I haven’t worn a watch for years because I can’t see a regular watch and a talking watch doesn’t appeal to me. I like the idea of a watch, I think they can complete an outfit and as punctuality doesn’t run on my family, I need all the help I can get.
My husband recently bought me a watch by Eone. Not only is it designed so that you don’t need eyesight to tell the time, it is also a beautiful timepiece in its own right. It’s not often I find products I need because of my visual impairment, that are also stylish in their design. I get the feeling that as visually impaired people, we are not usually top of the priority list for the fashion industry.
The Eone Story
When I did some reading on the brand, I learnt that the company was founded to solve my exact predicament. They understood that for people like me, accessible watches were either talking or tactile and neither were particularly sophisticated. Eone’s founder Hyundai Kim, was made aware of the problem by a blind friend whilst at MIT. He set out to create elegant watches that were inclusive and could be enjoyed by blind and sight people alike. In fact Eone believes being truly inclusive means designing products that are relevant and accessible to as many people as possible. The design is as beautiful as it is clever, so blind, deaf and sighted people can all appreciate it’s style and practicality.
The Eone Bradley Watch
Bradley Snyder was a US Naval Officer who lost his vision in an explosion whilst serving in Afghanistan. He went on to represent the USA, competing at the Paralympic Games in London and Rio, winning multiple gold and silver medals in swimming and shattering previous world records. He proved beyond doubt that blindness was not a barrier in itself and he believes that the barriers came from social inequalities. He became the spokesperson for Eone and the watch was named after him.
How it works
The Eone watch allows you to tell the time entirely by touch. There are raised lines marking the number positions with slightly longer markings at 3, 6 and 9. The twelve position is identified by a triangular marker. There are two ball bearings which you feel for, to tell the time. There is one that moves around a recessed track on the watch face, which represents minutes and one on the perimeter of the bezel which represents the hours. To tell the time, I simply run my fingers over the watch to find the location of the two ball bearings to identify the hours and minutes. I had to learn to use a light touch but within a day of wearing the watch it became very easy. The magnetic ball bearings travel along their channels and although they can’t fall out, they can be moved around, but they snap back into place with a quick flick of the wrist.
What’s it made of?
There are many designs to choose from. The watch faces are constructed from either titanium, stainless steel or ceramic, whilst the cases are made of stainless steel, titanium or aluminium. There are a variety of straps to suit every taste in leather, mesh, stainless steel or canvas. Inside, Ronda quartz movement with Swiss parts ensures accuracy of the timepiece.
The Eone Bradley comes in a range of beautiful designs, colours and materials. Some are masculine, some are feminine and many are unisex. The watch comes in different finishes to suit every style and taste. From the stunning Black Elements, which oozes sophistication and masculinity to the romantic Edge Rose Gold which is perfect in its feminine beauty (I would love to add this one to my collection one day!).
The watch cases are 40mm in diameter and 11mm thick. At first I thought it looked and felt a bit big for my wrists which are on the small side, but I quickly grew to like it and now I think its size is suited to the style. The size is also perfect for its primary purpose- telling the time!
My Eone Watch
I received this watch as a gift from my husband about a month ago. It came beautifully packaged in a high quality, lined presentation box in a clear sleeve with both printed and Braille information. Unboxing this watch is a truly luxurious experience. It sets the scene for the high end product you are about to uncover. My watch has a matt silver titanium face with a mustard yellow canvas strap. I think it looks fresh for spring. It’s very cool and unique, but also works with a classic style. The mustard yellow of the strap is fairly muted and would suit most skin tones. The watch itself is incredibly lightweight and very comfortable. I often forget I’m wearing it. Im impressed with with this watch. It’s a high quality piece I can see myself wearing for years to come. Plus this watch has longevity in other ways. It will still be relevant no matter how little vision I have, or don’t have in the future.
Eone timepieces start at US$260 (approximately £200) which makes it a considered purchase, but I think it’s extremely good value for a high quality, beautifully designed watch. I would highly recommend this innovative and ingenious timepiece for anyone looking for a new, unique watch, regardless of whether they are blind or fully sighted. That being said, if you are looking for a thoughtful, extra special gift for someone who is visually impaired, it doesn’t get better than this.