Ever since moving into the world of watches, I’ve at all times liked the discussions about watch design. The recurring matter is commonly development. The arguments are as a lot concerning the lack thereof as they’re concerning the ongoing quest for locating that new prompt traditional. Creating one thing genuinely new that meets with fast acceptance appears to be the toughest factor there may be. Particularly in relation to case design. However the pleasure of seeing one thing novel is great.
The factor that has intrigued me most through the years is the form of a watch case. It’s usually essentially the most essential factor for a direct “sure” or “no”. And a well-designed case could make a design grow to be a confirmed traditional. However the true appreciation of excellent design takes time and plenty of shifting opinions. That’s why it takes nice braveness to try to provide you with one thing new. All too usually, the reply is “seen it earlier than,” or, “yeah it’s new, nevertheless it’s bizarre”.
Subsequent to forming an opinion on new introductions, case design additionally triggers my design curiosity. Has each form been tried? Are there new methods of mixing already current shapes that really feel new? And when will I really feel the thrill once more that I felt for the 5 watches on this listing? And it most likely comes as no shock that the majority of them are classics or future classics. However iconic design usually feels uncomfortable at first. And a few of the fashions on this listing felt uncomfortable to me at first.
1. Patek Philippe Nautilus
The primary watch on this was at all times going to be a design by Gérald Genta. And whilst you may need anticipated the Royal Oak right here, I needed to go along with the Nautilus. Truthfully, I’m a Royal Oak man. General I prefer it higher than the Nautilus. I like the general industrial feeling of the design higher, the bracelet is extra nuanced and impressive, and I like the dial and bezel much more. As a reminder of all the main points, you possibly can learn Robert-Jan’s article evaluating each here. However as an train in case design, the Nautilus is extra thrilling. The octagonal form of the bezel characterizes the Royal Oak. In case you have a look at the basic form of the case, nevertheless, you’ll discover that it’s much less groundbreaking.
Genta realized that he wanted one thing further to create a long-lasting and thrilling form.
The perimeters of the case outline the Nautilus. Genta realized that he wanted one thing further to create a long-lasting and thrilling form. Had he not completed that, it might have ended up a fairly “yawnful” watch. The proof? Simply have a look at the Piaget Polo S, and you’ll know what I imply. For me, The Nautilus is Genta at his finest in relation to case design. The mix of curvy and straight traces and spherical and sharp edges make this a pleasure to look at and a real traditional.
2. Seiko 7A28-7000 “Aliens”
The story of the Seiko 7A28-7000 is one from my youth. When the film Aliens was launched in 1986, I used to be 9 years previous and a bit too younger, in response to my dad and mom, to see it. Three years later, my aunt, nevertheless, thought it was time to look at Aliens with my brother and two nieces. The end result? A film that had me on the sting of my seat for the whole period — okay, it scared the crap out of me at some moments as nicely. Secondly, a fascination with all of the futuristic-looking components, together with that bizarre watch on Sigourney Weaver’s wrist. However as I used to be younger, I shortly forgot about it altogether.
Did we want Giugiaro to make this design a actuality?
Quick ahead fifteen years. That’s when the watch resurfaced in my consciousness. In a web based seek for Giugiaro automobile designs, I stumbled upon that Aliens Watch. There it was, nonetheless trying futuristic all these years later. And I nonetheless liked it. I don’t have to clarify to you that its design is unconventional.
Nonetheless, combining a spherical form and an oblong form it not bizarre in any respect in watch design. However the way in which it was completed is outstanding to today. The query I at all times had was, “Did we want Giugiaro to make this design a actuality?” It appears onerous to imagine that if a member from the Seiko design crew had proven this design in 1983, it might have been critically thought of for manufacturing. Thank god for Giugiaro and Aliens.
three. Omega Seamaster 600 PloProf
I wrote about my love for the trendy Ploprof 1200M in an episode of 52Mondayz that you would be able to learn here. The Ploprof seems to be unusual, weighs a ton, and is big. How can or not it’s a traditional? Nicely, Omega discovered a magical method to make it work. In my article, I defined why I like the trendy Ploprof 1200M higher than the unique. And Robert-Jan defined the variations between the unique 1970s 600 PloProf and the trendy Ploprof 1200M here. However in relation to the case design, we now have to honor the unique Seamaster 600 PloProf.
Here’s a watch that’s purely based mostly on the design precept of type following operate and it finally ends up one among Omega’s most iconic designs.
Gerard defined in his article about his unique 600 Ploprof what triggered the design of the watch. It was born out of pure practicality quite than an intensive train in design shapes. Not solely does this give the PloProf prompt credibility, nevertheless it additionally offers the magic of the story. Here’s a watch that’s purely based mostly on the design precept of type following operate. Consequently, it ended up one among Omega’s most iconic designs.
I wrote in my current article, “Though the form of the case appears asymmetrical, if you happen to look nearer, you’ll discover that the premise of the case could be very symmetrical, however the practical components added to the watch make it look asymmetrical and peculiar. However it’s bizarre for precisely the best causes.” And that’s why it’s my second favourite Omega after the Speedmaster Skilled.
four. MB&F HM3
There are fairly just a few smaller unbiased manufacturers which have pushed the boundaries of case design during the last 20 years. Surely, my favourite has at all times been MB&F. I don’t similar to the model’s out of this world designs, however I additionally love Max Büsser’s concepts about what a watch model might be and the way the collaborative approach of working ends in essentially the most gorgeous artistic outcomes. The epitome of MB&F’s quest for wonderful watch designs for me so far is the Horological Machine three (HM3).
I do assume, nevertheless, that the HM3 Starcruiser reveals that it isn’t lightyears faraway from what may very well be a extensively liked and wearable watch.
In all equity, each one of many Horological Machines is an exploration in case design. Choosing one is solely a private choice. MB&F creates restricted manufacturing timepieces that push the boundaries of what a watch essentially might be. I do assume, nevertheless, that the HM3 Starcruiser reveals that the design will not be lightyears faraway from what may very well be a extensively liked and wearable watch. The vertical symmetry in form feels very comfy, and its dimensions usually are not essentially the most excessive. Do I choose the common HM3 Starcruiser or the HM3 Frog model? Ask me that once more when I’ve the cash to purchase one.
5. Zenith El Primero A384
The final watch on this listing may be a little bit of a shock after all of the earlier entries. However generally the magic is within the simplicity of a form quite than discovering an excessive. The Zenith El Primero A384 is the right instance. For fairly a while, I felt the case design of the Zenith El Primero A384 was too outlined by the period by which it was created. Launched in 1969, the El Primero A384 includes a blocky case design that felt a bit too easy and caught in that realm of late ’60s and early ’70s designs.
In all honesty, the fundamental form of the case is outlined by quite easy traces.
The case design can be not that distinctive in itself. There are fairly just a few manufacturers from that period that used the identical blocky design for his or her watches. And whereas I like the unique El Primero A384 that was produced from 1969 till 1972, the true energy revealed itself after the number of Revival editions confirmed how various and highly effective such a seemingly easy design might be. As a result of, in all honesty, the fundamental form of the case is outlined by quite easy traces. However they’re extremely efficient. Each in the truth that they outline the case of El Primero A384, a profile we don’t usually see anymore. And since it’s the good seemingly easy canvas for the dial and arms to shine. Ideally, that’s what a case ought to do and why I like the El Primero A384.
There it’s, Jorg’s prime 5 iconic case designs. Do you disagree, or do you are feeling we left a necessary design out? Tell us. We’d love to listen to your opinions and extra about a few of your favourite designs.