I’m a big fan of Yes watches. I reviewed the Yes Zulu two years ago, and I have the black Kundalini which never fails to draw attention. So when I heard some time ago that Yes was working on an all-digital watch, the project piqued my interest. The Zulu and the Kundalini are stunning watches, but somewhat overpower my narrow wrist, so I hoped a digital Yes watch would give me the unique and innovative perspective on time that is the signature of Yes watches, but in a more appropriately sized package.
The Yes Tati is precisely that. By replacing the analog 24-hour hand that distinguishes the rest of the lineup with an LCD, Yes was able to remove an entire quartz movement and extra battery. The result is a much smaller watch which is just as unique as the other pieces, and with all the same functionality.
Although the Tati is designed for narrower wrists, I wouldn’t go so far as to classify it as a ladies watch. While it certainly looks at home on a woman’s wrist, the wide leather cuff (easily removable), especially on the black version, makes it appropriate for men, as well — especially those of us who were cursed with a combination of watch lust and skinny wrists. The soft leather strap makes the Tati both light weight, and very comfortable against the skin.
Yes watches have some of the most interesting and expressive names of any watch brand, and the Tati is no exception. I expected Tati to refer to a distant mountain range, or perhaps the name of an ancient sun goddess, but it turns out that the origins of the name are even more interesting. Tati is short for Tatiana, Yes Watches CEO Bjørn Kartomten’s daughter, and judging from my conversations with Bjørn, the inspiration for much of what he does.
If you are new to Yes watches, it’s important to realize that they are not all about aesthetics. In fact, Yes watches were specifically born out of a desire to present a more complete picture of time by bringing together manmade horological concepts like hours, minutes, and seconds with nature’s concepts of time like sunrise, sunset, and moon phases. It turns out that integrating these two words means cramming an incredible number of features into a relatively small case.
Features of the Yes Tati include:
- Solar time. This is my favorite feature of all the Yes watches, and is surprising useful. The first thing you should do when you get the Tati is set your home location (there are 586 cities to choose from, or you can set it using your longitude and latitude). This allows the Tati to calculate celestial time for your location. The outer LCD ring on the Tati is partially dark and partially light indicating day and night. One of the LCD segments flashes, which indicates the current time. Not only does this tell you whether it’s day or night, but also exactly when the sun rises and sets, and how close you are to either event. For people like photographers and pilots, having this information quickly accessible at all times is extremely valuable.
- Lunar time. The LCD ring inside the solar LCD ring indicates the position of the moon in the sky, and works the same way as the solar time LCD ring. There’s also a circular LCD below the time which indicates the moon phase, and includes little arrows to tell you whether the moon is waxing (getting larger) or waning (getting smaller).
- Multi-location support. Not only do you configure the watch with your home location, but you can also add an away location which allows you to easily display the time and date, along with celestial time data, for a second location. As I mentioned above, there are 586 preprogrammed cities to choose from, or you can enter your longitude and latitude by hand. The watch is preprogrammed with DST and time zone information for all 586 cities (good up until 2099), or you can customize it yourself if you happen to be located in a very obscure corner of the globe. Of course, the Tati also automatically adjusts for DST.
- PET (Phased Elapsed Time). In addition to the standard countdown timer, the PET lets you specify a date (year, month, and day), and a time to count down to. The watch then counts down the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds to that event, or if the event occurred in the past, the Tati will count the number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds since the event. I’ve also seen this referred to as a mission timer, and is used by organizations like NASA for obvious reasons.
- Solstice, equinox, and cross quarter alerts. The summer and winter solstices (June 21st and December 21st respectively) are the days when the sun is furthest from the earth. The vernal and autumnal equinoxes (March 20th and September 22nd, respectively) are the two days each year when the sun is directly over the equator. Cross quarter days occur at the midway points between these days. The Yes Tati celebrates them all by showing a unique LCD sun ray configuration which is subtle, but still gets your attention once you’re used to how the watch normally looks. It also flashes the event name every 30 minutes for 30 seconds.
- Time data rotation. Push and hold the top right-hand button for two seconds, and the Yes Tati will cycle through just about every conceivable time metric including your location, the full year, the day of the year (as opposed to the day of the month), the week of the year, your latitude and longitude, sunrise, sunset, solar noon, the current percentage of lunar illumination, moonrise, moonset, date and time of the next new moon (when the moon is invisible), and the date and time of the next full moon.
- Time data calculator. The Yes Tati can calculate sun and moon data for any location between the years 2000 and 2099. Just select the location, year, month, and date, and the watch will give you the day of year, longitude and latitude, sunrise, sunset, solar noon, moon illumination percentage, moon rise, moon set, date and time of the next new moon, and date and time of the next full moon.
- Sunrise and sunset alarm. The sunrise and sunset alarm will sound 30 minutes before sunrise and sunset, and right at sunrise and sunset, as well.
- Standard alarm. The Tati has a single daily alarm with a 10 minutes snooze feature.
- Stopwatch. The stopwatch on the Tati goes up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds, and has a resolution of a full second (this is not a sports watch).
- Countdown timer. The Tati’s countdown timer can be set for a maximum of 99 minutes and 59 seconds.
- Backlight. The Tati has a pleasant amber-hued backlight which illuminates the entire LCD, including the sun and moon rings.
- Stainless steel case.
- Sapphire crystal.
- Water resistant to 5 ATM, 50 meters, or about 165 feet.
- Leather strap with removable leather cuff
- Quick-release spring pins for easily removing the cuff.
As you can tell from this unique and extremely comprehensive list of features, the Yes Tati is about far more than just telling time. Or maybe a better way to say it is that the Tati is about conveying a more comprehensive sense of time. Yes watches reject the illusion that time is simply a convention for scheduling meetings and making sure we tune into our favorite television shows. Yes watches remind us of the earth’s natural rhythms, and help us incorporate them into our everyday lives. Yes watches integrate manmade time and celestial time to give us a deeper understanding — and more importantly, a deeper appreciation of — the concept of time.
By Christian Cantrell