Monday, November 19, 2012

In search for the minimalist watch

Since childhood I have been very fond of watches. I like collecting them and wearing them. Of course due to my limited budget I can only afford a few of the ones I like, but still I have a considerable collection of various kinds of watches, from analog to digital, from plastic to steel, from quartz to automatic. It is fascinating to see how the interpretation of time can be displayed in such a variety of ways.

But then I stopped purchasing when I got my dream watch, which I've been wearing almost everyday. I feel sorry for my collection of watches but for many reasons I keep wearing this single one.

However, during my recent German research exchange I had an idea of getting something to signify my stay, and after some digging I ended up looking at watches. I in particular admire the Bauhaus ideology of keeping design simple yet functional, and I ended up getting myself a watch by a German company called Botta Design:

Designed, made, and bought in Germany.
The interesting thing about this watch is it has only one hand. I really like the simplistic look of it and the color combination. However, the trade-off of having just one hand is you can only tell time up to the accuracy of 5-10 minutes. It's also not very practical if you are in motion as you really have to stand still to see where the hand is pointing at.

This also triggered my search for the most minimalist watch, but this time it has to be functional, and of course affordable. One brand that immediately comes to mind is Movado. It's very simple, but very expensive. But price aside, it's not practical as it has no markers for minutes -- you cannot tell what the time is accurately. After some search, I found a British company called Uniform Wares. It has some really nice designs and eventually I got myself a 103 series, which is the one I could afford:

Uniform Wares 103 series.
To my surprise this design is very rare and I haven't been able to find something similar. This is of course a good thing, but at the same time a bit surprising, as one would expect such a simple design should appear among many brands. In any cases, I'm very happy with my purchase.

Many people are now forgoing wearing a watch as their phones and computers have the time-telling function already, but to me it's a statement of style, and a constant reminder of the technical marvel we human can do in such a small scale.


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