‘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. 

mondaine

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

jaeger

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!)

wood

 

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. 

nomos-metro-datum-gangreserve-wristwatch1

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 

Mondaine

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 

withings-activite-pop

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

Shore Project

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 

Bradley_CompassIris_3Q_1024x1024

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.

Simple Fact about AIRPORT MORNINGS (and tales of travels):

Simple Fact about MORNINGS (and tales of travels):

I love eating breakfast at the airport. Why you might ask? Well, it’s quite simple, I love arriving at the airport extremely early to ensure that I have plenty of time and will not be stressed. And then, after checking in, getting my boarding pass, checking-in my bag, and passing airport security… I can finally plop down on a chair in a café or restaurant and leisurely wait for my plane to start boarding. The airport food is always better than the plane food, so I always stock up on calories for the journey. Plus, once you’re inside the terminals, you no longer have the giant bags and the opportunities to people watch are endless (businessmen, lovers, families, school trips, groups of foreign friends… you name it, Heathrow has it wandering around Terminal 2). But for me, the ultimate enjoyment originates from the peace of mind that comes from tranquilly waiting to board. I’ve already passed every hoop from packing to getting to the airport without 10 ml of liquids in your carry-on. I’ve never understood people who always arrive just before their flight. Aren’t you going to pass out from the stress of crossing an international border or the prospect of missing your thousand-dollar flight? But I guess people are different in their approaches to time management. Some don’t like waiting around, others don’t like last minute running through Gates B11-B34. I personally ALWAYS chose to enjoy my coffee and croissant with an hour and a half to spare; all while watching the woman in sweatpants dodge little children in hopes of making her flight (by the way, British Airways to Geneva is in Wing C, not Wing B). But I sigh as there’s nothing I can do to help her at this point… so I return to my latte, that has properly cooled down, to take the first sip of my calm wait for Chicago.