REVIEW: Iron Samurai


Quick – if I say samurai, what are you picturing?  Perhaps a sword, some crazy armor, or just even the countryside of Japan.  What does any of that have to do with a watch that (I’m guessing) is made in China?  I have no idea, but that’s what today’s review model is entitled – Iron Samurai.


So, how did it come about that I picked one of these up to review for you?  Well, my friend (yup, the same one from this post) shot me a link to a watch from one of those catalog-based shops (I forget which one) that had a watch that looked just like the one at the top of this post, but for something like $150.  That seemed overpriced to me, and some quick searching over on Amazon turned up this listing.  Now, under $7 (plus free shipping), that’s just about an insta-buy, even for something of dubious quality.


So, that’s how this particular watch showed up on my desk.  On the surface of things, it’s a great idea – design a watch that looks like a bracelet, hide some LEDs in there, and you’ve got a stealthy sort of a watch.  In practice, though, things are different. For starters, the watch module is as bulky as you would expect, so it breaks the bracelet illusion a bit.  Second, on the one I got, you can really tell there are LEDs there, even when not lit (this model hides it a bit better).


Speaking of those LEDs?  Those suckers will light up a dark room like you wouldn’t believe.  Which makes it to be a fun toy, as well as keeping the watch readable in bright light (sun or otherwise), which can be a problem for LED display watches of this nature.  I’ll also note (likely due to the lighter metal used in the folded-link bracelet), this is a surprisingly light, and therefore comfortable, watch to wear.


Do I harbor any grand illusions of this turning into a family heirloom?  Absolutely not – I expect this thing will fall apart or otherwise break on its own with just normal wear.  That said, for under $10, it’s a fun design, either for your child – or the kid in you.



  • I bought a couple of these on eBay a little over a year ago. One had dead LED segments from day one. And adjusting the metal bracelet produced some badly bent split pins. So the cannibalizing 2 watches yielded a single workable one (for my at the time 14 year old son). At 7 bucks each I don’t regret getting them, but buyers should not be expecting too much and DOA should not be a shocker.

    They look cheap but its is a just a fun thing to be amused with for a few days I guess. Junior High boys might be their best market. Just be sure to order a spare and don’t look forward to adjusting the bracelet.

  • Oh yeah, they can be found with blue or red LEDs and in high polish or a dark but still shiny finish. I hesitate to use the work steel but you never know. I got the almost models with black cases/bracelets with red LEDs (my son’s favorite aesthetic).

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