I’ve written about my concept of the apocalypse watch before. I’ve written about quartz and eco-drive. The process is this: What’s going to keep time under an apocalyptic situation where there are no replacement batteries, where there’s no service for mechanical watches, and where shocks are probably prevalent. Matrix PowerWatch 2 presents an interesting solution. It’s powered by the sun (okay, that’s been done before) and energy generated based on the temperature differential between the surface of your skin and the back of the watch.

Batteries die. The sun goes behind a cloud. But unless you die, your wrist will give off body heat, and that’s what PowerWatch 2 needs to tell time. If you’re dead, you don’t really need to tell time anyway. Previously, PowerWatch 1 and PowerWatch X were large, coming in at a gargantuan 50mm. With the debut of PowerWatch 2, it’s now 42mm, and manages to keep the same large screen size of 30.5mm.

And if that’s all they had done, it would be a pretty big accomplishment. Where before, the screen was monochrome, now it’s in color. With the added power generators, it’s got GPS inside, intelligent heart rate monitoring, and can now provide users with even more useful health and fitness metrics, including the most accurate calorie count industry-wide, pace, distance, steps, sleep, cadence, and more. PowerWatch 2 will also integrate third-party fitness platforms like Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, and is water resistant up to 200m. The watch is made from aluminum, which is a good conductor of heat, and is able to give feedback to the wearer using the screen, audio, and haptic feedback.

The real success appears to be increasing power generation efficiency while shrinking the size and adding features that place higher demand on power, and still staying on a small enough power budget that temperature and solar can manage to run it all. Science is amazing. Check it out at indiegogo.com

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Matrix PowerWatch 2
  • Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $200 (regular $499)
  • Who we think it might be for: You want a smart watch that integrates with Google Fit and Apple Health and won’t need to be charged every night… or ever.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Anything that can be done to slim it down or reach the 40mm size.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: The always-powered reliability

Tech Specs from Matrix

  • Case size: 42mm
  • Case material: aluminum
  • Strap: rubber
  • Movement: thermoelectric generator powered


By Victor Marks

sometimes described as "The best bang since the Big One."

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