Ever since the first gentleman pulled out a pocket watch after its discovery in 1501, these quaint timepieces have been a status symbol. The history of timepieces actually reflects the change in fashion across ages, coming to the designs that showcase our modern, quirky, and inventive times! As a product that is flaunted across the ages and across sexes, each timepiece here is designed to be a reflection of your personality. Distinguishing from the luxury watch crowd, the designs in this round-up aim to stand out and we are sure that these will be a conversation starter wherever you go!
This quirky timepiece – a limited edition Redundant Watch for MOMA by Ji Lee and Anicorn tells time twice! Instead of the conventional hour markers in a watch, the watch face features clock hands. The hour numbers are completely replaced by a mini arrangement of hands to display each hour of the day. However, these mini clock hands are still, whereas the larger running hands tell the minutes and the hour. Featuring a 40mm case, the watch is unisex. The 316L stainless-steel enclosed casing is available in color options of black and silver. Not to mention the casing is ultra-thin, only 7.5mm. Running on a Miyota GL20 Japanese movement, the watch is a part of Anicorn’s Trio of Time Series. Its straps are interchangeable with the strap of any other watch in the TTT series.
Meet the Garbage Watch by Vollebak, a watch made by repurposing the electronic waste we throw out every year. Rapidly changing technology has given rise to a culture of disposable electronics – everything from phones to TV, gadgets are not designed to last long. This electronic waste contains many of the world’s precious metals like silver, platinum, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminum, and zinc. You’ll find 7% of the world’s gold in e-waste! Vollebak changed their approach to the problem, they explained “So our Garbage Watch started with a very simple idea. What if garbage isn’t garbage? What if it’s simply pre-assembled raw materials that we can use to make new things. It’s why everything you can see on the Garbage Watch used to be something else – a motherboard from your computer, a microchip in your smartphone, or wiring from your TV.”
The VFD watch by Nixoid Command sports a gorgeous steampunk design that, in the era of smartwatches, feels like the perfect alternative to a timepiece that captures all your data and tracks every move. Fitted on the inside with Vacuum Fluorescent Displays encased in glass cylinders that perfectly resemble Nixie tubes, the VFD watch comes in two variants, a traditional-looking circular Space Watch, and a rectangular Cyber Watch that looks more eye-catching. Both watch variants come with a steel body that’s fitted with proprietary Vacuum Fluorescent Displays that showcase the time. The watches revive VFD technology (commonly found in cassette players and other electronic products in the 70-80s), which eventually went obsolete after LCD screens made their debut. Each watch comes precisely fitted with VFD tubes that help tell the time.
This cool space-themed watch by UNDONE (a brand has always shown a penchant for space) has created the SpaceXplorer watch that pays homage to the 2014 SpaceX Dragon V2 spacecraft. It is a limited-edition timepiece that celebrates achievements that we have made in terms of design, technology, and innovation. This special watch pays great attention to detail and you will recognize those little things instantly if you are a space nerd. For instance, it features styling elements from the new SpaceX ultra-modern space suits. Then it takes it up a notch by using the Dragon V2 capsule’s design details – the grey dial ring, white indices, and the unique hands which are modeled off of the capsules white oblong shaped indices and windows.
The Adesse Watch literally has a watch strap and face. It strips away the watch of everything Jansen believes can be removed, but still retains the watch’s functionality. The watch has absolutely no hands, a plain, unbranded face, and even uses minimal markings around the rim of the inside of the case, rather than on the dial itself. This results in the watch’s dial being an absolute empty canvas. Taking inspiration from an hourglass’s ability to use shadows to tell time, Adesse comes with an offset on the surface of its watch-dial. The offset casts a slight shadow, making it visible as a hand, which points to the time.
Designed taking inspiration from marine voyaging vessels, the Ganymede Series 01 by Bala Radharamanan doesn’t have a watch face as much as it has a porthole. The rounded-square watch body comes with a capsule-shaped window that has a unique way of telling the time. Peer through the capsule-shaped window and you see a bunch of numbers arranged in concentric arcs. Multiple hands make rounds of the watch’s vertical face, pointing out the time. Follow the hand’s color and read the number that it points to of the corresponding color, and there you have it. It does have a learning curve, but that’s the price of having something as uniquely alluring as the Ganymede Series 01.
“Time is not just a number but also a story of the life”, says designer Xundi Li, who has, through the Gemic, attempted at giving time a shape. Ultimately each moment in your day is different from the last, and the Gemic watch tries to reflect that, by looking different with each passing minute. The watch consists of two different 3D layers that sit atop each other, rotating to tell the time. Ridges on the layers indicate what time it is, and the layers themselves come with amoeba-shaped cutouts that rotate as the layers do, creating a visualization in the center of the watch’s face… right in the middle of which sits Gemic’s branding.
Forfeiting the original 34 mm case, Swatch adopted a more impressive 47 mm dial, fully transparent with a semi-transparent silicone strap! This adds a pop of modernity to The Big Bold Jelly and to be honest, prevents us from squinting our eyes whenever we need to know the time. Crafted from plastic, the case features a height of 44.80 mm and a thickness of 11.75 mm. The larger case has been teamed up with red, blue, and yellow hands, making for a watch that looks as though it likes to have some fun! The splash of color adds a certain edge to an otherwise subtle watch.
The Argo’s layered dial comes with a date-window, and with artwork that pulls inspiration from the constellation as well as the sextant, a navigational instrument. Designed by Cesare Zuccaro, the watch’s second hand even resembles the lens on the sextant, with its hollow ring shape that forms a halo around the numbers on the dial as it smoothly makes its way in a circle. The watch comes encased in a 316L Stainless Steel body, topped with a sapphire glass. Nominated for an A’ Design Award, Argo lets you choose between a Milanese-style chainlink strap as well as a strap made out of premium Italian leather, both designed to complement the watch’s remarkable interstellar appeal!
The Black Watch 01 by Joe Mansfield and Ken Tomita of Grovemade with Stefan Andrén ditches the traditional analog design for a circular wooden face. The hand-sanded walnut face was dyed a beautiful black with Japanese calligraphy ink and topped off with a clear lacquer. Oxidized to a deep black, the stainless steel module complements the face perfectly. However, this is where it gets even more interesting. Foregoing the classical dials you usually see on watches, Grovemade adopted twelve little circles to represent the time, instead of the usual numbers. A peek at the watch will reveal not numbers, but round holes that will guide you, and be sure to watch out for the orange-and-white-colored ones!
Whether it’s via the air, land, or sea, fantastic voyages have long inspired timepiece design and the modern Odyssey watch by Sahil Ravjit & Andra Wibisono is no exception. The masculine design looks to our eventual space travel as inspiration for its subtly futuristic yet sophisticated aesthetic. It’s an elegant, modern take on a classic precision timepiece – the chronograph. Its distinguished sub-dials have marked plates in place of traditional hands, creating the illusion of time passing as numbers slowly vanish out of sight. Dotted markers orbit at varying speeds, drawing the eye to a graceful movement while indicated the time elapsed.