Industrial designer Lorenzo Buffa recently launched a Kickstarter for his newest project – the Carpenter Collection. Carpenter is a series of watches that varies in materials that have flexible wooden straps. Yes, you can indeed bend it! Carpenter is a part of a grander brand that Lorenzo himself founded – Analog Watch Co., with the intention of bringing a little bit of nature into daily lives. The collection consists of different types of woods like bamboo and maple with the integration of leather free loops . The contrast between the metal watch hands and the wooden case is beautifully subtle. I’m a sucker for big watches, especially big wooden watches; they are timeless and unique. The design is minimal and efficient. If you are interested, the designer wouldn’t mind a little support. Meanwhile, I will continue fawning over the silverheart and maple design.
London based brand Uniform Wares, designers of the beautiful 100 Series wristwatches previously featured on Minimalissimo back in 2010, have recently unveiled their all-new 104 Series. This immaculate and minimalistic collection includes the PVD Black with black rubber, the Satin Bead Blasted with blue rubber, and the Brushed Steel with orange rubber. Each of which is as beautiful as the other. The 104 Series boldly plays with colour blocking and texture, using subtly different colours and contrasting materials on the cases, bezels and other elements including the dials, batons and markers. This new design is a comprehensive update to Uniform Wares’ iconic 100 collection. Instead of the pointed tip being on the hour hand as previously, it now appears on the minute hand, but it begs the question; why have a pointed tip at all? On a whole though, the design of each piece in this series certainly impresses with my preference lying with the black.
Pebble is the result of a collaboration between Jacob Juul of newly established Danish watch brand Bulbul and KiBiSi. The distinctive asymmetric watch face was inspired by the smooth contours of the pebbles found on Scandinavian beaches. Pebble combines organic shapes and fine Italian crafted leather with the industrial feel of the injection molded silicone loop defining an international hybrid of heritage and openness. Swiss movement and sapphire glass are high quality components designed to last with the design. It is available in four colour variations, but what I really enjoy is the inspiration behind the design, mixing an organic feeling and simplicity to produce a different and stylish watch.
I was recently introduced to the Melbourne based wristwatch shop of Stock, and what a beautiful collection I found. The simple designs derive from years of collecting watches and finding the right balance of function, size and precision Swiss movements. Stock has been developed through an iterative process of intense prototyping and field testing in-house. The result is the S001 Stock Watch series, a reliable daily wearer. Each watch case is precision machined to its slim profile and then hand finished. This makes the bezel extremely thin allowing the dial to be the focal point. Combined with the Italian leather strap and custom designed slim buckle, the S001 Stock watch has been engineered for comfort. Currently, there are three S001 colour variants, all of which are equally attractive in their simplicity.
I’d like to momentarily look back to this 2012 ad campaign for Calvin Klein’s ck Watch + Jewelry brand. Calvin Klein and its segments are famously minimalist brands, and this campaign featuring long-time collaborator Lara Stone and Sean O’Pry doesn’t disappoint. The images with Ms. Stone have been popping around the city of Barcelona this year and I was struck once again by the simplicity and flawless execution of the styling and make-up as well as the products themselves. The color palette of the featured image, for instance, is very striking in its pared down subtlety. As a woman interested in make-up myself, I find the nude, “no make-up make-up” approach very appealing. The campaign was produced under the creative direction of CRK, Calvin Klein, Inc.’s in-house advertising agency, working with French consulting creative director Fabien Baron and French photographer Patrick Demarchelier.
Sharing Watch is a work of Cho, Eun Whan and Shin, Tai Ho of studio MAEZM. They have equipped this unusual timepiece with something more than a reliable mechanism and an air of elegant simplicity. They gave it a communal spirit! Instead of the traditional arrangement of numbers on the dial, there is a slight shift, allowing you to see the time from the side. By simply extending your hand forward or raising it, you can share the time with others. Designers explain: Such a small change of idea enabled sharing of time with others nearby or others standing opposite site. Through this sharing in this unfamiliar change, we can newly experience the relationship with others by way of time, and that is how Maezm wanted this watch to serve. The faded numbers make the dial look minimal and uncluttered. They are also quite readable, which is essential for a piece designed to be looked at from a distance.
As we get closer to closing 2011, I thought it would be worthwile to re-visit somebody who has been featured on Minimalissimo multiple times for his visionary approach in design that never goes of out style: German industrial designer Dieter Rams. Already in the early 1980s and as a chief designer for Braun, Dieter Rams was aware and concerned by the state of the material world around him. Surrounded by what he called “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noise” he created ten principles of good design that I found appropriate to feature before we enter 2012, another year full of creativity and design. 1. Good design is innovative 2. Good design makes a product useful 3. Good design is aesthetic 4. Good design helps us to understand a product 5. Good design is unobtrusive 6. Good design is honest 7. Good design is durable 8. Good design is consequent to the last detail 9. Good design is concerned with the environment 10. Good design is as little design as possible With Mr. Rams’ words in mind, I hope you find it inspiring to either design or appreciate the design that is Good Design.
The Kiri wristwatch is the creation of one of Japan’s most notable industrial designers Masayuki Kurokawa. His minimalist aesthetic and respect for simple textures is fully pronounced in this piece. Kurokawa is known for taking the most undervalued materials and turning them into something exquisite (some of you might recall his GOM rubber series, now displayed in MoMa’s permanent collection). In this particular piece, a humble silicone bracelet is made to look beautiful. The dial, made from mineral glass, mirrors the semi-opaqueness of the bracelet and completes the look of the piece. It also makes the watch look obscure, with hands appearing as a mirage, giving a unique point of view on the fleeting nature of time itself.
Milan based designer and architect Denis Guidone has created a minimalist wrist watch for Projects Watches, named Sometimes. What you will notice about the contemporary Sometimes watch is not only the simple shape, colour and face, but the function of the hands, particularly the second hand. These elongated white hands are juxtaposed against the black dial. The second hand aligns with the minute and hour for only a moment, moving independently and appearing as if out of sync with time itself. Perhaps making this its most interesting feature. Sometimes it’s better to stop thinking about the time, whatever happens, it will not stop. Hours, minutes and seconds continue to play together. I can really appreciate the minimalist approach to this design and although I have never been particularly fond of round faced watches, I do like it. But what do you think?
Minimal design does not always have to be serious. I love the ironic nature of Denis Guidone‘s Ora Lattea watch, created for Nava Design. The piece plays with our expectations of what a traditional timepiece should be. Instead of hands there are two moving dots circling around the third one in the middle. The bigger dot represents the hour while the smaller dot represents the minute; the central dot remains fixed. It is pleasing that the brand name is displayed on the side of the watch. This way the dial remains untouched, giving the dots all the negative space they need. The Ora Lattea wristwatch is available in two sizes and suitable for both men and women.
German industrial design agency Botta Design are the creators of the lightweight SOLUS wristwatch. The elegant and unobtrusive design of SOLUS is reflected by combining functional clarity with simplicity. Perhaps not as minimal in appearance as many other watches defined as such, but I feel SOLUS, which only weighs 28g, strikes the perfect balance of being easily readable whilst also having a lack of ornamental features. For instance, the watch only features one hand in order to focus on only what is absolutely necessary, which is the position of the hour hand. Personal favourite is the solid black design. Refined, precise and beautiful.
The simple and intuitive Mutewatch , designed by Norra Norr, is a silent alarm in the shape of a vibrating wristband. It serves as a quiet reminder that helps you to follow your own agenda without disturbing people in your surroundings. By gently tapping the touch screen the time lights up. Swipe the screen to browse through the clock, alarm and timer functions. The watch features a built-in motion sensor that automatically adjusts the strength of alarm vibrations. A simple flick of the wrist activates the glowing display. Mutewatch comes in three colors; charcoal-grey, poppy-red and pure-white.