Watchy v3 (New 2024) has arrived, lets collaborate on an ESPHome firmware?

My new (2024) Watchy hardware module arrived last week and Im happy and excited!

Watchy is an open-hardware and open-source wrist-watch module with an ESP32 and ePaper display.

Ive created an ESPHome configuration for it with time, weather, multiple watch faces, timers and customizable HA (or MQTT) sensor states.

I would really like and welcome any improvements and contributions from anyone in the ESPHome community who is interested. Its up on Github here:

ESPHome is excellent and makes it so easy and quick to get the basics (boilerplate) hardware functionality up and running so that further mental energy can be directed towards cool watch features.

Im curious where did you get v3 from there is no mention of it on their website

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Hi ardenking, I received my new one from Mouser Electronics. If you go to watchy website and click “Buy Watchy!” in the top-right corner, it links to Mouser.

I waited over a year for mine on back-order and was surprised to receive a version that is different from their open-hardware documentation. Fortunately, it was relatively easy to convert my v2 ESPHome config over to v3.

You can see SQFMI have made recent commits (in the last few days) to their Github repos referring to v3. This is where I found the details about new use of ESP32-S3 and pins.

New pins for v3 on line 9:

So far, SQFMI has not yet updated their website or hardware designs. So, despite the big claim on the front of the Watchy packaging, it is not currently “open” hardware. I assume and hope they will find time to do this soon.

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Will watch with interest bought a T-watch a while back, but got pissed with the battery life and it’s being say in a draw since.

How much can you interact with HA with this one ?

That is a very good question! I already have some notes related to that in my README linked below.

So far, the new v3 seems to have a much better battery life than the v2, but its hard to say if that is just the new LiPo or related to the S3 (ESP32-S3). I have not had it long enough to really know or adjust any parameters yet. However, for the v2 I found any kind of frequent interactivity would drain the battery very fast.

However, my approach, and what I want form a wrist watch, is largely a passive, read-only, at-a-glance device but rich with personalized information.

I also want some retro-digital-watch interactivity (like an 80s Casio G-Shock) with timers, calendars and time-zones …but modernized, with improved UI and shorter-cycle iterative development thanks to ESPHome.* Most of that kind of interactivity does not require powering-on the Wifi so the battery can last quite a long time.

Maybe others here will agree with me on those things and want to contribute! :grinning:

Of course, the crucial, long-battery-life advantage of the ePaper display is that it is always-on, showing the latest information at-a-glance, without having to power-up a color-screen device like the T-watch every time you raise your wrist.

It is a critical requirement for me to have a device that can easily connect to Home Assistant (or MQTT) because that means HA can do all the heavy lifting such as the integrations with weather services, alert services, calendars and other sensor summaries. (Essentially HA is normalizing, caching and repackaging the information.) So then the ESPHome code on the watch can be much simpler and quickly pull down some basic packets a few times a day, much improving overall battery life.**

My watch runs for more than 24h on one charge with the usage patterns outlined above.

It is, of course, easy with ESPHome to also send commands back to HA (such as setting a scene or deactivating a house alarm) but that means waking the device (and WiFi) frequently and depleting the battery faster. I personally find it quicker and simpler to use a voice assistant (Siri) for all that.

(*Of course, I could just go buy an Apple Watch for all that, but I actually find the Apple Watch to have very poor UX, low customization options and very slow and difficult to write code for.)

(**Note, what I state there are my goals, not what I have done yet.)