Synthwatch Not A Smartwatch, It’s A Synth Watch

Audioweld has launched a Kickstarter to fund production of the Synthwatch, described as the “world’s first wristwatch synthesizer”.

The Synthwatch is designed to be a synth watch, not a smartwatch. The developers note: “If you are looking for a normal smartwatch with a step-counter and a heart-rate meter you should look elsewhere.”

Its main function is real-time play that lets you create music, record it and add effects. It features a USB cable with a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can connect the Synthwatch to an amplifier.

Mobile apps for Android and iOS are also planned, so you can select sounds, create sequences and recordings.

29 thoughts on “Synthwatch Not A Smartwatch, It’s A Synth Watch

  1. huge mistake using a keyboard as the interface here.
    also unfortunate about the necessary phone app. . . and price. . .
    if this was ~$100 and worked as a gestural interface (MPU on wrist), i could see them selling quite a few.

  2. I thought the video and the story was compelling. I love that this guy and his dad are watch makers. It’s a well-written pitch.

    There’s a certain kind of product that, while not especially practical, is attractive for a different reason. Like how some people might enjoy building a ship in a bottle. And this, in some ways hits the same spot as the OP-1 (to me). It’s not very practical for what I do, but it is tiny and well-made.

    If this watch was a very high functioning metronome (with a haptic aspect), a tuner and pitch source, it would have another dimension of usefulness. The keyboard is pretty cool, but it is hard to imagine it being easy to use. Seems like they’ve made it as finger-friendly as it could be at that size. I’m curious how it might feel to play such a wee key.

    I’m not a nay-sayer though. I actually celebrate people who come up with well-made things like this.

  3. Musically appeals to groove based music : one octave plenty to get a groove down : Hip Hop, Guitar riff, Grime, 2step, Techno.
    Octave shift buttons on the side would been useful.

    3.5mm output jack connecting to external is brilliant.

    Built in microphone to hum, whistle ideas would been useful also to sample.
    Built in Guitar Tuner, Metronome would bring more usefulness.

    Modular option to put Guitar like frets tap play, Drum pads, XY Kaoss like pad.

    If the keys have moving parts how does moisture dirt affect them.
    If moving keys are they durable as they will get caught on clothing on things accidentally.
    If no moving parts rather grooves is a stylus just fine to play it or a pen/pencil.

    Looks like a novelty item or a toy : makes sense a teen is wearing it in the promo.

  4. Nice video, and nice people making this synth. Still, didn’t anyone think that people already ARE equipped with a synth in their everyday life? A synth, that has a sequencer, keyboard, hundreds of sounds and moves where ever you move? I mean, almost every person has an iPhone or equilevant device, and buying some software is WAY cheaper and easier than this watch. I bet only people, who want to stand out will be interested in the watch. Musicians, who want decent results won’t use this. It’s too big, bulky, and there is no real point in owning one.

    1. … yet… people with Android devices will have worse latency.

      But also, to your point, there’s that $30 ArduTouch DIY kit. But yea, might not be as good of a synth, and no sequencer.

      At about $500 US, it’s a pretty pricy thing to just impulse-buy– that doesn’t do much, but does it in a tiny way.

      Their kickstarter is off to a pretty slow start.

      It is one of those things that 100 years from now, we’ll find the prototype and it will be worth 10,000 to a collector.

      1. It’s not clear to me what the synth engine on this is. It does look nice. Maybe Behringer will bring out a $20 plastic clone, that would probably sell very well.

  5. The actual retail price after the early birds is 695 euros, about $791 USD. Here’s just a partial list of some of the gear you can get for that price and still have $$ left over:

    Mother 32
    DFAM
    Digitakt
    Digitone
    Minibrute 2
    Minilogue
    Minitaur
    DeepMind 6
    0-Coast
    Lifeforms
    Bass Station
    Ultranova
    JD-XI
    Any Roland Boutique, Volca, or Behringer Semi-Modular

    Which would you prefer?

    1. Or an OP-Z and a pair of very nice headphones which doesn’t require an app to function at all and actually provides a usable interface, editable synth parameters and is capable of producing entire tracks entirely on its own.

      Oh, and it still easily fits in your pocket to go anywhere you do.

      I’m all for innovation but this thing just brings nothing but inconvenience and compromise to the user and at an egregiously high price.

  6. Let me know when it comes out in rose gold. I’d like to think this is one of the most foolish product developments every but there have to be many just as bad of worse.

    Before someone spouts off “what’s your great idea”, here’s my answer, “nothing”! At least I didn’t waste my time/resources coming up with “nothing”. I truly believe it is going to hard for them to recoup the time/money they put into the video let alone the product.

    1. I agree this is a VERY niche market. In a way, it isn’t so much about what NEED it fills. It doesn’t fill a real need at all. However, it is one of those things that certain kinds of folks will be captivated by and perhaps in a fetishistic way will desire it. Folks who like tiny, quirky, and bordering-on-useless tech.

      We’ve seen our share of them here.

      One does have to appreciate the challenge of making something this tiny, and trying to do it right. I’ll give them a solid A for effort, A for design, and a C- for practical applications.

      Sure got us talking.

  7. It sounds and looks like a child’s toy from Walmart. And just as impossible to play. An Apple Watch is cheaper and has better music apps. And for the love of God WHO are these 5 backers??

  8. Aprrox $800 for a Horologist is peanuts.
    Horologist watches fetch up to $100GRAND+

    Who will purchase this : Kanye West, DJ Khaled, Young Happening artists to show off on stage, Tech Millionaires.

    As for us on Synthopia :
    yep there are better musical instruments for us to spend our hard earned saved pennies.

  9. Well, it’s a luxury item (in relation to materials and whatnot: it’s not an Omega or a Casio) for geeks, but still a pretty nice idea. It’s Italian fancy and innovation here, guys.

  10. One rotary encoder or a touch surface would be way more practical than such a tiny keyboard.
    The design of this watch makes no sense at all. If they wanted to go for looks they clearly failed.
    An Apple Watch is a joke too but at least offers a bit more capability and less expensive.

    And just because there’s a tiny market for it doesn’t mean it’s a good product.
    I would rather buy a pile of shit that came out of Dali’s derriere if I really wanted to throw money away.

  11. I love the clip of the two watchmakers fumbling around with tweezers and calipers doing made-up things for the camera. Looks like a wes anderson movie

  12. The keyboard looks as if it was inspired by Mattel’s BeeGees Rhythm Machine. Kraftwerk used that. Kraftwerk would wear this watch and not care what anyone things.

  13. Also, you could just carry a recorder or an ocarina or guitar or kalimba, like musicians of thousands of years past. This eternal dependence on things that need batteries is too limiting for the muse. The recital will not be televised.

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