TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion – a Watch with a Secret

TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion - a Watch with a Secret

Here is a simple question – when you want to know the time, do you want a challenge? Moreover, do you want it to be difficult for most people to read the time from your watch? If so, read on – but if not, the TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion Watch is likely not for you!

Key Features:

Kisai Optical Illusion displays the time digitally, hours in the upper half of the screen, minutes in the lower half of the screen. Just touch the screen to reveal the time.

– Displays the time
– Always On LCD display
– Date mode
– Alarm mode
– EL backlight (for night time)
– Touch screen technology
– Animation feature (can be turned off)
– Audio feedback (can be turned off)
– Stainless steel clasp and strap
– Clasp: simple fold over clasp with push button
– Fits wrist size: 100 – 210 mm (approx.)
– Weight: 160 grams

TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion - a Watch with a Secret

Great looking watch, great little box

The Story of the Kisai Optical Illusion Watch is really two tales – the watch and the technology; so let me separate them.

TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion - a Watch with a Secret

Looks great on the wrist!

The Watch:

The TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion Watch is first and foremost a solidly built, great looking watch. It has a monolithic surface and a weighty feel, and it fits in well between the Michael Kors, Casio, Nixon, and other watches in my older son’s case.

The clasp extends to put the watch around your wrist, and it is easily adjusted to fit a range of sizes; you can also remove links if you need to adjust it further.

I received the black finish to review, and I found that it worked very well as a casual or dressy watch. The slick styling allows it to blend in with whatever outfit you are wearing.

TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion - a Watch with a Secret

Does anyone REALLY know what time it is?


The TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion Watch has a touchscreen display that uses a high-resolution LCD to produce one of those classic 90s optical illusions to mask the time. If you are good at solving those puzzles, you will be able to see the time. If not, there is are four touch zones on the watch for various functions:
– Lower right zone displays the time
– Lower left zone turns on the backlight, or hold for 3 seconds to turn sound on/off
– Upper right zone switches between time and date
– Upper left zone toggles alarm time and alarm on/off.

All of this functionality worked perfectly throughout my time reviewing the watch, though I never really put the alarm to use beyond checking functionality.

Here is the basic problem – I am the only one in my house who can look at this watch and discern the time within a few seconds. And really, when I want to know the time – I don’t want to solve a puzzle or play a game, I just want to know the time.

Another problem, my wife gets optical migraines and found that looking at the screen pretty much triggered them – which was a worse response than she got looking at the classic paper illusions. So this is one of those things that you need to use caution with before looking at, depending on what bothers your eyes.

TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion - a Watch with a Secret

Tap the screen to clear the illusion


I am of two minds about the TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion Watch. On the one hand it is a great looking and well-constructed watch, but on the other hand it is basically a gimmick based on something that was popular for a while, 15-20 years ago. If you want the gimmick, then you are getting a great watch – but if not, you shouldn’t even bother looking.

MSRP: $199.99 from

What I Like: Great construction; solid looks; easily adjusted to most wrists.

What Needs Improvement: ‘One-trick Pony’ – if you don’t want the illusion there is no purpose; not enough features for the money.

Source: The TokyoFlash Kisai Optical Illusion Watch was a manufacturer supplied review sample

Here is the overview from TokyoFlash:

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