It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the time pieces that Nooka puts out. I think I’ve reviewed just about every product that I have. So in that long tradition I’m going to take a look at their newest watch – the Nooka Zon.
At first glance the Zon looks to tell time in a manner that’s either extremely easy or a bit of a challenge. One function displays the time in big digital numbers while the other way shows time in squares. Each square represents a minute and collectively those squares fill a line. One full line is thirty minutes, two lines is a hour. Those lines fill up a box that makes twelve hours. Hopefully you’re still with me as I explained that. What makes Nooka unique is that they’ve managed to show time in a way that’s intuitive. With the Zon display showing squares you get a good overview of twelve hours, but if I wanted to quickly glance down and see that it’s ten fifteen in the morning it’s not that easy. Of course I can just change the function to the numbers and see things perfectly.
There’s a couple other cool functions with the watch at first glance. You can set the display for either positive or negative background. The numbers (and squares) can be displayed either in the foreground or background. I’ve found myself during the day to have the background turned on while in the evening turning the background off and just having the numbers on. That same feature makes the time feel like it’s disappearing through an hourglass when I have the squares telling time.
The biggest surprise for me is the world clock. When I first read about that feature I was wondering why? If I want to know what the time is elsewhere I can check with my iphone. But I’ve found that by pressing one simple button I can tell what time it’s in London or Samoa, Honolulu, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York, Caracas, Rio De Janeiro, Recife, Azores, Paris, Cairo, Moscow, Dubai, Karachi, Dacca, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Nourmea, Wellington quickly is actually quite practical. In some respects I think that’s a more valuable feature than the square display. The only issue is that I wish if I clicked on the world time feature that it would stay showing that time until I turned it off. Currently it goes back to default after sixty seconds. The functional UI would have be a pain but I also would have liked to type in a city of my own choosing – maybe for v2 of this watch? The other nice thing to have would be a timer – the square display for that would have made things perfect. When Matthew was setting the time for me, the system for the buttons seemed a bit unintuitive. However once I started pushing things when I got home it was pretty easy. Typically each button does something on one click, and if you hold the button down for three seconds a setting changes. Simple once you’ve tried it once.
What is perfect about the watch is the construction. It’s got a great weight and the leather wristband strengthens over time. It also has a butterfly buckle that’s new to me. I’ll have to admit that the first time I tried putting the strap through I didn’t know how to do it. There’s also no mention of buckle in the instruction booklet either. Once I finally figured out how to open the buckle everything was ok, but I would have saved a couple minutes if I had seen something instructional. You can also change the strap position. The original setting is to the right of the watch though you can change it so it’s centered. I haven’t tried unscrewing the straps to try that, but it’s nice to know that I can.
The whole package or brand for the Nooka Zon is quite impressive. The box is pretty cool and there’s def. a wow factor when you open it up for the first time. But there’s something missing I think – there’s no story when you open up the manual. It’s not a huge deal, but I would love to read a quick (or even long) blurb about what the watch is about. Was it a reaction to something, an inspiration while in the shower or something else that makes the thing even more real. It’s already a great watch, but it was also designed by a person, so why not share those ideas? With all that said the watch does seriously kick some ass and is a great addition to the Nooka family.