The Art of Time

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I’ve a had a number of conversations with people about how less and less people are wearing watches, or at least wearing watches to tell the time. The ubiquity of the cellphone has really put a damper on watches being instruments that measure time. While there are some that wear watches for their original purpose (and because their phone battery dies quickly), many people today wear them more as accessories that express a personal style and aesthetic.

While some might prefer the traditional, classic watches that might become family heirlooms, there are a number of design brands that produce very interesting contemporary designs that have their own unique character. Here are a few timepiece producers that make functional and interesting objects.

Projects Watches

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Projects watches’ tagline is “architecture you can wear.” Most of the watches in the line were designed by architects and have a clean, modern sensibility, with each piece having a defining characteristic or design element that sets it apart from traditional watches.

Black watch

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This watch by Italian designer Denis Guidone, for example, has a face where the 12 is slanted slightly so that it is straight up when the wearer tilts their wrist at an angle.


9 watches

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Originally a kitchen utensil deisgn company, Alessi is a design factory from Italy that produces high quality functional objects. Since the 1980’s, their company has become more focused on creating objects that are considered “high design,” collaborating with periodically famous designers to come up with new product lines.

Their watches can have particularly interesting designs, like their Kaj watch, that has a very slick, futuristic sensibility to it, but also retains its essence as a watch through its analog face.


Edgy watches
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Nixon is a watch company that caters to more of a younger, independent lifestyle. The california-based company originally produced skate, snow, and surf products and then branched into accessories. Alot of their designs are a neo-retro fusion on contemporary and classic design.

Andy Warhol Collection

Pop-art-inspired watches

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The Andy Warhol Museum has a comprehensive store that brings the art of the great pop artist to the public. The watches do just that – most of them care mini posters and recreations of Warhol’s famous silkscreen paintings within a mod, colorblock design.

Dezeen Watch Store

If one of these watches has caught your eye, and wondering where to shop different designs in one place, then the Dezeen watch store is a good place to start. The design blog has a dedicated store to watches by featured designers.

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