Always a fascination, this Fashion and Design business especially when you consider that without either one, not only would the watch world be a dull place, but so would much of the rest of the planet. I put the two disciplines together intentionally here, as one without the other often doesn’t work and regarding watch models I think that’s certainly true.
The design concept is important here – some new designers go out of their way to produce a “new” way of reading time itself, though in my experience this rarely works. The results invariably clash with what I call the basic “law of the watch”, which is – you have to be able to read the darned thing – at a glance!
So I’m not going to feature these (in another Post perhaps), but concentrate on those Designers and Brands that often use the most basic digital or clock displays, but add around them a design or fashion statement of their own. The price point can’t be too high, as the technical aspect of the watch is quite low, though that said, they can command a “designer” premium, which like reputation can often see surprising prices.
The models I’ve featured here are in what I consider the low tech, high design category and I like each of them. They also meet my simple criteria of clarity, pleasing form, sensible cost and versatility too, perhaps of color or style.
Take the Digital Grande from Normal Timepieces. Designer Ross McBride has produced a rather elegant plain round watch with a simple stainless almost seamless case incorporating a simple digital one line display. The difference here from say Bosch who produce a similar minimalist piece, is that the display black ground is indistinguishable from the black dial background, which shows the reverse digits perfectly. The glass is also quite non-reflective, so clarity is guaranteed. It’s also a good size at 38mm diameter so fits all as it were and is fitted with a black plain leather strap. The price in the UK is around £125
The second model is this time is using the conventional clock with hands style, but reminiscent of the Art-Deco age with it’s choice of hands, number fonts and colors. The Project watch designed by Fredi Brodmann. The Folly.
Here the designer has incorporated touches that appeal to his love of art-deco and aviation – the dial set up is reminiscent architecturally of old clocks and that red second hand with it’s large overlap is matched almost suddenly by the red button which when operated lights up the dial center so it can be seen in the dark. I particularly like the inner chapter and white dial space that reminds me very much of the old clock era. I also like the fact that the stainless watch case measures just 36mm diameter and is only 7.35mm thick, so is much neater then it’s image. A suede leather band is fitted and the watch has a Water Resistance of 3 ATM. The price is £115 here in the UK.
The third model is a more mainstream brand – the Nixon Atom – a model that’s been around for a while, but has a certain design flair that incorporates a fairly basic digital movement with a very modern yet stylish case and strap combination. This model comes in many different guises, colors, materials and prices, so much so that it can match most occasions. From high quality leather double straps to steel bracelets and so on.
Here we see two versions which show the versatility of the model range quite clearly.
Also with a 50m Water Resistance, 9mm thin case and 37mm or 39mm case width (it seem to vary according to some sellers), and around 45mm lug to lug it should fit small wrists. The wide band is 32mm band and features a double pin buckle, which makes sense owing to the width. I understand there is also a back light for the display.
Being mainstream it also can be available for around £50 in the UK, though I note there are various prices being offered, some of which are considerably higher.
So just a taste of fashion and design and how these two disciplines don’t have to mean silly almost unreadable models or over the top prices.
I hope to feature more in future Posts.
Categories: Watch reviews