With advances in materials, manufacturing and technology, a designers most creative and inspired designs can now be realised. In fact as I write this article I have the ‘o-ring’ watch by French designer Philippe Starck fastened to my wrist (which looks like something from an alien film with its contoured stainless steel, and distinctive hole right where you would expect the watch face to be.) It is head turning watches like this and the thousands of others that are bringing about a new buzz in the timekeeping world. In practical terms the need for a watch no longer really exists, now that the majority of the developed world carry around small mobile communication devices that not only display the time, they make calls, play your music, send your emails and so much more we certainly no longer need one for the functionality – and it is for this very reason that the concept of the boring, functional watch has been liberated! Now that actually providing the time is not a designers or manufactures primary concern a watch can be bold, daring, wacky and sometimes downright incomprehensible just because they can now (I urge you just to Google image ‘Tokyo Flash Watches’ to see some crazy examples of this.)
If a watch is no longer used to primarily deliver the time, it does beg the question – what purpose does it actually serve?
Well it would seem that the wristwatch has now adapted to the times and organically carved out a new purpose (and a very important one in an age where our very lifestyles revolve around mass manufacturing, mass media, mass marketing etc…) It is a means of EXPRESSION, an opportunity to stand out and be different without being ‘try hard’ or obvious about it. I always say that watch is way of attracting the right kind of attention.
I’m a self-confessed nerd (which is great because people tell me they’re ‘in’ at the moment) and my watch collection reflects this (EG. the previously mention Fossil ‘o-ring’, the Tokyo Flash ‘on air’ and the LED bracelet watch) all of which have people commenting as I’m handing over my credit card in a store, delivering a presentation in the office, shaking hands with someone for the first time. it is a conversation starter and people on a weekly basis ask me where I got it from. When a person sees something unique, different and original it immediately grabs their interest and make you more interesting and dare I say it… cool.