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The Monohm Runcible: a smartphone pocket watch

Here’s a smart new idea – a retro-styled smartphone which looks like a pocket watch.

The Monohm Runcible is an innovative new gadget which is designed to span the gap between a smartphone and wearable, which the company hopes will usher in a “post-smartphone era”, no less.

It is, essentially, a palm-sized disc with a wooden rear which looks like a pocket watch, or indeed as Monohm puts it, the gadget is modelled on “the compact, the compass, [or] the magical stone in your hand”. There’s certainly something very satisfying about the retro look of the thing.

There’s a display on the front, along with a camera nestled in the wood finish on the rear, and the device has a nice hefty feel, according to C-Net. You can use it to browse the web (it supports LTE and Wi-Fi), make calls and texts – everything a normal smartphone would do, save for run apps. In the latter respect, you’re limited to web services – the device runs Firefox OS.

The idea is for a simpler digital life, and indeed the Runcible won’t ever beep at you, send notifications or otherwise demand your attention – it’ll simply sit quietly in your pocket, and tell you the time when you glance at it (the default for the display isn’t a home screen, but a watch face). On top of this, thanks to its streamlined nature it has a claimed four day battery life, which is certainly an added attraction.

Monohm states: “Just as the truth about time is available on a legacy timepiece, Runcible distils your Digital Life for you in clean, quiet, glanceable ways. Beautifully designed and built to last, Runcible is the premier device for the post-smartphone era.”

We rather like this idea, and Monohm will be showing off its new invention at MWC next week – it’ll be interesting to see the gadget in action.

You can sign up to pre-order the device now, with pre-orders opening on a “rolling basis in the coming weeks”, the company notes. Runcible will be released later this year.