Watch Design

Ziiiro Eclipse.

I’m a watch guy. I like the design of a nice timepiece, and I like the direct functional usefulness of what a watch is and does. Well I suppose I should say what it did, since the smartwatch is supposedly going to change everything. Actually I’m sticking with the original statement. I like what my analog watches do, and no smartwatch will ever get me to switch.

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Designer Robert Dabi has created a new time piece for Ziiiro called the “Eclipse”. Based on the natural phenomenon it is named after, the minimalist watch uses a patented Swiss “Super-Luminova Pigment” to illuminate the watch face and dial to allow for high visibility both day and night. This watch glows in the dark with sufficient activation by sunlight or artificial light and the technology allows for longer luminosity on a full charge.

Eclipse comes in a variety of options including a rose gold version, although at $219.00 I can tell you it’s not solid gold, but rather gold-plated. None the less all versions of the watch, do one thing. They present you with the time of day, which is what a watch is supposed to do right?

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The Animated Movement of Time.

I’ll admit it, I’m a watch guy. I like the art, craft, design, and engineering that goes into a nice looking time piece. I’ll also say that I am not a watch snob. I’m the guy that appreciates the quality of a Patek Philippe Calatrava, but also appreciates the understated design of Braun watches designed by Dieter Rams. I think the second half of that statement is the heart of it for me. The watches I own, are all fairly simple in the way they look. Nothing to flashy, nothing that shows off to much. All of this leads me to California-based designer Matt Johnston (no relation to me) who also loves watches,, clean design, and author of the website Wrist.

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Wrist began as a sideline project to help Johnston improve his illustration skills, and eventually morphed into it’s own world of animated watch graphics collaborating with other designers. Wrist is a website / project featuring animated watch illustrations modeled after some of Johnston’s favorite watches. For Johnston watches are the perfect medium for design since they combine typography, color and movement to create a functional work of art. Wrist posts a new animation bi-weekly and if you are a designer interested in collaborating with Matt, he is looking for talented help with his project.

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Autodromo Monoposto.

I’m a watch guy. I like well designed, beautiful, analog watches. I don’t buy a traditional time piece for superior accuracy. I know that a digital watch or my phone is a more accurate reference for keeping time. I like an old school watch because of the way it looks, the fact that it keeps pretty accurate time, and that in many cases represents good design, or makes an artistic statement.

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Most of the watches I own, are fairly subtle. Clean lines, nothing over the top. The chronographs maybe have a couple of extra dials, one has a somewhat garish racing stripe. The biggest display of their mechanical nature is actually hidden on the back in a presentation case. I like that. It’s a detail I know about, but isn’t on display saying “look at me”, showing off.

Yesterday when I was reading an article on Petrolicious, I saw an ad for Autodromo watches, and was attracted by the clean and easy to read dial. I clicked through and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Especially with the Monoposto. Their first mechanical watch with a presentation case limited to 500 units being made.

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These watches look really nice, they have great attention to detail, and the price point won’t break the bank. They are the creative vision of founder Bradley Price, an industrial designer who set design and produce unique products that express the spirit of motoring. The design philosophy is a blend of contemporary, and minimalist sensibilities with mid-century vintage character steeped in automotive enthusiasm.  Because of this, Autodromo  products are equally at home in past and present.  The watches are designed in-house by a small team with the goal of creating special, memorable experience for the discerning individual.

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Lambretta Watches.

logohomeI like, and own a number of fine timepieces. I also used to own a very nice Lambretta back in the day.  Actually I wish I still had my TV 175, but alas it went away years ago, and I simply don’t have the time and patience to maintain one these days. The scooter is not the subject of this post, neither are luxury timepieces. This post does however combine Lambretta, and watches.

Lambretta, still manufactures motor scooters, although none of them in my opinion are as iconic as the classics from the 1960’s. That doesn’t mean they aren’t stylish designs, I just prefer the look of the vintage scooter. Lambretta like so many other brands has branched out over the last few years and now extends their name to lifestyle accessories that help promote the primary brand. In this case Lambretta has developed a line of Swiss made watches along with a handful of other fashion accessories.

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These watches are modern fashion accessories with a Lambretta inspired retro twist. The watch collection is clearly inspired by the look, design, and spirit of Lambretta scooters. The watches feature unique designs that are inspired by Lambretta’s racing history and mod scooter culture of the 1950’s and 60’s. While I wouldn’t compare these to something like a Rolex, they are fun, and the retro design styling looks great. The watches range from the simple minimalist “Franco: design, to the racing inspired chronograph “Imola”. The entire collection has a really nice look to it, and they appear to be well constructed with solid materials.  Like the Lambretta scooter, these watches are eye-catching, and have an affordable price point.

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