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A little bit ago, Tokyoflash Japan introduced their take on smartwatch notification with the Kisai Link. While the module does not feature a LCD display, you do get on-wrist notifications (via vibration) and a small interface where you can get various alerts (calls, email, etc), as well as other things such as triggering a “find my phone” function. While this module has been integrated into quite a few bracelets, they are now offering it as an integrated part of some of their watches.

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If you were to opt for a Kisai Link bracelet (as they had before), you would be putting $79 down on the barrel. With this batch of four watches they have integrated the Link to, you can get the functionality (as well as the quirky styling TokyoFlash is known for) of a watch added for $159. The first of these watches is the Kisai Blade Wood Link. This one is a bit different from what we’ve seen before, as the time-telling is fairly normal. Well, that is, once you trigger the LED display that is under the wooden dial. If you prefer your time-keeping (at least where LEDs are involved) to be a digital readout, then the Kisai Xtal Wood Link and its 70’s speaker cabinet looks might be what you want. This is the same statement you could make about the Kisai Sequence Wood Link as well – very similar style (and function), just oriented vertically rather than horizontally.

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On the other hand, if you want to go full-bore into the “out there” timekeeping TokyoFlash is known for, then the Kisai Spider Wood Link is what you’re after. On the clear LCD display, you have four concentric hexagons that indicate the numeral of the time. At first, this just seems like a random collection of straight lines in a pattern, but looking it over, I can see that it makes sense, though I am sure there will be a bit of a learning curve when you first put it on.

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By themselves, these are some interesting watches. When they add in the integrated Link module, though, then things really are a lot more interesting. While I have tested some smart watches, I really find having the vibrating notification on my wrist that something happened on my phone is quite helpful. I don’t need to read things on my wrist, that’s what I’ve got the phone for. As such, something like the Link module is perfect for me. Not so much that its bundled into a watch (as we have here) as I tend to swap watches around daily. It’s the concept of the Link that has me excited. Tokyoflash is one of the first to market with something like this, and others are not far behind. If you get a hold of a stand-alone module, you can (in theory) install it on any watch you might want. At least, that’s the direction I hope that things are headed. Then, your good ol’ mechanical favorites can bring you into the current day, without needing to wear another device on your wrist. While we have a little bit to go, I am certainly cautiously optimistic of what the future will hold for this type of integration. tokyoflash.com

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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