There aren’t many Yes Watch reviews or posting here so I thought I would post this review of my new Yes Watch, the Kundalini.
(Note, my watch photography skills are obviously lacking. I've only got a small point and shoot camera right now, please forgive.)
Yes Watches are an innovative line of quartz movement watches with features that, for me, stand out among the typical quartz watch. It short, it is a 24 hour watch with an LCD dial giving you lots of functions for time perception.
A very nice wooden box presentation!
This is the second Yes Watch I’ve had, the first being the two toned Kozmo (also Cozmo) that I bought in 2003. I came across an ad for it in the American Cinematographer magazine while living in San Francisco. The Yes watches are popular with film and video makers because one the one thing that absolutely drives your working hours is the sunlight. Specifically, how much of it do you still have? It was one of the biggest problems for productions. Do we try to get this last shot off, or will we run out of light? When is magic hour today? I’ve heard of others in the film biz in L.A. use them to and apparently the film crew for "Charlie's Angels 2 -- Full Throttle" wore YES watches to help them get the most of the natural light.
Umm, the watch.
It comes with a key!
Two extra straps, one leather, one rubber!
The Yes Watch was the perfect solution to those questions because it calculates solar and lunar times based on astronomical algorithms from distinguished astronomers (Meeus's algorithms), the US Naval Observatory and NASA, with the accuracy of a quartz movement. So you knew exactly, when sunrise started, when you could start, and when sunset started, how much light you have left in the day.
I still like to show off my Cozmo but it has the older 3rd generation module in it, plus I wanted to get something a little more understated and this titanium dual black finish was perfect.
The latest Yes 4.0 module features the following changes:
• The programming includes the new and expanded Daylight Saving Time standard starting in USA in the spring of 2007.
• Expanded alarm capabilities, a 90 minute timer and other minor programming refinements throughout.
• Cross quarter alerts, those days halfway between solstices and equinoxes, have been added.
• Illuminescent material has been added to the tip of the 24 hour analog hand for improved readability.
Here is a summary of the time data offered by the KUNDALINI:
• Hours, minutes and seconds in AM/PM or 2400 format
• 24 hour analog hand, noon on top, midnight on bottom
• Month, date and day, year, day of year and week number
• Times for sunrise, solar high noon and sunset
• Moonrise, moonset and times for next new and full moons
• Moon phase and percentage lunar illumination
• Equinox, solstice and cross-quarter alerts
• Sunrise and sunset alarms half an hour before and at the event
• Past and future date calculator for all sun, moon and time data
• Time data capability for the years 2000-2099
• Regular set alarm with 10 minute snooze
• Stopwatch with lap time
• 90 minute timer with alarm
• 9999 day countdown and count-up for set event date with alarm
• Pre-programmed for 583 cities worldwide
• Keeps digital time for 2 locations, HOME and AWAY, simultaneously
• The b-directional symbol bezel can be used as code for daily personal events.
• Location can also be set by latitude and longitude
• Automatically adjusts for Daylight Saving Time worldwide
• DST can be set or over-ridden manually
• Back light
• Digital time can be turned off
The case and bracelet are all titanium with an IP plating which, according to Wikipedia, is a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that is sometimes called ion assisted deposition (IAD) or ion vapor deposition (IVD) and is a version of vacuum deposition. It is a standard polished and satin finish on the titanium. The black is a gun-metal grey PV coating.
The flash brings out the finger smudges nicely, dont you think?
Water Resistant to 10 ATM (333 feet) although diving is NOT recommended for this watch
Screw-down case with double O-rings on the crown and pushers
Case dimensions 48mm x 15mm
Weight with metal bracelet: 4.7oz (133g), with leather band: 2.7oz (76g) (almost half the weight were the watch in all stainless steel)
Ronda 24 hour Swiss analog hand movement.
Quartz OKI custom chip out of Japan.
The programming is done in Hong Kong with case and assembly completed in China.
A partial shot of the Oki chip, I think, from the website:
Bracelet lugs 22mm (entire bracelet has 22mm width throughout)
Two Year warranty
Anti-glare sapphire crystal My first sapphire. It's really nice, so sharp!
CR 2032 lithium battery for LCD (2 years estimated battery life)
V 364 lithium battery for the analog 24 hour hand (5 years estimated battery life)
48mm but not so big really!
This is my first titanium watch and I'm very surprised at how light it is. Despite the large diameter of this watch, it doesn't feel particularly big. With it's low profile, it rides very nicely on the wrist indeed.
Most of these watches can be had with one of three different bezels – Solunar, 24 Hour and Symbol. Each gives slightly different work flows of use and of course give the watch a different style of look; a 24hr bezel for more of a military style use (pilot) versus the symbol bezel for a more esoteric perception of time flow.
Here is a pic that shows how the symbol bezel can be used to mark time related events. For example, “The triangles can mark the morning hours. The sunstone could mark the beginning of a siesta.”
The bezel symbols are marked to correlate with 24hrs, so it can also be used to keep time for a third time zone.
You could also use the bezel to note solar high noon, and compare any day to an equinox day.
The website likes to talk a lot about the natural rhythms of time and ancient man’s relation to that, like how “It reconnects with those ancient cycles of the sun and the moon, yet is modern enough to adjust for Daylight Saving Time for the next century.” For me, I’m interested in having the exact day and time adjusted for DST as well as knowing the sunrise and sunset times. The moon cycles are good to know too for night photography and star gazing. The number of practical applications is many, for example:
Pilots (see WUS user TimeOnTarget’s review: The Continuing Adventures of a Cargo Pilot....pics),
Photographers - many photogs like to have a landscape shoot coincide with a full moon.
Hunters / Fishermen– “The moon's influence on fish and wild game behavior has long been observed. The YES™ watch provides all the pertinent moon data for fishermen to optimize their timing, and keeps hunters equally informed with sunrise and sunset time down to the minute.”
Stargazers – a good tool for astronomy
Religious observers - if your religion requires the knowledge of solar or lunar time it makes easier to plan religious observations.
Travelers - with 583 cities world-wide, it is programmed with daylight savings time information for the nine various zones around the world that observe DST. You can also enter an exact longitude and latitude location anywhere on Earth and the watch will re-calculate all of its functions for that spot.
And with the 24 hour hand, you can turn the digital time off and you have a nice "vacation" watch to more leisurely watch the time flow.
Here is a shot with the LCD display off. (Night time with an almost full moon)
Even with regular GMT watches with a pepsi or coke bezel for example, the bezel is split into 2 halves, and is perfectly divided into dark and light colors to represent day and night, but the real day and night lengths vary from month to month and from latitude to latitude. It makes a big difference in knowing that in the winter it gets dark at 4pm and later in the summer it gets dark at 9pm. With the Yes Watch, you can see graphically, every day how much light or darkness you have.
Basically, with the Yes Watch, because of the planned out design of graphical time flow presentation, you can see at a glance the day hour via the 24hr hand (12noon at top, 24midnight at bottom), the time in digital display format. The hand traveling over the night/day display tells you ‘where you are in the day’. The 24hr hand is powered by the separate Swiss-made Ronda quartz movement.
The light part of the LCD dial gives a sort of pie chart view of the hours of daylight against the 24 hour dial, and the dark part shows nighttime. The moon phase is shown by the moon icon, and the LCD's rim shows the time of moonrise and moonset relative to the 24 hour dial. So compared to most analog or digital watches, the YES Watch shows the time via a graphical and easy to comprehend representation of a sort of pie chart. You can "see" what time it is, without having to mentally interpret numbers, including the ratio of daylight to night, and the sunrise and sunset times.
The Watchreview.com website has a review of the Zulu which has the same functions.
From the watchreview.com website:
• Solar time. The digital and analog portions of the YES watch collaborate to convey solar time. Below the dot matrix LCD, the YES watch contains a sort of pie chart consisting of a bunch of thin LCD slices representing 15 minute intervals which divide the watch face very intuitively into day and night. As you change the watch's location, or as the year progress, the LCD changes to represent the appropriate day/night ratio so that it is accurate anywhere in the world, anytime of the year (up to the year 2100). When the 24-hour hand reaches the first shaded LCD segment, the sun is setting, and as it moves out of the shaded portion of the watch face, the sun is rising. A quick glance at the watch indicates how much light you have left in the day, or how much darkness is left in the night.
• Lunar time. The YES watch's outer LCD ring indicates the time the moon rises and sets, similar to the way solar time is indicated.
• Lunar phase. The YES watch contains a small circular LCD which waxes and wanes along with the moon. A quick glance at the watch will let you know how much of the moon is currently illuminated.
• Sun and moon calculator. The YES watch can calculate sun and moon data for any location between the years 2000 and 2100. Simply select the location, year, month, and date, and the watch will give you day of year, longitude and latitude, sunrise, sunset, solar noon, moon illumination percentage, moon rise, moon set, date and time of the next new moon, and date and time of the next full moon.
• Phase Elapsed Time (countdown timer). Rather than simply specifying a number of hours, minutes and seconds as you would with a standard countdown timer, the PET lets you specify a date (year, month, and day), and a time. The watch then counts down the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds to that event. For instance, as of the time of this writing, I know there are only 340 days, 22 minutes, and 51 seconds until Christmas, 2005. If you specify a date in the past, the time actually counts up rather than down. In other words, the watch indicates how much time has elapsed since a particular event. The documentation states that the PET feature is a NASA standard. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I certainly do see how it could be incredibly useful for counting down to a mission.
• Solar noon indicator. Rotate the bezel so that the "sun stone" (the yellow jewel at the top of the bezel) is halfway between sunrise and sun set. When the 24-hour hand points to the sun stone, it's solar noon.
• Compass. Not a magnetic compass like you might find on a Casio, Tissot, Timex, or Suunto, but on a sunny day, you can align the sun stone to solar noon, then point the 24-hour hand toward the sun. The moon stone (the blue jewel at the bottom of the bezel) will point north, and the sun stone will point south.
• High and low tide indicators. Rotate the bezel so that the moon stone is halfway between moon rise and moon set. The tide will be high when the 24 hour hand hits the sun and moon stones, and low tide will be where the bezel changes from light to dark. (Note that these are only indicators, and one should not bet one's life on the YES watch's ability to determine high and low tide since it cannot take into account topographical features that also effect tides.)
• Solstice and equinox alerts. The YES watch will alert you on solstice and equinox dates by the center LCD turning into a sun icon every 30 minutes, and either the word "solstice" or "equinox" flashing on the dot matrix LCD.
• Time data rotation. If you press and hold the upper right-hand button for two seconds, the watch will cycle through all kinds of time and celestial information like location, year, day of year, week number, longitude, latitude, sunrise, sunset, solar noon, moon illumination percentage, moon rise, moon set, date and time of the next new moon, and date and time of the next full moon.
You get these free tools to change the bands as well!
As photographer Michael Reichmann reviewed it:
“One unanticipated pleasure provided by the YES watch is its ability to help visualize the ever-changing rhythms of the sun and moon's cycles. Because the length of day and night, moonrise and moonset times, and the phases of the moon are all displayed graphically, one can very quickly become attuned to these cycles, and understand them better than in the abstract.
For example, to be able to daily see the outer LCD ring which displays moonrise and moonset, advance around the dial showing the moon rising later each day of its cycle, and to see the phase of the moon change daily along with it, provides a visceral connection to our nearest cosmic neighbor. And though while the display that shows the days slowly lengthening or shortening as the seasons progress is too slow to see, over time the change in the comparative size of the light and dark segments of the display becomes apparent, and of course pressing a button to show another time or place on the globe makes these differences instantly apparent.
A useful, informative and fun tool.”
I think that is well said. For me, the Yes Watches fill a certain area for my horological interest and rounds out my watch collection in a nice way.
Pros versus Cons
Non gimmicky way of having access to lots of time functions
Good contrast on the LCD for visibility
Pre-programmed for 583 cities worldwide (important for local DST variances all over the world)
Titanium case and bracelet
Anti-glare sapphire crystal
Each watch is serial numbered and comes in a nice wooden heirloom box
Comes with extra leather and rubber bands, tools to adjust and exchange the bands
Indigo blue night light
Outer yellow LCD ring that can display moonrise/moonset or sunrise/sunset in different location
can also be set to sound an alarm 30 minutes before sunrise or sunset.
On a very clear day, it can be used as a solar compass and also indicate the time of high tide and low tide, through the LCD display and rotating bezel
A bit pricey
Bezel not perfectly smooth
PVD coating between the bracelet links not completely even. Maybe it is sort of nit picking, I dont know.
Here is an unclear shot of that.
Glossary of Terms from WatchReport.com
• Solstice: The two times each year when the sun is furthest from the equator. The sun is furthest north on June 21st (the summer solstice), and it is furthest south on December 21st (winter solstice). In the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and the winter solstice is the shortest.
• Equinox: The two times each year when the sun is directly over the equator. On these days, the night and day or approximately the same length. The vernal equinox occurs in the spring when the sun is headed north, and the autumnal equinox occurs in the fall, when the sun is headed south.
• Solar noon: The point each day at which the sun reaches its apparently highest point in the sky. This is exactly halfway between sunrise and sunset.
• New moon: When the moon is least illuminated, it is said to be a new moon. New moons are either not visible at all, or are visible only as tiny slivers. This occurs when the moon is between the sun and the Earth, meaning the illuminated portion of the moon is facing away from us.
• Full moon: When the moon is most illuminated, it is said to be a full moon. Full moons occur when the earth is between the sun and the moon, and the entire illuminated surface of the moon is facing us directly.
Nice hand, maybe I should be a hand model!
Yes Watch.com Module 4.0 manual:
Nice indiglow light, but it doesn't show up so bright in my shot.
A wrist shot!
A fuzzy picture of 12 midnight showing the Day Change.
After the Day Change.
Close up wrist shot.
Yes Watch in space! I just got these pictures.
Steven Fricke, commander of Atlantis space shuttle Feb 2008 wore both his Yes Inca and Yes Tati watches to the space station.