Telling time has been the bane of my vision-less life. When I was still in grad school, I was wearing a talking digital watch. It had a button on the face, and when you press the button, it announced the time in a muffled, mechanical voice. It never failed: every class period, I’d accidentally knock my wrist against the table or chair, and the voice would say aloud, “You’ve still got another painful 98 minutes of class.”

Okay, just kidding. It would read the time, but it was embarrassing nonetheless, and I felt like a dunce. My ears would burn, and I’d apologize, even though nobody seemed to care. I just didn’t (and still don’t) like a lot of attention on myself (which is why it’s all the more surprising that I chose to do a televised competition).

Then I took to taking off my talking digital watch and laying it beside my laptop in class. But the problem was, I could still never tell the time without disrupting the class. I’d never know how long I had till break time, or how much time had passed after I’d begun a discussion on XYZ novel. So then, I thought, what was the point of even having a watch?

This is not the first time I’m blogging about a watch. Three years ago, I’d written about the Haptica Braille watch, another timepiece concept, but I don’t think the Haptica project ever took off. I also blogged about a tactile watch, but I never heard more about that either.

Then along came the Bradley watch from Eone. The hubster is a huge Kickstarter fanatic—I mean, he is on this site every day looking at new ideas and concepts. So one day last July, the hubster decided to fund a project called the Eone Bradley, a watch designed with a universal concept to be inclusive of all people, sighted and unsighted alike (hence, the name “Eone” which stands for “Everyone”). For those non-scientists like myself, the watch basically functions by having two bearings, one for the hour and one for the minute hand, that orbit the circumference of the watch face using magnets which are in tune with the passage of time. The result is a watch that is quiet, unobtrusive, and yet still allows both the user with vision and the one without to tell time discreetly.

The hubster is always excited to see a project helping the blind community, so he even sent Eone a note thanking them for their work and introducing his wife who “happens to have won this cooking show on TV.”

A few minutes later, the hubster got a reply from the founder, Hyungsoo, himself. The reply was riddled with exclamation marks, a reflection of Hyungsoo’s adorable, starstruck surprise to find himself two degrees away from me.

As it turns out, Eone was thinking of naming their next design concept after me. I am flattered, but also disappointed that “the Christine” does not sound nearly half as cool as “the Bradley.”

Speaking of which, who is Bradley? Eone named their first product, the watch, after Brad Snyder, a U.S. Veteran who lost his eyesight in Afghanistan, but then who overcame his odds to win the gold and silver medals for swimming only one year after his vision loss. That man’s life trajectory is incredibly admirable and amazing.

I happened to be in Hyungsoo’s city a few days after we’d corresponded over email, so I agreed to meet him up for dinner. He is so passionate about his project and truly captures the entrepreneurial spirit. He told me how he was living with virtually no income after his graduate degree, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. And like Brad and myself, Hyungsoo followed his dream and made it into a reality. And that reality now sits on my wrist.

The hubster and I got our respective Bradleys just a few weeks ago, after Eone’s Bradley received much more funding than Hyungsoo had originally expected. Mine is a mustard yellow band while the hubster’s is a midnight blue. I also got a few extra bands (a metal one included) to switch out whenever I desire.

I can’t tell, but the hubster, whose vocation is in graphics and design, says the Bradley is a fine-looking watch. And so far, it’s been working; I’m able to tell time without my iPhone. (The talking watch died long ago.) I’m not that quick yet at telling time, and often the hour bearing gets knocked out of place, but I gather over time, I will get better, and Eone will improve their next production line of the Bradley. When the bearing does pop out of place, I rotate my wrist slightly until the bearing returns to the magnet and catches. My time-telling has been pretty accurate.

The watch’s face is a little large, but no problem for me, as I like big men’s style watches. My only wish is for the magnets to be stronger so the ball bearings wouldn’t get bumped out of place as often. (It mostly happens with the hour and not the minute, which, I guess, is a little less disconcerting since one usually has a general idea of what hour it is. Oh, and I wish their website was more screen reader friendly. If anything, the Bradley has been a reliable conversation starter.

I appreciate the philosophy behind Eone’s vision. It’s true: we with special needs don’t like calling attention to our disabilities. The Eone Bradley allows everyone to wear the same watch. Thank you, Eone, for your inclusive, universal design. Now we can all tell time through touch.

Do you have a Bradley? What do you think of it? What do you think of the concept and appearance of the watch?

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8 Discussion to this post

  1. Tom Randall says:

    Hi, I am also a backer of the Bradley. I happened to see a tweet about it that somebody put up, went on kickstarter and really liked the idea so I put up my money even though I'd never used kickstarter before. I got my Bradley last month and I agree with you it is absolutely fantastic.

    I've had many different types of watches over the years, my folks got me the very first talking watch when I was a kid in the 1970's, am dating myself here a bit <smile>. I've also had a bunch of Braille watches of various styles over the years and they all have the same problems, none of them are water resistant at all and no matter what you do they get dirty and you need to take them to a jeweler to get them cleaned at least once a year if you wear them regularly. A few years ago I bought a watch made by Tissot which is a well known company. This watch uses sensors on the crystal to allow the user to tell time discreetly kind of like the Bradley does. Well that watch was supposed to be water resistant but when I went to have the batteries changed they said that water had gotten into it somehow and I'd need to send it back to Tissot to see if they could fix it at all. I was so disgusted that I haven't done anything about this yet even though I really like the watch, it was not cheap it was around a 300 dollar watch. I'll probably send it to them eventually.

    The Bradley seems to get around all of these problems. It is discreet like a Braille watch, it should be easy to keep clean since it is waterproof. According to eone you don't need to take it to a specific jeweler to get the battery changed unlike the Tissot. I've checked it against accurate time sources and it seems to be very accurate. The only time I have problems with the bearings getting knocked out of place like you mention is when I wear long sleeves which is unfortunately most of the time in the winter, however as you say this is a minor thing and not even really a problem. Overall a fantastic product and concept.

  2. Rob Stonehouse says:

    I received my first Bradley timepiece a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it had some problems with the mechanism halting every few hours but after contacting eone they sent a replacement the next day, at no charge, so there is nothing to complain about there. The new one works fine.

    I find it is great for meetings where I don't want to be looking down at my watch to catch the time. It is also a good looking watch and a conversation starter for sure. The ball bearings do knock loose all the time but that is easily corrected with a flick of the wrist. I am getting better at resetting them in place to the point where it is a habit. If they didn't let go easily they would probably affect the time if dirt or other impediments get in the way. I am interested to see how it performs long term. Generally, a brilliant. perfect idea.

  3. Dave Ransley says:

    I read about the Bradley on the "Coolest Gadgets" web site around the end of July and made my pledge for 2 Bradleys the very same day. What a watch, I haven't abandoned my talking watch all-together, but the Bradley is my watch of choice when socialising.

    In the little time I have had the timepiece I haven't encountered any of the problems mentioned on this and other web sites: noisy,, weak magnets or clothing dislodging the ball bearings. In short, I am delighted with the Bradley timepiece and can't wait for EOne's next product.

  4. […] here's a great first person review of the Bradley watch by The Blind Cook who won MasterChef USA in […]

  5. Lisa Martinez says:

    Hi, my husband is blind and I just ran into this watch today. I love the look and plan on purchasing for Father's Day. He had the cumbersome talking watch from Radio Shack, but about five years ago I bought him a nice braille watch made by Seiko. He wears it daily, and it does show wear & scratching on the glass, band has had to be replaced, but he loves it. Just another option, but I am not sure if they make a women's Seiko braille watch. Love your website!
    Lisa Martinez

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