I love the convenience of smart watches. I love the idea of smart jewelry. If you are wearing an accessory anyway, why not put it to work keeping you on top of your messages and to-do list? But they have one major flaw: They look like the wearables everyone else is wearing. This was made obvious to me recently. I was driving on the freeway. A car passed me on the left. The passenger in that car had the window open with one hand sticking out of the window riding air currents. In that fleeting glance, I was able to identify the brand of smart watch on his wrist.
Disclaimer: The sweet people at Chronos sent me a review unit that they expected me to attach to a watch. I had a little more fun with it than that. Unfortunately, I need to return the Chronos.
Chronos device, designed to transform your ordinary wristwatch to a smart watch.
I like my jewelry to be unique and handmade to be a reflection of my personality, style, and interests. I make an exception for wearables because they are so convenient (and motivating). But when it’s likely that I will run into twelve other people wearing the same piece, I like it less. That’s why I was thrilled when the Chronos came out. It turns any (largish) watch into a smart watch. So I can wear my grandfather’s antique gold watch and still get text alerts (and much more) delivered to my wrist. But when I got it out of the box, I immediately started imagining hacking this thing to smarten up much more than a watch.
I was spoiled for choice in the jewelry supply section at Etsy.
I hit Etsy in search of a pendant with a flat back surface that would accommodate the 1.25” diameter, micro-suction Chronos. I found lots of them and finally settled one from a purveyor of jewelry making supplies. It was the right size, had holes that would allow me to attach a chain and additional bling if I wanted to, and it only cost $5.
It arrived a few days later. From there is was very easy.
The Chronos sticks easily to the back of my pendant. It’s not even noticeable when I’m wearing it. Unless it lights up.
I added some jump rings and tied an overhand knot to both, carefully making the leather cord long enough to go over my head and land in the place I wanted to wear it. For me, that made the cord 21 inches long. I chose leather but you could obviously use chain for a different aesthetic.
It works perfectly. When I get a call or text, it buzzes lightly and lights up. I choose colors for these notifications that look pretty with my outfit.
The notification lights — the colors chosen to compliment what I’m wearing — have become part of my outfit.
My smart pendant lights up magenta when I get a call.
When I take it off, I set it on the charger.
My Chronos pendant even looks cute when it’s sitting in its charger.
The grand total for this ultra-modern but unique wearable is $105: $5 for the pendent on Etsy, and $100 for the Chronos. Unfortunately, I need to disassemble my necklace and return the Chronos.
This easy project inspired me to think of other ways to hack my smart toys for a creative art project. Come back soon to see the stunning smart deck lighting I made with some junk I found on Craigslist.