Nothing kills conversation more quickly than pulling out your phone to check your calendar for your next appointment.
Enter the Calendar Watch, by What? Watch. Now on Kickstarter, it looks like a finely made mechanical watch, but pulls in appointments from your smartphone's calendar and displays them subtly on the watch face. Hours of the day in which you have meetings are marked off with dark slices. So to keep track of your appointments, all you need to do is glance down at your watch. It also alerts you with vibrations. No awkward interruptions required.
Functionally, the way the Calendar Watch manages to track your calendar is by putting a low power E-ink display behind the colored piece of glass that makes up the watch face, and pairing it to a Bluetooth radio. Then you pair it with an app on your smartphone, and you're off to the races. That's it.
Contrast that with most smart watches, which behave like a smartphone on your wrist. The Calendar Watch doesn't count your steps, or let you pay for something, or let you check-in on Foursquare, or anything else your Apple Watch can do. In fact, the Calendar Watch's "smarts" are so simple, you'll probably be reticent to call it a smartwatch at all. And that's exactly what makes it clever. The Calendar Watch takes the one thing that watches do better than any other gadget—keeping track of time—and makes it even better. It's also a convenient way of minding the broad strokes of your day—for instance, a watch face that's overrun by dark slices signals a meeting-heavy day.
Of course, the Calendar Watch doesn't reveal anything about a meeting beyond the fact that you have one, so you still have to pull out your phone to find out what and where it is. But that's easier to do once you've received the initial signal that it's time to wrap up and move onto the next appointment.
The Calendar Watch was designed by Japanese art director Masashi Kawamura, whom Fast Company put on our 2012 Most Creative People list, and Italian industrial designer Umberto Onza. You can preorder a Calendar Watch starting at around $265 here.
All Images: What? Watch