One of the coolest horological products to reach the market recently is the LunaTik, a conversion kit that turns the latest touch-screen Apple iPod Nano into a wrist watch. This is clearly not haute horlogerie, but nevertheless it is interesting, funky and great fun to wear.
Stop reading now if you think that any time-piece that isn’t mechanical is not worthy of consideration. My personal view is that anything that tells the time is grist to the horological mill and if it satisfies my sense of aesthetics then it matters little to me how the time-telling is achieved.
The design was a concept of Chicago-based MINIMAL design studio that was brought to fruition by the Kickstarter project. Kickstarter asked people to become backers by pledging various amounts of money in return for some of the products should the funding goal of $15,000 be reached. This initiative was wildly successful, 13,512 backers pledged over $940,000 for the project.
The LunaTik consists of a two-piece case forged from Aerospace Grade Aluminum and then machined via CNC (Computer Numerical Control) into its final form into which the Nano slides. The two pieces are held together with stainless steel bolts which are secured with a pair of Allen keys supplied with the kit. It measures 46x41mm without the lugs.
It is easy to put together and once assembled, it is secured to the wrist with a strap made from high grade silicone rubber. There are cut-outs along the length of the strap which enables adjustment of the small aluminium keeper which secures the strap end. It also has the added benefit of keeping your wrist cooler than it might be were it to be a normal strap.
The case has been designed so that the charging port, earphone port and the controls are readily accessible, so you could listen to music via earphones while it’s on (or off) your wrist. Bluetooth would be handy should Apple ever decide to incorporate it into a future version of the Nano, and this would then avoid the possibility of ripping the ‘phones from your ears should you move your arm suddenly.
One the minus side, to see the time display you need to press a button on the side, and it does go to sleep after a short period, so that the time is not continuously displayed. It is not the only watch I have that requires this, so I don’t find this a difficulty, though it might be a problem for some and could take a little getting used to if unfamiliar.
I find the LunaTik, with its mostly-dark screen, mysterious and “phantom-like”. The dark screen stands out and is noticed and it reminds me somewhat of the appearance of the Bell & Ross Phantom.
It is not small, so may not be suitable if you have a small wrist. Though it is marginally smaller than the Bell & Ross BR-01 series of watches, it is of course much lighter, so its easy to wear, and the silicone rubber strap is extremely comfortable. You almost forget its presence, so easily does it cling to the wrist.
The aluminium used in the construction of the LunaTik, though of Aerospace Grade, is strong but relatively soft, and may need to be worn carefully to avoid being “dinged”. That’s not an aspect I intend to test!
The Nano, even though it is affixed to the LunaTik strap, still has full functionality for music, radio and photos, and can also of course work as a timer and stopwatch, as well as having a pedometer function.
If you want to use it only as a dedicated watch, the battery lasts at least a week before recharging.
The silver version is pictured here, but it is also available in black and anodised red. There is another simpler snap-in version called the TikTok, made of polycarbonate, which is available in black or white, and this is probably more suitable if you intend to use the full functionality of the Nano, though to my mind it doesn’t cut it the way the LunaTik does.
It has a minimalist look in tune with modern design aesthetics and though it won’t replace your Patek or Rolex, it is great to wear on appropriate occasions.