Six watches with interesting design elements –
In a world of homogeneity, products that think outside the box are definitely a welcome addition. This is especially true in the watch industry.
There’s nothing wrong with going a conservative route, with tried and tested ideas that will keep both the top line and the bottom line happy – financially speaking. It is after all a business, and profitability is the key to the game. Nobody wants to lose money, right?
But what if there are visionaries (or some might say, crazy individuals) who are willing to go against the crowd? In this week’s article, we focus on aesthetically interesting watches. These are watches that we think are definitely different from the usual suspects, with some quirky visual ideas or concepts not commonly found in most watches. What are some of the watches we have selected? Let us find out!
Rado True Square Tej Chauhan
We start the article with the sparkling Rado True Square Tej Chauhan, which is undoubtedly one of our favorite novelties of 2021.
We’ve always talked about the industry’s reluctance to follow through on bold ideas, but True Square Tej Chauhan proves otherwise. The cheerful, bright yellow square watch is designed by an award-winning British industrial designer, with interesting sci-fi and retro-inspired touches. Plus, the 38mm looks pretty much like a lot of other coins – and it’s certainly a welcome addition to the scene.
The price of S$2,710 is also rather compelling. For such an unusual watch, it is usually reserved for the upper echelons of watch collection. Fixing it in a more accessible range is certainly a good move, and its relative popularity is a testament to the great job Rado has done with this marvelous piece.
Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein The Diptych
When it comes to interesting designs and bold touches, the Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Le Diptyque is a timepiece that might come to mind.
This pair of watches follows a series of successful collaborations between Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein, the latter best known for his funky timepieces produced from the 1990s to the start of the new millennium.
The watches, in particular, came with an interesting case and lug design. This, in combination with the original elements of Alain Silberstein, makes Le Diptyque rather interesting and refreshing. We love the play of colors, shapes and hands on this pair of beautiful timepieces.
The watches are priced at CHF 4,000 each (about S$5,683) and they are limited to a production run of 178 pieces each. It is also available as a duo, at 7,777 CHF (about S$11,048). The latter is limited to 56 sets. This is a brilliant casual watch, and sure to be a conversation starter on any occasion.
Gorilla Fastback GT Drift “Elise”
Making a strong statement for a new brand is by no means an easy task, but Gorilla seems to have found the right recipe with the irresistible 44mm Fastback GT Drift “Elise”.
Inspired by the designs of the 60s and 70s, which we believe are the “golden age” of incredibly original watch designs, Gorilla aims to produce watches that are both interesting and timeless. For the Drift, this was achieved through the use of an elusive “wandering hours” mechanism – typically seen on high-end independent brands such as Urwerk and H. Moser & Cie. Additionally, this was achieved with an ETA 2824-2 movement with a Vaucher module, which means Gorilla is also capable of maintaining more modest price points.
The Gorilla Fastback GT Drift “Elise” is limited to a production run of 350 pieces, and this special model has a case made of four different materials: Ceramic, Aluminum, Titanium and Carbon Fiber. It is priced at S$5,088 which is a good price for a conversation piece with a very rare complication to boot.
Omega Seamaster Ploprof
When it comes to dive watches, there are far more similarities than differences when placed vis à vis with each other. But the Omega Seamaster Ploprof is somewhat different from the others.
Launched in 1970, the Ploprof is a collaboration between Omega and Jacques Cousteau to create an extremely water-resistant watch. The result is an extremely waterproof case that uses one-piece construction, along with a self-locking crown system and a patented bezel locking mechanism.
The modern iteration follows the same case aesthetic, with additional features such as a helium escape valve (HEV), additional water resistance (up to 1200m depth) and a new movement coaxial. Coupled with the shark mesh bracelet, the Ploprof is a throwback to the 70s where Omega really thrived with amazing watch designs.
Pricing for the Seamaster Ploprof 1200 starts at S$12,350 for the stainless steel variant. Frankly, the Ploprof is a controversial piece – either you like the design or you don’t. We certainly like the watch, and think it’s a well-made diver’s watch that’s very different from the crowd. The Ploprof is definitely an interesting piece to add to any watch collection.
Ressence Type 8C
Ressence may be a young brand, but it is already making a name for itself with its series of ultra-modern and original timepieces.
The Type 8C is the latest from Ressence, with an entry-level version of its unique aesthetics and mechanical engineering. The watch features an egg-shaped case, as well as a huge domed sapphire crystal that gives the watch its unique look. We also find the brand’s convex “regulator-style” dial, with eccentric satellites rolling on ruby ball bearings inclined at 9.75°.
There is something special about Ressence watches, and having an entry-level model certainly allows more people to enjoy the brand’s watches. The watch is not just a look – the technical elements, in particular the ROCS (Ressence Orbital Convex System) module, are also a mechanical marvel. Notably, the watch is priced at CHF12,500 (about S$17,758), and we reckon the future is certainly bright for this fledgling watchmaker.
H. Moser Streamliner Automatic Flyback Chronograph
The Streamliner, launched in January 2020, is one of the most interesting timepieces in H. Moser & Cie’s already sublime repertoire. Taking inspiration from the 1970s, the organic-looking watch features a curvaceous case with an integrated strap. The watch is also equipped with a sleek dial, but with the brand’s signature smoke and an additional claw (French for scratched, or scratched) treatment to it. The end result is amazing and provides a visual treat for the collector. We also love the white and minute tracks on the dial peripherals, which accentuate the 1970s design cues.
In particular, the watch is powered by the HMC 902 caliber, a movement co-developed with Agenhor. The self-winding movement has a power reserve of approximately 54 hours and the winding rotor is mounted between the dial and the movement. This allows the user to see the movement in all its glory from the back of the exhibition case. The latter is certainly important, given that the HMC 902 is a well-finished movement with all standards high quality watchmaking items checked as “well done”.
The 42.3mm H. Moser Streamliner is priced at S$60,700. The watch has a great design and the movement is equally convincing. Definitely worth considering if looking for a strong and bold watch that stands out in a crowd.
We’re happy to say that what we’ve covered today, in retrospect, is just the tip of the iceberg. Since there are a few other watches that we think deserve a spot on the list, we might just follow up on this particular topic in the coming weeks.
Naturally, most of our selections come from independent watch manufacturers, which enjoy greater autonomy in the exercise of the creative sphere of the brand. On that note, we’re also happy to be able to include some watches from major conglomerates, such as Rado and Omega. We hope the success of these watches – especially the True Square Tej Chauhan Edition – will inspire the biggest names and brands to do something bolder.
What do you think of this week’s article and selection? Do you prefer to see watches with more original designs, or do you prefer the brand to focus on producing better finished timepieces? Let us know in the comments section below!