Smartwatches dominate the watch market lately, and for obvious reasons. They’re stylish, high-tech devices that almost come right out of an old school sci-fi movie, and the ability to control your phone through a watch is immediately appealing to most. But there’s still a market for old school watches that exist solely to tell time. Enter the Magic Circle Sheikah Watch, from RegisBox: A unique and interesting digital watch based on the iconic Sheikah eye symbol from the Legend of Zelda franchise, making it one of the most interesting pieces of video game merchandise I’ve ever owned. Before we get too deep into the functionality of the watch, let’s take a look at some tech specs!
- Manufacturer: RegisBox
- Movement type: Quartz movement
- Special features: Touch control
- Dial diameter: 4.5cm/1.8inch
- Product weight: 50g
- Product size (L x W x H):24 x 4.5x 1cm
- Battery: CR 2032 battery (Non-rechargeable)
- Battery Life: 4000 times of use
- Gender: Men
- Package Included: 1 x Zelda watch, 1 x user manual
- 3ATM water resistant is suitable for everyday use. Splash/rain resistant. Not suitable for showering, bathing, swimming, snorkeling, water related work and fishing
Looking at these specs, most things seem pretty standard; lightweight, water resistant, and not too bulky in terms of size. One thing that did stand out to me, though, is that the battery life seems incredibly low, at a mere 4000 uses on a single battery. Obviously this isn’t anywhere near as short of a battery life as smartwatches have, and the fact that time isn’t constantly displayed likely helps alleviate this a bit, but only being able to check the time 4000 times on a watch that’s not rechargeable definitely seems limited.
Aesthetically, this really is a great looking piece. The Sheikah eye in the center of the face is distinctly inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with the pattern and color scheme matching that of the Sheikah Slate. In place of the standard tic marks and clock hands it has illuminating lights that display the time, which keeps the Sheikah eye symbol unobstructed and on full display at all times. The leather band and metal case themselves are both sleek and clean, and match just about any outfit in terms of the watch as a fashion piece. Most clothing items and accessories based on video games tend to stick out and become the main focus, but the watch is subtle enough that I would feel comfortable wearing it in just about any setting, from casual to professional, and even to a formal event.
Comfort is obviously a huge factor when you’re wearing something all day. The band is made from genuine leather, and, as expected, it was a bit stiff when I initially started wearing it, but it didn’t take long at all to break in. Admittedly, though, the band does feel a bit too small at times, and the clasp can be a bit annoying to operate. The case is made out of metal, with a stainless steel back, and is durable without being too heavy. At only 50g, it’s a lightweight watch, and the size of the case is a perfect fit on my wrist. Nothing on this watch feels cheap, and the lack of bulk and weight makes all the difference when wearing it. All told, I found the watch very comfortable and easy to wear.
Now you might have noticed the distinct lack of hands, a crown or buttons on this watch. That’s because displaying and setting time on this watch is done right on the face through touch controls. Displaying the time is pretty simple, you just tap and hold on the watch face once until the lights illuminate. Telling the time is a bit complicated, but once you’re used to it, it’s pretty easy to make sense of. Each hour tick on the watch illuminates in white, and each minute tick illuminates in blue. What hour it is will be a blinking white light, while the minutes will stay statically illuminated, up to the minute. So as an example, if the minutes are illuminated to 6, and the 6 is blinking, that means that it’s 6:30. RegisBox calls this the “magic circle effect.” I asked a few people to look at the watch and decode what time it is, without instructing them on how it works, and most of them got it no problem. Some got it mixed up, thinking the blinking light was the minute and the static light was the hour, but it was easy to figure out by just about everyone.
That said, I still don’t love this system. It’s cool and unique, but half the appeal of a watch to me is that I can quickly glance at my wrist to tell the time. With this, I have to both wait for the time to display, and quickly decode what time it is. It’s not terribly difficult to get used to, and I admittedly did find myself being able to read the watch pretty quickly after only a few times reading it. But that doesn’t change the fact that I now have about a three second delay to even get the time displayed. The displayed time also only stays up for five seconds, so if you aren’t used to reading the time, you’ll have to activate it multiple times to even get your reading. Meanwhile I can easily take my phone out of my pocket and get an accurate, easy to read time in just a couple of seconds. To me, that makes this more of a piece of technology and video game merch, rather than a functional watch.
Because everything is controlled through touch commands, setting the time almost feels like I’m inputting a cheat code into an old Konami game. The process begins by activating the time display. You then need to tap the watch face six times, holding down on the sixth tap. You hold it for about four seconds, and the white “hour” indicator will start blinking rapidly. Let go of the watch face, and the hour will start cycling through. You tap the watch face once it hits the correct hour, and it begins cycling through the minutes in a clockwise circle. Tap the watch face again to set the minute, and the time is set. I found it particularly difficult to set the minutes, as the cycle goes pretty quick and doesn’t allow for easy fine tuning. It was significantly easier to set the minute when going in intervals of five, just for the sake of timing my tap. At the very least, this is the only watch that I’ve ever owned where I had to go through a quick time event to set it, so points for originality I guess.
At the end of the day, though, the pros far outweigh the cons here. Some confusing setup and a minor inconvenience isn’t enough to detract from how much I like this watch. It looks good, functions as it should, and allows me to proudly display an interesting piece of Zelda merchandise that can, and already has, impressed some friends and family.