The things they do to sell a watch – Bell&Ross, the purveyor of aviation dashboard aesthetics, have extended their current winning streak with a concept bike. Mind you, all jokes aside, I really do love the BR watch range and this is a very clever marketing move so I approve. From what I understand this is not their first bike but this is certainly the first to catch my attention – They collaborated (again) with Shaw Harley-Davidson Speed and Custom to create a custom motorcycle that is inspired by the speed bikes and experimental aviation of the 1960s. So in other words, something that is half-way between nostalgia lane and futurism.
The B-Rocket Limited Edition watches
Packaged Along side this custom bike are two limited edition wristwatches – The BR01 & BR03 B-Rocket. They’re limited to 500 pieces. Other updates to the brand included a ceramic version of the successful BR series and a heritage edition watch called the WW1 Guynemer which pays tribute to a pilot from the first world war.
Alright, the title should be singular – The solitary thing to look forward to (at least for me) at Baselworld this year. Revealed back in September, The Experiment ZR012 Nitro wristwatch is a collaboration between two of the most creative brands in horology – Urwerk and MB&F. They have come together to build a watch based on a movement created by a German engineer in 1957.
The movement was notable for its eccentric rotary design and its also notable for its price tag – $182,000 USD. The timepiece will be limited to just 12 pieces worldwide.
We’re seeing a new crop of bluetooth watches coming up on the horizon that act as a go-between your phone and you. Most of these watches are intended to pure functional gadget watches which makes Kei Kei by Takemura Ori is one of the first example of future fashion bluetooth watches where designers will develop eccentric interfaces.
The watch allows you to control your cellphone, get weather information and notifications with i-phone like gestures on a touch sensitive surface but you get your indications in the form of a swarm of fireflies that change their movement to indicate change in interface. This makes it less practical but that was not exactly the intention to begin with.
For those who aren’t familiar with Harry Winston, every year the brand launches a truly innovative mechanical monstrosity that would leave anyone drooling. This year marks their 12th release which has been created in collaboration with watchmaker Emmanuel Bouchet and it really lives up to the hype of the series – The money shot in the watch is when the hour and minute markers roll 180 degrees. It is hard to explain the visual effect so the best thing to do is watch the video presentation at the top. The price is approximately $260,000.
An amateur photograph of the watch uploaded by Worldtempus on twitter
Billed as the ‘watch that understands time zones’, Seiko has created the first solar powered GPS watch that receives GPS signals and identifies the time zone, time and date data using four GPS satellites. The watch updates automatically once a day and also on demand. It’s named after the company’s 1969 predecessor which was the world’s first quartz watch. It will be released in the fall of 2012 with a price of around 2000-3000 euros. There will be five models with one special edition limited to 2500 units.
The wrist is prime science fiction real estate and the concept rollerphone by Alexey Chugunikov makes good use of it – its a bracelet that tells the time, is a phone had as a transparent screen that projects on to your fingertips.
A concept only award winning design by Fuquan Junze. The bowl-like clock comes with two sets of lamps – 12 big lamps represent hours, 60 small lamps for minutes. Simple enough. Fuquan is currently looking for a manufacturer to produce it.
I like the direction Tokyoflash is taking with its brand. For those who follow them, the online watch brand that churns out aesthetically unpleasant (seriously some of them are ugly) but geeky watches, you may already know that the site showcases some of their concepts online before production in order to test pre-production buzz. More importantly, they’ve started taking in open submissions that they showcase on their website such as this one by Olivier Demangel shown above that features a usb key and the ability to be used as a skype / mp3 device.
Even if they never go into production with the watch, they benefit from the associated branding and this is significant because the company is trying to expand beyond their web operations into international distribution and they could possibly be the first crowd sourced watch brand. What do you think?
Kickstarter is a website that allows creatives to crowd source funding for their creative projects. The service received a lot of exposure when Designer Scott Wilson successfully raised funds beyond his expectations for his ipod watch band project.
Thus, he created a lot of expectations for the platform to fund other concept projects such as the Haptica, a next generation wristwatch that has been making the rounds through blogs and museum exhibits as a potential successor to watches made for the blind.
Unfortunately, the watch fell short of its funding raising $56,300 of its $150,000 goal with 390 backers but it still appears that it could’ve made it, if it either had more publicity or maybe the giveaways were tweaked. What are your thoughts?
This concept watch design named the Revolve by Russian Studio Podvaal is a set of three bangles that stick together magentically. Each of them measure a different unit of time – One does the hour, the other minute and the last one does the seconds. Since this is a concept only, there is no information about how the watch would actually work though though we think e-paper would be appropriate for it and we certainly dig the separate magnetic bangle concept.
My earlier post on the Tik tok/Luna tik straps for the Apple Nano got a retweet by Bill Geiser who is a Vice President at Fossil:
@billg: RT @wristfashion: Why the race for the next gen watch will be won by something that is not a watch http://ow.ly/3cqNI
@wristfashion: @billg thanks for the retweet. I just saw your profile. you seem like you’re working on something very interesting.
@billg: @wristfashion time will tell….no pun intended :^)
@wristfashion: @billg honestly, i expected fossil to have been all over the next-gen watch category ages ago.
@billg: @wristfashion it’s all about market timing….the ‘connecting fabric’ has only recently fallen into place
Bill is responsible for exploring technology driven opportunities for watches at Fossil. According to his Linkedin profile:
“Low power wireless connections between phones, sensors, and watches will open large new markets for these things we wear on our wrists. In this scenario the ‘watch’ functions as a remote portal to our phone or nearby sensor. The goal is to simplify & enhance the user experience. Consider, for example, the hundreds of daily, actionable alerts that will soon hit your mobile device: voice calls, text messages, emails, LBS alerts, turn-by-turn directions, and much much more. A quick glance at your wrist to see if the alert requires immediate attention is far more convenient than pulling your phone out of your pocket, handbag, briefcase, or backpack…hundreds of times per day.”
Elsewhere on twitter he explains what he means by the ‘Connecting Fabric’:
@billg: @ARJWright Modu, IXI, Moto Offspring failed because connected devices need a connecting fabric first before devices happen; aka Android, iOS
So now that the ‘connecting fabric’ is here to stay, maybe we will see some exciting new developments on the horizon.
Bill Geiser later responded to this post:
Hi Adnan, Love your blog. I’d like to give credit where credit is due: Andreas Constantinou (@andreascon on Twitter)is the author of the ‘connecting fabric’ quote referenced above. I simply retweeted it because I believe he’s right.