The TickTime 2 Standard Timer is a kinetic gadget that does only one thing: measure elapsed time. It’s simplicity itself to use – place the timer on its side and it counts down, place the timer screen down and it counts up. Can it really be that simple? Let’s take a look.
Think of the TickTime Timer as a digital egg timer. It is the size of a large egg, but it’s shaped nothing like an egg. It’s hexagonal like a small piece of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The outside is a silvery plastic with the numbers 3, 5, 10, 15, 25, 30 embedded on the flat sides. One end has a simple light up display and speaker grille but the other has small circular colour screen with push buttons on each side and a USB C charging port. There’s a short USB A to USB C cable for charging but no charger (not that I’d really expect one).
This display shows the count down / up time, with tiny little indicators for volume and battery. There’s an outer ring that loses segments as the time counts down.
The TickTime has three modes of operation.
1) If you want to measure elapsed time, place the TickTime screen down and the light on the end will flash. When you’ve finished timing, pick up and turn it over to see the elapsed time on the screen.
2) If you want to time 3, 5, 10, 15, 25 or 30 minutes, place the TickTime down on a flat side with the desired number of minutes upwards. The selected time will flash blue and countdown time will show on the screen.
3) If you want to time a specific interval, e.g. 1’30”, use the buttons on the left and right of the screen to set the time. Then place the TickTime down and it will count down from the selected time.
Obviously when the countdown gets to zero, the numbers light up and an alarm goes off – it’s a simple beep-beep – and there are four volume levels including a silent level. At full volume, the alarm is piercing and you’re not going to miss it.
The timer has one final trick up its sleeve as the base is gently magnetic meaning that it can be stored on a fridge, steel noticeboard or any other magnetic surface. It’s a nice touch but the magnet could be a bit stronger as it sometimes wouldn’t stay at the selected orientation. For example, I couldn’t use the built-in 10 minute timer as it would twist round and reset the timer.
The screen doesn’t come out particularly well in the photos but it’s very readable indoors. In terms of battery life, I used the TickTime for a couple of weeks for the review and the battery level is still at three bars.
On the whole, the TickTime timer does exactly what it’s supposed to do – and it’s perfect for use in the kitchen or for playing games when you need to set a limit to the turn time. There are a few flaws though. It can be tricky figuring out which way is up! Sometimes I’d be staring at the numbers on the screen in confusion until I turned the timer over and it was the right way up.
One minor irritation is the when counting up, the screen goes dark, so you can’t have a sneaky look at the elapsed time by lifting it up without turning it over. It would be handy if the display stayed on. I’d also be tempted to colour the push buttons silvery-grey to match the outside and provide a little more visual interest.
In addition to keeping control of turns in games, the TickTime will be of interest to practitioners of the Pomodoro technique. This is a time management methodology that splits activities into pomodoros of 25 minutes each followed by short breaks of 5-10 minutes. The TickTime is perfect for tracking those activity and rest periods.
The TickTime was originally an Indiegogo campaign back in 2020, raising over US$400,000. Today on Amazon.co.uk it’s UK£38.99 though there is currently a 5% discount coupon available. According to CamelCamelCamel, the price has previously been as low as £23 but that was a few years ago pre-pandemic. At full RRP, I think that’s a little pricey, so look out for the occasional price drop. Obviously there’s competition out there, mainly from apps on phones or digital assistants like Alexa (though I can’t get Alexa to count upwards), but if you want a dedicated timer without distractions, the TickTime seems a reasonable choice.
Overall, it’s a neat little gadget with a few flaws and if timing is your thing, it’s worth a look.
Disclaimer: The TickTime 2 Standard Timer was provided for review by TickTime at no cost.