By Andrew Liszewski
Earthquake warning devices are nothing new in Japan, but it looks like Citizen will be the first to offer one you can strap to your wrist. The Seismic Watch uses a traditional analog design but includes an EEW (earthquake early warning) receiver on the inside. When a warning is received the hour hand will speed up based on the predicted intensity of the quake, and the minute and second hands will automatically begin a countdown timer until it arrives. The watch will also sound an audible alarm and will vibrate in the event you’re not staring at the face 24 hours a day.
Citizen is planning to use a public radio wave for the EEW broadcasts which is the same way MSN Direct sends out their information. Not only does it allow for broadcasts over a larger area, but it’s also faster than mobile phone alerts, and doesn’t require you to stay near a TV or radio to receive the EEWs.
Due to the size of the electronic components the watch will initially only be available in men’s sizes, so if you’re a woman living in Japan you might want to keep an eye out for any men fleeing your area. There’s no word on pricing for the watch at this time, though the clock model pictured above will cost about $170 when the devices become available sometime in 2010.