Sony returns to crowdfunding for its next e-paper watch

The FES Watch U is much nicer, but still lets you customize the watch face and the band.

Miss out on Sony's original crowdfunded watch? You're about to get a second chance... at least, if you live in Japan. It's running a campaign to fund the FES Watch U, a more polished-looking version of its e-paper wristwear. You can still customize the always-on face and band (with or without a phone), but it's decidedly posher. Where the previous model looked more like an experiment, the Watch U has a steel body and (on the black premium model) scratch-resistant sapphire glass that make it more of a fashion item. As you might guess, the choice of energy-efficient e-paper gives it a healthy battery life of three weeks.

It'll take a pledge of between ¥44,710 and ¥59,940 ($438 to $587) to get a watch for yourself, assuming Sony meets its funding target by October 7th. You'd get your timepiece in April 2017. The big question, though, is whether or not the FES Watch U will ever leave Japanese shores. History suggests that it's unlikely (at best, it reached Japanese retail stores), but this is also a more refined product -- it may stand a better chance of selling abroad.