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The SmarchWatch: An open-source smartwatch that you can build yourself

Practically professional: The SmarchWatch. Not available in stores. (Image source: Samson March)
Practically professional: The SmarchWatch. Not available in stores. (Image source: Samson March)
Are you a fan of open source? Do you like making things? If so, then the SmarchWatch, a homebrew smartwatch, could be the ideal project for you. You will need a 3D printer and plenty of patience though.

Move aside Apple, Garmin and Samsung, there is an open source smartwatch in town. Electrical engineer and product designer Samson March, who posts under the username u/smarchbme on Reddit, has created a smartwatch from scratch that stands out from mass-produced smartwatches with its wood-effect design. What's more, he has graciously published on GitHub how he made it with a full bill of materials, PCB files, schematics and the software he has written to get his creation working with his iPhone too.

The SmarchWatch features a wood-fill polylactic acid (PLA) watch casing that is a blend of 70% plastic, and 30% sawdust, which can be 3D printed like plastic but also sanded down like wood. The wearable has a 1.3-inch 240 x 240, LCD panel, an accelerometer, 128 MB of flash storage and a 3.7 V coin-cell lithium-ion battery. March has integrated a Dialog Semiconductor DA14683 microcontroller chip too for Bluetooth support. The watch even has its purpose-built charging stand, which charges via micro USB.

The SmarchWatch can display most iPhone notifications like calendar appointments, emails and texts, although there a few exceptions. The device does not yet support music playback controls, for example, but March has not ruled out finding a solution to enable them.

You can follow March's progress on GitHub and read about the initial development of the SmarchWatch on Imgur. March is active on Reddit too where he has been answering questions and queries about the wearable. He does not appear to have any plans to mass-produce his homebrew smartwatch, but you can create your own by following his guides on GitHub and buy the PCB he designed at PCBWay. He is even taking ideas and suggestions to help mature the project on GitHub. March receives 10% from each PCB purchase, for full disclosure.

The SmarchWatch (Image source: Samson March)
The SmarchWatch (Image source: Samson March)
A look at the micro USB powered SmarchWatch charging cradle. (Image source: Samson March)
A look at the micro USB powered SmarchWatch charging cradle. (Image source: Samson March)
A look at the SmarchWatch in its charging cradle. (Image source: Samson March)
A look at the SmarchWatch in its charging cradle. (Image source: Samson March)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 05 > The SmarchWatch: An open-source smartwatch that you can build yourself
Alex Alderson, 2019-05- 2 (Update: 2019-05- 2)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.