Binary watches, unlock the mystery

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What on earth is a Binary Watch? Read on to get grips on “the bits”…
For those that understand binary, you can jump to how to read a binary watch
For those interested in buying a binary watch, you can jump to buying a binary watch

This is the one we like
St. Leonhard Binary Watch. £39.90

Shop for your new Binary Watch at Amazon

What is binary?

For computing geeks (like us!) and coders (like us!), this first part could be a dull read. However, for the rest of humanity, it’s not dissimilar to how we count everyday – a method called “Base 10”.

Base 10

Everyday, we count in “Base 10” – being decimal units of 1s, 10s, 100s, 1000s and so one. A “base 10” number is where every digit can be in the range 0 to 9.
For example, the number 1234 means:

Thousands Hundreds Tens Ones
1 2 3 4
Column sum 1000 200 30 4
Total=1,234

i.e. 1×1000 + 2×100 + 3×10 + 4×1 = 1,234

Yes, I know – that’s simple and obvious. But so it ‘binary’.

Binary – Base 2

Whereas the digits in “Base 10” can be 0-9, the digits in “Base 2” can be either 0 or 1. Computers use Base 2 because their individual computing bits are stored as either 1 or 0 (ON or OFF).
However, the numbers are still the same numbers just represented in a different way – so it works in exactly same way as base 10 except each column has different values:

Eights (8s) Fours (4s) Twos (2s) Ones (1s)
1 0 0 1
Column sum 8 0 0 1
Total=9

i.e. 1×8 + 0x4 + 0x2 + 1×1 = 9

Computers store all of their data, including characters which are stored as binary numeric codes.

Here is an example of a longer number

128s 64s 32s 16s 8s 4s 2s 1s
1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
Column sum 128 64 0 0 8 0 0 1
Total=201

i.e. 1×128 + 1×64 + 1×8 + 1×1 = 201


How to read a binary watch

So, what is a “binary watch” and how do you read them?

Well, a binary watch simply displays the Hours and Minutes in binary instead of the normal watch. So, once you have grasped binary (Base 2), you should be able to read a binary watch. See these two examples:

Hours=8+2+1
minutes=32+4
Time is 11:36
Hours=8+1
minutes=16+4+2
Time is 09:22

Often, the watches have a AM/PM indicator and will also display the date -just like a “normal” watch but in whizzy binary digits. Some simply display dots instead of watch hands. Actually, there is an amazing amount of design variation in this sector, so it’s worth browsing shops like Amazon

Buying a binary watch

We thing gadget-lovers as well as computer-enthusiasts, would all love a binary watch. This makes it an ideal Birthday gift.

We like these binary watches available from Amazon. If anyone feels the need to buy one for us – well, we wouldn’t say “01101110 01101111” (which is the binary code for “no”!!).

We like these

These watches work as outlined above. There are many other display styles available on Amazon, but we like the “proper binary” versions.

01 The One Kerala Trance. £674.02
getDigital Binary Wrist Watch. £27.45
St. Leonhard Binary Watch. £39.90
Cool Binary LED Unisex. £105.26
The One Slim Square Watch. £164.11
Men Lava Iron Steel Bracelet Digital Watches. £138.48

A brain hurting option

This is another one that we like but it’s for the real geek!! It has no “8,4,2,1” numerals so you have to work it out. It doesn’t take that much practice, really. Go on, delight the computer-nut in your house!
Men Lava Iron Steel Bracelet Watch. £16.24

All binary watches

You can see all binary watches from Amazon UK here: Go to Amazon

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