Transparent accessories are in FASHION.

You may have seen these invisible innocent little hair ties   taking the world by storm:

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I couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon. They’re great for putting your hair up without crumpling the hair strands and creating crease lines. Although they can stretch out, they magically regain their tight shape! I’m a big fan. (Though I fear it will be one of those short-lived fashion statements that I will have to explain to my children as they doubt my coolness as a 20-year old…)

Anyone who reads this blog will know by know… I love watches. So, with this clear/transparent trend going on in hair fashion, I looked for watches that were following a similar aesthetic. SWATCH was the main leader in transparent, fun time-telling accessories. At Stansted airport on my way from London to Ljubljana, I bought this lovely little watch: Thin Liner. I love the sleek thickness of the watch face as well as the fun colour choices. It’s definitely a statement of me not wanting to enter the later half of my 20s….

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Here I am in Ljubljana wearing both clear accessories:

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Hair ties and watches aside, Slovenia is one of my new favourite places in the world. (As in, I want to start learning Slovenian so I can move there…luckily the language is very similar to Bulgarian in pronunciation, it just uses Latin characters rather than Cyrillic). The nature, people, architecture, and city were all breathtaking, humble, and comforting.  Watch this space… but I reckon by 30, I’ll be wearing my Swatch and Invisibobble in Slovenia! #maybe #languagelearning #centraleurope

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‘Watch’ This Space…

for some cool timepieces. As today is my 24th birthday, I’ll share a lifelong goal of mine: to have a cool watch collection as I grow up. Now, I’ve picked out a nice simple (but elegant) silver Skagen watch for my present this year, but I thought I’d share three other cool watches that have definitely caught my eye:

ONE. Mondaine (I have mentioned them a million times before) have a new edition to their Helvetica range. Who doesn’t love a good font and a classy colour? This is their Helvetica No1 Light Graphic Edition. 

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TWO. By the luxury brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, their Reverso Classic Small. I haven’t explored square watches nearly enough…

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THREE. A cool new company, GroveMade, based out of Portland, Oregon. They’ve created this unusual Round Maple Watch that I would love (but it only ships in the US… darn!)

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Happy Holidays and watch this space for more time-related inspiration in 2017! X

 

Watch-Love.

I’ve fallen head over heals for three new watch models:

1. Nomos Metro Datum Gangreserve. This watch offers a dial with a date, power reserve indicator, stopwatch function and clear minute indexes. In my opinion, the design is timeless, elegant and yet quirky. It is slightly big (skewing towards a men’s watch), so if I had an extra £2,500 in my bank account, I would definitely get the Nomos Ahoi Watch with Automatic Winding. 

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2. TSOVET – This brand is much more affordable with models under £200. I am a fan of their SVT-SC38 series – especially with the sea foam blue (pictured below). The colour scheme is currently available in this Silver Design. 

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3. JunghansMax Bill Automatic. I love the sleekness, use of minute indications, and luminous features of the watch.

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I discovered watches 2 and 3 by shamelessly asking strangers sitting next to me about their watch. Maybe I’m getting older or maybe I’m going to more sophisticated cafes… but I do think the people around me are getting classier with their wristwear. And a good watch can turn even a plain t-shirt into a well-designed ensemble.

My Watch-obsession: Top 5 wristwatches for time keeping

I have a love of watches because they are one of the original single-function devices of the 20th century. Before tech giants came in and offered 200 different functions on your wrist,  a watch was a simply accessory that served one function: time-keeping. Slowly, some wristwatches started offering a date-display, dual time zones, and 60 second timers on the front dial. And today, there are millions of different clock options, but my favourite UX still remains the circular 12-hour analog dial. I can’t seem to quite visualise time as effectively on a digital clock because it’s one thing to read 12:40 and another to see the two moving hands that make a pie slice (clearly displaying a third of an hour until 1 PM).

I have 2 fundamental beliefs when it comes to watches:

  • It must FUNCTIONALLY display the time in a readable manner (not just be a fashion accessory)
  • A watch should look and function like a CLOCK.

AKA. a watch should enable you to arrive on-time and time manage your day (function) before (form) it looks stylish.

After ranting about function, let me move on to say: I love the design of watches. 

In the last 4 years, I’ve been investing in my (slight) watch obsession and though I’d share some of my favourite designs/makers for my personal taste.

  1. Mondaine Ladie’s Evo Watch 

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Mondaine is the official Swiss Railway watch, so you will see that exact clock interface if you take a train in Switzerland! It’s got a classic strong colour combination: red, white, and black. And for anyone who’s a typography-lover, their new collection Mondaine Helvetica is absolutely gorgeous.

2. Withings Activité Pop 

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This was my first and only attempt at a wearable device. The obvious reason I went for this design over others on the market was the analog-styled dial. (This was one of the first on the marketplace and since then there have been more analog-dial wearables.) The wearable also measured your daily steps and synced with my iPhone. Plus, it measured swimming activity and had a battery life of over 6 months without ever charging.

3. Shore Project #3 – Newquay

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Shore Projects is an independent British watch manufacture. Having lived in the UK for over 4 years now, I felt some sense of loyalty to try a British brand. Plus, I love their branding (the packaging had a complete brand identity) and the idea of watches designed as limited-time ‘projects.’ This was also my first watch with brown leather (oh the adventurousness!)

4. Eone Bradley Compass Iris 

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My latest discover (Thanks to Wired Magazine!) was Eone Time – most likely my next purchase. Besides their clever logo and interesting dial interface, the watch is designed in Braille-style, allowing blind individuals to feel what time it is.

“Because telling time shouldn’t require sight.” – inspired by Gold Paralympics Medalist Brad Snyder

5.  Skagen – This Danish brand has been taking off in the last 6-months as I keep noticing more and more Skagen watches around my office. They have a great mixture of timeless and modern design principles and my favourite from their current collection is: Hagen Steel Bracelet and Anita Crystal Steel Mesh.

Honourable Mention: And also, have a look at Daniel Wellington for ‘prepy-style’ and classic watches. It draws influence from British Isles, but is a Swedish watch brand. Amazingly, the first DW watch was sold in 2011 – but it’s now found around the world as a symbol of style and simplicity.

I’ve decided that if I win the lottery… I’m going to retire and become a watch-designer. Happy Sunday @11:54 AM.

 

 

TIME and the opportunity cost of Figure Drawing #30minute #pose

Time – it’s a funny concept.

Most people accept time – days, hours, minutes, and seconds – as they are.

But let us not forget that time is a man-made concept. It’s a way we organise your day-to-day lives as well communicate with each other. Just as words turn into meaning when spoken between people who share a common language, most people can understand the abstract concept of: 11:30 AM.

My latest fascination around time has been comparing activities in my life that take the same amount of time, but vary in terms of function, goals, achievement, consciousness, and physical energy. For instance, I can fill 30 minutes with quite a few distinct activities:

  • A half-hour meeting at work
  • A 3 mile run
  • A long life drawing pose

Each of those is designed to take exactly half an hour, 30 minutes, or 1,800 seconds (and is timed in most instances). There are plenty of other activities that could take roughly 30-minutes, but not necessarily scheduled in:

  • Cooking pancakes
  • Reading a newspaper
  • Walking around Urban Outfitters

The interesting thing about time is that it can be imposed as a metric for compartmentalizing life tasks, thereby making outcomes comparable. If two tasks took 30 minutes, then there can be an opportunity cost analysis (bit of economics terminology for you!) Opportunity cost by definition is: The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action.

Essentially, the benefits you could have received in the same amount of time investment. So to draw on my 30-minute example above, the opportunity cost of doing a half-hour figure drawing is burning 320 calories by running. There’s also a very similar quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

How did I even get started on this tangent about time opportunities?

It all started during Figure Drawing class yesterday – when I was contemplating the shift from 5-minute gestures and longer half-hour poses. Each restrictive time frame sets different goals and expectations for the resulting sketch, and that’s precisely what makes some of these drawing so beautiful. I’ve always admired drawings under 10 minutes because of the RAW ENERGY that can be captured from a couple lines. In case you haven’t noticed from my previous posts, I absolutely love figure drawing:
Figure Gestures

The opportunity cost might be losing 3 hours of GMAT studying or burning 900 calories at the gym, but to me…. It’s time well spent.