It’s been a while since your uncle that glues batteries and LED’s to his face has visited, so you may be getting a little anxious to view blinking lights and oddities that boggle the mind.

Lucky you. Today we have a light-emitting creation from the mind of Paul Pounds. It stuffs 133 surface-mounted LEDs into the body of a Elgin hunter-style pocket watch. Yeah, pocket watches. Remember those things? Not only should we all be carrying one around like the old days, they should look and work exactly like Paul’s design. Here’s the scoop.

Time is the Future

Does yanking the innards out of a time-piece and replacing it with electronic lights mean it’s futuristic? Absolutely. First watches, then you. So, just a little warning there. And one software to design the electronics going in all these modded bits? SolidWorks. It’s what Paul used to get everything sized up just right for the limited space.

I used Solidworks to model the case housing and plot out the position of the PCB surface relative to the stem (knob shaft). It showed me that there was no way to use the encoder I wanted to, without cutting a hole in the PCB – that would have been a costly mistake to figure out after having the boards made!

He goes on to tell about the inspiration behind the Pocket Watch with more details on what he used. We’ve got some images and video below, but you can see the entire LED Pocket Watch project here. Thanks to Mark Treadwell who sent this in and may very well be inspired by this project to create a custom LED jacket to impress the ladies.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.