Solder : Time Watch Kit

**Replacement: **KIT-10870. The Big Time watch kit is our AVR-based version of this kit and will be replacing it so go check it out! This page is for reference only.

The Solder : Time is an original design watch kit that you solder and assemble yourself. Delivered as a through-hole kit, you solder the components to the PCB, and enclose it all in four layers of laser cut acrylic. Introduced at Maker Faire Bay Area in Mid 2011, it was an instant hit. The supplied battery lasts a really long time, and the onboard Dallas RTC keeps impeccable time. This is the first SpikenzieLabs Kit that is 'wearable'.

Solder : Time is not only a wristwatch; set it up as a desk clock, badge clip-it to your clothes, or thread a chain and you've got a pocket watch. More advanced tinkerers will see the bottom side I2C lines broken out, for hacking, and integrating RTC into other projects. There are also pads on the backside of the PCB for DC supply, as well as an 'always-on' function.

Here at SparkFun, we really like this watch. Not only is it a fun kit to put together but when it's finished it's a functional and (arguably) stylish watch with some serious geek-cred. Our fearless leader, Nate, has even been spotted around the office wearing it.

Note: The PIC comes preprogrammed, so all you need to do is solder the kit together. Check the instructions below to learn how to set the time.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • zeroeth / about 12 years ago / 3

    Where is the 'Big Time' atmega328 variant of this? Got one at Maker Faire NY, and wanted to play around with the source and add some features!

    • Young Maker / about 12 years ago / 1
      • 1 lets get that on a product page pls!
      • EvilGenius121 / about 12 years ago / 1

        Theres a 328 variant? +camps out on webpage for imminent release+

  • EvilGenius121 / about 12 years ago / 2

    I assume these work with sparkfuns other 4 digit displays? If so, I will change the display out for blue...

    • wrxstiv8 / about 12 years ago / 1

      I got the blue display to work with mine. I'm going to give it a week and see how well it works over time, then try the white display. but most of them here should work.

  • from site:
    Source Code:
    Assembly File:
    Here is the source code for the Solder : Time™ written in assembly. Use Microchips’ MPLAB to modify the code and recompile new HEX files to reprogram the Solder : Time™.
    HEX file:
    Here is the compiled standard release version of the HEX code for the Solder : Time™. A good choice to program the Solder : Time™ is using Microchips’ PicKit programmers.

  • guan / about 12 years ago / 2

    It seems like with surface mount parts, it should be possible to create something smaller, even with the same display.

    • tetsujin / about 12 years ago / 1

      I was thinking the same thing... But then it wouldn't be much of a kit...

  • I just orderd the kit and it looks great.

  • Imroy / about 12 years ago / 1

    Techmoan recently put this kit together:

    (and he pronounces 'solder' correctly)

  • EvilGenius121 / about 12 years ago / 1

    CANT WAIT TO BUILD! its in my wish list :)

  • jasonbot2000 / about 12 years ago / 1

    OK guys, I just finished building this kit and I can say that I have a renewed interest in learning to work with SMD components :)
    It's cool that through-hole is possible for something like a watch but the problem I ran into was due to the sandwich-style construction of the case. I imagine someone more skilled than I (or perhaps with a better pair of cutters) could get the pins on the back-side of the board cut low enought that the case would fit together without pressing on any of the pins, but I wasn't able to accomplish this.
    The result is that if I tighten the case too much, the watch can "wig out" because the pressure on the pins causes a bad connection. I did try re-cutting and re-soldering the trouble components (the push button and one of the caps) but had limited success.
    Don't get me wrong, this is a very cool watch and I believe the kit is well-made, but I think the clearances required are just a little tight for using through-hole components and using SMD equivalents would of course easily remedy this.
    On the other hand I may not have bought the kit if it was SMD, so... Yeah :)
    I'm in the process of designing several of my own watches so the take-away from this for me is to pursue the SMD route, even though its more intimidating to me from a construction perspective.

    • jasonbot2000 / about 12 years ago / 1

      I picked up a nice pair of flush cutters and after trimming all leads down to the board and re-soldering the troublesome components (the pushbutton and one of the caps), the watch works fantastic.
      I still have one open question though. As mentioned above, the I2C lines are broken out on the board but are these of any use w/o the source code for the PIC (which doesn't appear to be available ATM)?

  • Renwick759 / about 12 years ago / 1

    i don't see why so many people are talking about through hole vs is designed to get attention. I just finished soldering mine and it is SWEET!
    P.S. Big watches are in!

  • JohnM. / about 12 years ago / 1

    Hi all,
    It's a neat project, but for an 'educational' offering I've got to say that the schematic is pretty 'amateurish'..... For example, there are no part numbers on the IC's or the display, no values on the discrete components, and the pin numbers on the test points use the (bogus) default format. If something is going to be offered as a learning experience, it should really be done with a little bit more care!

  • UNTEngineer / about 12 years ago / 1

    Somehow thats just tacky as a through hole pcb version. I would think as an SMD version this would compete in terms of form factor with regular watches, and people can get creative with cases.

  • well i think binary time display would be more cool then decimal

  • Member #209502 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I certainly get enough (well deserved) crap for wearing my TI ez430 chronos watch. I wonder how it would go with both at the same time?

  • jasonbot2000 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Is the source code for the PIC program available?

  • Ronan2 / about 12 years ago / 1

    I've been meaning to build such a clock for some time, however my version needed to be somewhat different. However, I was still lacking the mechanical materials, like wrist strap and acrylic case. Could you sell a kit without the electronics?

  • My bf was super impressed by these at the maker faire. I surprised him with one on his birthday 2 weeks ago. "The best present ever", even cooler than your leatherman present last year I asked?

  • heathkid / about 12 years ago / 1

    Do you have a RED LED option available seperately?
    One day I'd love to see a GPSDO DIY Watch Kit!
    Thanks again!

  • DMKitsch / about 12 years ago / 1

    wearing this certainly does allow your geek to shine

  • CF / about 12 years ago / 1

    I love it! The price is reasonable to.

  • Ocean Controls / about 12 years ago / 1

    To what depth is this waterproof? It's not mentioned in the description, all good digital watches are at least 50m.

    • You miss the point by thinking this is a good digital watch. It's a GREAT educational project for simple electrical and mechanical design concepts. It'd be even better if/when SpikenzieLabs publishes the source code.
      This watch is NOT water resistant because there several unsealed openings in the case. It'd work under water except that the DS1337 oscillator will stop working if it gets wet. But getting the watch wet (with clean water) shouldn't permanently damage it.
      This watch is NOT an accurate timepiece because the timekeeping is based on an uncompensated crystal oscillator.
      The dimensions appear to be a manly 2.3" diameter by 0.5" thick.

      • Ocean Controls / about 12 years ago / 1

        The sparkfun website stripped out the < troll > and < / troll > headers I put in

    • Camalaio_ / about 12 years ago * / 1

      Depending on how they do it, I'd say it's at best water-resistant on the surface only.
      Even if it is water-proof, I'd say it's definitely a YMMV case. Depending on how well the acrylic case is put together while putting screws in, you may have small gaps.
      On looking at it, the switch on the side does not seem sealed at all. Because of the small clearance, it may be fine with an accidental spill or something, but I wouldn't expect much.
      SFE, this is your chance to do some fun testing :) you could test various liquisds too, to get an idea of common scenarios! (Ocean water -> salt water -> more conductive)
      EDIT: Please remember, this is a kit. This is not a professional product, but simply something to tinker and learn with. Maybe even to have fun hacking :)

  • SK Pang Electronics / about 12 years ago / 1

    What colour is the LED display?

  • Klone38 / about 12 years ago * / 1

    Could we get a picture of someone wearing it to get a sense of scale?
    This is nice. Just yesterday i saw this same product at and wished they had it at sparkfun. Does sparkfun hire psychics or did i really miss something at Maker Faire?

  • Elpinoino / about 12 years ago / 1

    I assume there is only AM/PM mode?
    The watch looks really cool, but without a 24h option it`s a no go.
    Or maybe we can hack it....

    • vmspionage / about 12 years ago / 1

      DS1337 RTC datasheet:
      Page 9 explains how to switch it between 12 and 24 hour mode by setting bit 6 low. Easy stuff.

    • I'm sure it would be an easy hack :-)

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