth it! what a great little kit/watch. All is working perfect and it was easier to assemble then expected. wish there was a few pieces of double sided tape in the box though.

  3. dayne

    Now after charging my watch all night i’ve got only 4010mv and the display has a weird darkness in the middle most of the time. they only time it doesnt have the strange dark band is when “exit” is selected in the main menu.

    Any ideas?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Is that the battery voltage measured by the watch or by a voltmeter? And does the watch say it’s fully charged when USB is plugged in (no lightning icon)?
      Screen darkness is probably caused by a bad OLED connection to one of the charge pump capacitors, make sure the solder joints are all good.

      1. dayne

        You were correct. Re flowed the OLED and all is working great! Thanks!

  4. Vaidotas

    Yay!! Finally bought one :) I am so waiting for it! I wonder when will it arrive :)

    1. Zak Kemble

      Yours is one of the later orders, so probably around mid/end of November.

  5. Mauro palatucci

    Hi! do you know when mine will be shipped? thanks!!

    1. Zak Kemble

      Also probably around mid/end of November.

  6. F Dastoor

    when will my watch be shipped?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Most likely near the end of October.

  7. Dave

    Hi Zack, I recently water damaged my watch by splashing a very small amount of water on it. After resoldering some components it’s now working fine again.

    Anyway, I’ve discovered a good way to waterproof the watch and also enclose it at the same time.

    1) Use epoxy resin to glue the OLED to the main PCB. Use lots of glue.
    2) Get some white 38mm PVC tape.
    3) Wrap it around the entire watch (including over the screen) from the left to the right so that the buttons and USB get covered. Go right around the watch with the tape.
    4) Close up the sides of the tape to seal in the top and bottom of the screen.
    5) Optionally use more tape to wrap around the watch maybe from top to bottom instead.
    6) Cut away a rectangular slot for the screen (use a craft knife until you scrape on the glass)
    7) Carefully cut away the tape around the micro USB socket and buy a rubber micro USB bung (I haven’t done this).

    Here are my results so far (haven’t handled the USB yet…). I believe it will now be splash proof and it looks good and hasn’t got any sharp edges. 😀



  8. Issa Al Hadeed

    Hello Zack, I stumbled upon this website from the YouTube video you uploaded of the DIY Digital Watch. The watch looks absolutely fantastic maybe a couple of aesthetic adjustments, such as a case to hold the contents and it’ll be perfect! I wasn’t able to purchase the watch soon enough :( Would you perhaps be looking into creating a 3rd batch for the future? The watch is definitely a huge stand out compared to many commercial watches out there and I’d love to get my hands on it :D. Thanks bud and good luck with shipping the orders.


    1. Zak Kemble

      Thanks :) I don’t think I’ll be doing a batch #3, but you can subscribe here to be notified about it if I change my mind.


    Hello, I want to buy a set of self-assembly DIY Digital Wristwatch.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Sorry, orders are closed now.

  10. Dave

    Hi Zak, what are your requirements for choosing a battery for this project? I know you have undervoltage protection but what other features are necessary for safe operation? Over-current protection as well I presume?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Undervolatge, overvoltage and overcurrent. Overcurrent would be the main one since the charging circuit already does a pretty good job of not overcharging.

  11. Bill Seiler

    I have been struggling to get your firmware to run.
    I built a breadboard of your watch_dev platform.
    I can compile and modify your code. I am loading with USBasp and AVRDUDESS.
    Code seems to be resetting every 14ms. Nothing on the OLED display. Green LED is blinking on/off every 7ms.
    I don’t have a DS3231 installed yet. Could this be the problem?
    I don’t seem to be returning from display_update() in main()’s while(1) loop.
    Any ideas?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Yeah there was a problem when the RTC wasn’t connected, check GitHUb for updated version which should fix that issue.

      1. Bill Seiler

        That fixed it!
        Now display is working and Menus.
        Next I will get and install RTC.

        1. Bill Seiler

          Which controller chip is in the 1.3″ OLED?
          SSD1306 or SH1106?

          1. Zak Kemble

            SSD1306. Though a SH1106 display shouldn’t be too difficult to get working, they seem to be mostly the same.

          2. Bill Seiler

            I went ahead and ordered 9 boards from OSH Park. I ordered enough parts to build 5.
            I won’t use them all. Maybe some folks on this blog will want them.

  12. Paul

    Are there any traces running through the thin strips for the watch strap? Could these be removed to make it smaller if you want to make a case for it?

    1. Zak Kemble

      There aren’t any traces around the strap holes, you can safely cut them off.

  13. F Dastoor

    will my watch kit be shipped soon?

    F Dastoor

    1. Zak Kemble

      Yours was posted on the 24th, so it should arrive sometime next week.

  14. Frank Versloot

    will my watchs be shipped soon?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hi, yours is in the next lot to be assembled, but I don’t think they’ll be posted until shortly after Christmas.

  15. Andrew Hannay

    Hi Zak,
    As I haven’t received mine yet and I have had some time to “cool off” is there any chance you could refund my payment and offer the kit to someone else who is asking please.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Sure, but it’ll be about £2 less because the 60 day refund window has ended so the PayPal fee can’t be refunded.

  16. Vaidotas

    Hey, maybe you have any info, when will my watch be sent?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hi, I can’t find any orders with your name or email, what was your order code?

      1. Vaidotas

        Hey, my order no. is TFY0N7XF

        1. Zak Kemble

          Alright, your order will be posted shortly after Christmas, don’t want it getting lost in all the extra Christmas mail.

  17. vpapanik

    Hello Zak,
    I have ordered an unassembled kit. Is it possible to know when it will be shipped? Thanks in advance.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Yup, sure thing.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Low: 0xE2
      High: 0xDE
      Extended: 0x06

      These are the switches used: http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?sku=9471987

      You’ll need to make those pictures public 😛

      1. Bill Seiler

        You mentioned you had OLED failures. One of my OLED’s is slowly going dark from left to right. Ever see that?

      2. Bill Seiler

        Found the problem with OLED going dark. OLED was cracked on back side. I need to support the OLED better like your second PCB.
        I made the photos public. Check them again.

        1. Zak Kemble

          Yeah, if air gets into the display it will start fading. Nice work on the case 😀

    2. Frank Versloot

      do you have still some PCB’s left ?

      1. Bill Seiler

        Yes, 3 I think.

  18. Vanhoucke

    Hey Zak,

    I’m very curious about the watch, I purchased one some months ago. Is it in the batch that’s shipped before Christmas?
    (It probably might take some time to be delivered?)


    1. Zak Kemble

      Yours will be shipped after Christmas, should have it by mid-January.

      1. Vanhoucke

        It arrived! I’ll start working on it now 😉

  19. Paul

    Has mine been shipped yet?! Really looking forward to making it!

    1. Zak Kemble

      Currently waiting for PCB and battery for yours, should arrive in the next week or so. Should be posted by the end of January.

      1. Paul

        Any updates on when mine will be shipped?

        1. Zak Kemble

          Yours should be shipped in about 2 weeks, currently waiting for some PCBs and batteries.

  20. Frank Versloot

    any idea when my watches will be sent ?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hey, your watches and dev board were shipped yesterday, should arrive in 1 – 2 weeks.

      1. Frank Versloot

        all received in good order, thanks

  21. Ruben

    I received some days ago. This watch is awesome. The alarm sounds loud enough for waking up. I really like this watch. Thank you very much, Zak! Bye.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Glad you like it! 😀

  22. vpapanik

    Well, thanks a million Zak for your awesome kit ! It was not only a real pleasure to assemble, but it is also a very nice looking wristwatch, minimalistic and lightweight. Here’s how I did it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUd-Gur4BmM

    I believe that both the hardware design and – especially – firmware development is a monument of knowledge for the AVR community. I think that it is a great resource for learning; down from the basics and up to advanced issues and tiny details that make a lot of difference in terms of code optimization. I wish there was existing a book describing this project in detail; would happily pay for it, since there is nothing similar that could include so many different aspects. Until then, I will try to understand as much as I can from your source code (I think I already got the whole picture regarding the schematic :) )

    Thanks again for sharing !!!

    1. Zak Kemble

      Thanks and awesome video! A book is a good idea, but I don’t think I’ll be doing one :/

  23. Frank Versloot

    Dear Zak,
    one of my 2 watches while wearing it on my wrist is showing half of the lines of the display.
    Any solution ?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hmm, could you post a picture? Might be best to email me – contact AT zakkemble.co.uk

  24. Person

    Hey, is my watch already shipped? Order no.: TFY0N7XF

    1. Zak Kemble

      Your watch will be shipped early next week.

  25. Marcello

    Hi i had just found out about this watch and have been interested in making one is there any estimations of when a batch 3 will be coming out?

    1. Zak Kemble

      I have no plans for a batch 3 at the moment.

  26. Marcello

    Do you have one or the parts for one just laying around that i could buy?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Sorry, I don’t have enough spares around for another watch.

  27. Mikey

    Nice bit of kit – I’m kicking myself as I have only just seen this and am clearly too late :-(

    How many kits did you end up making overall ?

    1. Zak Kemble

      I managed to sell about 50 kits, with a 50/50 split between fully assembled and in kit form.

  28. vpapanik

    Just a notice for assemblers out there : be very careful with the amount of flux you are using when soldering the OLED strip !!! The flux is (or may be) conductive and, if trapped beneath the flat cable, it may cause shorts that will scramble visuals or even turn the OLED off completely.

    If that happens, the OLED will start heating up. Disconnect the battery immediately and rework the connections.

    Zak has already described this in the assembly instructions but I just want to stress it more.

    1. Виталий

      Здравствуйте Сергей,хочу попросить Вас сбросить русскую прошивку для этих часов на мой Email.Буду Вам очень признателен.Моя почта lucifer161@rambler.ru
      Заранее Вас благодарю.

      ADMIN EDIT – Google translate:
      Hello Sergey, I want to ask you to reset the Russian firmware for these hours in my Email.Budu you very priznatelen.Moya mail lucifer161@rambler.ru
      Thanking you in advance.

  29. William Phelps

    I printed a couple of cases using the design from Petr Tosovsky. I find that the buttons in that case don’t really work, at least with the material we have available, they are too stiff and then they simply break off because the stalk is so thin. So I just reamed out the holes enough so I can push the switches, that actually works well enough.

    My friend had some “glow-in-the-dark” material for his printer so he printed a case with that. At first I wasn’t interested but then i realized one big advantage – it makes the LED indicators visible. I posted a picture here:


  30. mrc

    nooooo im too late, please do a third batch i need this watch so bad.
    The Board itself would be fine, i hate myself for beeing too late.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hey, for the boards you can download the .brd files from HERE and then upload and order them from OSHPark.

  31. Rokas

    Hey, im selling this watch, because its an unwanted gift :(. If you are interested, write me an email: trdbot1@gmail.com

  32. ryan wilson

    do u have schematic for the newer version and what are the values of rn2 and rn3. i brought the kit and lost some parts so this whould be very helpful

    1. Zak Kemble

      Latest stuff is on GitHub https://github.com/zkemble/NWatch/tree/master/hardware/watch/1.4
      RN2 is 47K (tolerance doesn’t matter) and RN3 is 10K 1%

  33. markus

    Hi, i´m also selling a complete Kit, cause i have no time to assamble it. You can mail to: mash.m @ gmx.de

    Thanks, Markus

  34. Tom

    I’d be very interested in a fully assembled version using a 0.5 ppm or better MEMS (probably TXCO) oscillator. Any chance of that?

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hey Tom, I can’t find any drop-in replacement devices with 0.5ppm. The only oscillators I can find with that kind of stability are crystal TXCOs, which means if you want an N|Watch with an 0.5ppm oscillator it’ll have to be more of a custom project. If you’re interested send me an email blog@zakkemble.co.uk

  35. Andreas Rickert

    It’s sad that I saw this project only now.
    Will there be another batch of kits?

    Kind regards,

    1. Zak Kemble

      Hey, sorry there are currently no plans to start any more batches.

  36. vnev

    Добрый день. Собрал часы по Вашему проекту.Все работает но часы при первом включении уходят в сон , а после того как зайдешь в меню и даже ничего там не изменять выйдешь часы в сон не уходят.Только после ресета принудительно.Подскажите куда посмотреть .Спасибо.
    Good afternoon. Collected hours under your project. All works but hours at the first switching-on leave in a dream and after you will come into the menu and even anything there not to change there will be hours per a dream do not leave. Only after ресета forcedly. Prompt where to look. Thanks

    1. Zak Kemble

      Little bit difficult to workout what you’re trying to say, I think you’re saying that the watch sometimes doesn’t go into sleep mode? Did you upload the .eep file, things can go a bit wonky without it.

  37. Вячеслав

    Здравствуйте! Подскажите куда посмотреть, часы не уходят в спящий режим.Только после принудительного ресета
    Hello! Prompt where to look, hours do not leave in a sleeping mode. Only after compulsory reset.

    1. Zak Kemble

      Little bit difficult to workout what you’re trying to say, I think you’re saying that the watch sometimes doesn’t go into sleep mode? Did you upload the .eep file, things can go a bit wonky without it.

  38. vnev

    Да епром загружаю.Первое включение часы уходят в сон, зашел в меню , прокрутил, ничего не менял,вышел.Часы в сон не уходят.Принудительно делаешь Reset, часы уходят в сон.
    Yes епром I load. The first inclusion hours leave in a dream, has come into the menu, has scrolled, changed nothing, left. Hours per a dream do not leave. Compulsorily you do Reset, hours leave in a dream.

  39. Вячеслав

    Все спасибо, разобрался.Был косяк с заливкой файла eep. Поправил, все заработало.
    All thanks, has understood. There was a jamb with file pouring eep. Has corrected, all has earned.

  1. Hackaday Links: April 6, 2014

    […] in September we saw this awesomesauce wristwatch. Well, [Zak] is now kitting it up. Learn more about the current version, or order one. [Thanks […]

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