Whether you’re trapped on a futuristic island prison full of blood-thirsty gang members or simply stuck in a two-hour meeting, the LifeClock One might be the watch for you. Inspired by the movie Escape From New York starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, the watch is an homage to Plissken’s wrist-worn LifeClock, a device that would trigger the an injection of micro-explosives in his arteries if he failed his mission. And you thought you had deadlines.
Escape From New York is a pretty wild movie and this is a pretty wild watch.
Jonathan Zufi created the $399 timepiece when he watched the John Carpenter classic and mused on the idea of creating his own LifeClock. Before running a successful Kickstarter he received permission to create the product and add Plissken’s likeness and many prop-quality details to the smartwatch. Now you can buy either a model based directly on the original movie prop or even have Snake himself engraved on the back of your watch, thereby immortalizing Kurt Russell in his most important role after Big Trouble In Little China.
The watch itself is surprisingly cool. It has a 79mm case made of milled brass and contains six custom 11-segment LEDs that displays the current time, world time, and it can even count your steps and receive push notifications from your phone. The watch is rechargeable via an included USB cable and lasts three days on one charge. It comes on a leather band with a buckle or velcro closure system.
The watch is also huge. It’s big even for me, and to read it you have to press one of the buttons on the side, lighting up the LEDs for a moment as you either scroll through features or assess how much time you have to save the president before you explode. It’s definitely an acquired taste and it’s a funny commentary on smart watches in general. After all, getting rolling phone notifications on a massive LED screen is hilarious.
It comes in black PVD-coated metal and this Gullfire edition looks far less like a steampunk throwback than the brass edition. Both watches are beautifully finished and are, for the size, quite comfortable.
While I was never a huge fan of the movie, a piece like this will make true John Carpenter fans feel like they can, someday, land in a heavily-guarded super-max prison island on a stealth glider and save the president from certain doom. Barring that, the watch is a great, informal piece for those who like something massive and wildly retro on their wrists.