Watches made from obsolete 1" mechanical hard drives


Originally published at:


Hell with the watch, I just want that adorable drive!


words cannot express how much I want one of these. I have a perfectly functional Seiko V on my wrist right now, and I’m not a fan of quartz movement watches… but I don’t care, let me strap a microdrive to my wrist as a watch. I think I still have one floating around here that I would happily send him (it’s out of an old rio MP3 player, and is firmware locked, so it’s completely useless if I didn’t already discard it.)


I also am pleased that it costs significantly less than the Guess watch I bought in Chicago in 2007.

Maybe it’s time for a replacement.


Maybe this’ll make up for all the “put a gear on it Steampunk” etsy vendors destroying the vintage watch biz :stuck_out_tongue:


I have a few of the original HP Kittyhawk drives, which were made by Citizen and predated all these multi-gigabyte drives. The original drives were 20 or 40 Mbytes. They are thicker, though. Still would make an amazing watch.


The drive appears to be used for decoration only. The movement will just be a cheap quartz.


The corpse of a mechanically-marvelous-and-doomed-by-cheap-silicon device seems like an atypically appropriate repository for a mechanical watch movement.

I have one of the PCMCIA adapters; but am unsure of where the microdrive has gotten to. Must be hiding around here somewhere.


Actual vintage publicity picture:


I don’t believe in obsolete hard drives, just obsolete drivers.


Nice, but… will it run Linux? //rim shot


A controller that old might be too limited; but newer HDD controllers are pretty punchy; and can be so persuaded.


It could be a trick; they could be selling GM Giant Hamsters, and that could be a full sized HD.


IBM’s Enterprise Hamster Sales Engineer assures you that it’s a miniature giant storage space hamster; and does not provide a misleading sense of scale.


The ultimate microdrive wristwatch would use the microdrive to store analog audio snippets of spoken word time announcements, as they did in the 1960s era Ma Bell time and temperature phone system.


I’d imagine that the drive’s original tolerances are…unlikely…to have been preserved during the watchification process; but HDD platters are denser and rather better made than conventional audio tape. How much surface area do you fancy you’d need assuming HDD-quality magnetic medium; but a read head that has to survive the less-than-pristine-and-dust-free environment?


A time announcing drive would be pretty easy to make. Use one head for the tracking servo, another for the analog audio. Spin it at 60 RPM to get about 2 to 3 inches per second, which is as good as an audio cassette. You’d only need one track per second of audio, which means a couple hundred tracks would cover all the needed time announcements.

closed #18

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.