In the world of watches, Self described modern design entrepreneur Scott Wilson is known for his Presto Digital Bracelets which were a phenomenal success, remain a best seller and have achieved iconic product status. Another of his Nike credits is the Oregon Series Watch Collection, associated with Lance Armstrong’s extraordinary career in competitve cycling.
Wilson now works on design driven projects for major brands through his own MINIMAL design studios which allows him at the same time to work on design-manufacturing projects of his own, such as OOBA, his furniture line. Below are a few quotes from his keynote speech at the Asian Watch Conference held along side the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair 2008 that I managed to note:
His personal view on watches
I feel in love with watches when i went to work for Nike as global creative director. They are more personal and intimate with the user; they can define a person’s identity. I’m intrigued by the scale and intricate detail of the watch design.
I am currently developing some watches under the MNML brand and in the future I would love to create a modern classic watch for a true luxury brand.”
His current source of inspiration:
“You realize when you have a child that they have no expectations and see things in such a simplistic and pure way. For the Kezra Rhino Sculpture, I sat with my daughter and scuplted it in front of her using her response as a guide.”
On the importance of China developing it’s design scene:
“I think good design principles and processes are truly universal and should transcend cultures but there is a need for culturally specific design aesthetics and functionality in many instances. Sometimes this is more interesting than a globally homogenous solution.”
How to be design led:
“I’m jealous of Yeongkyu Yoo who is the creative director of iRiver. I worked with him at Nike and when I visited his booth at CES, he introduced me to his upper management and everyone seperately told me that they were here to support Yeongkyu’s vision. Yeoungkyu had complete creative control and everything from the product to the booth was done under his direction.”
In another example, he mentioned the initial resistance to the Presto from the Sales department at Nike in order to drive in the point that if companies want to create iconic, brand building products that connect with consumers, they have to be design led.
On how China is ready production wise to be design led:
Nike Presto was manufactured by Seiko. I later learned that they had it manufactured in China which means that they are ready. All they need is vision.
On How to design a wristwatch:
“The challenge of design for global concerns is balancing brand equities, functional needs and user aspiration. Ultimately the consumer is the judge of the product’s worth so the product must speak rationally and emotionally to the consumer.”
On the future of watch design:
“The future of the watch design is made more exciting by the continual emergence of new colors, materials and finishes, which bring with new creative opporunities. New technology, too brings challenge. “All futurists agree that the wrist is prime real estate for wearable technology.”