Category Archives: Art

In my capacity as an industrial designer and author, I have been privileged to meet many fascinating people. Freelance work is exceptionally rewarding but also can be solitary and precarious. That is why it important to surround yourself with likeminded people. Ultimately that is why I have always championed artisan craftsman and small microbrands. A great example is Guillaume Demerliac who is the owner of Demerliac Watches. Recently he sent me a press release unveiling two really cool timepieces called the Pearl Timer and Visir. » Read more

In the last few years, I co-designed several bespoke watches with my good friend Ben Birkett. His encyclopedic knowledge about mechanical timepieces and clocks is world-class. That is why his watch restoration business is thriving and he is constantly in demand. The building his premise is located comprises several workshops occupied by artisan craftsman. Ben recently informed me about a specialist engraver (in a neighbouring workshop) who had personalised an exclusive Audemars Piguet royal oak offshore tourbillon chronograph for a very wealthy customer. Ben didn’t divulge the price for the job but judging by the expression on his face I presume it was very expensive. » Read more

Recently I visited Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with friends and was very impressed with this vibrant city. Certainly, it is a mecca for luxury shopping and in the luxury malls, there is a range of exclusive watches for sale. One of the main highlights was the magnificent Petronas towers that were designed by renowned Argentinian architect César Pelli. This imposing structure is 451.9 metres high and was the world’s largest building between 1998-2004. In my opinion, this is one of the most impressive examples of modern architectural design that I have ever seen. This was one of the topics (as well as timepieces) I discussed with acclaimed designer Alessandro Baldieri via Skype. » Read more

Since I began writing about watches approximately eight years ago the emergence of small micro brands has expanded exponentially. Recently when I visited Malaysia I discussed this topic with a good friend of mine called Leong Wong. He was formerly the editor for the of Esquire Magazine (Singapore/Malaysia) and I used to write for him on a regular basis. As we both are champions of independent watchmakers there was a lot of common ground. Predominantly, at that time I focused on Swiss mechanical watches. However, these days Japanese alternatives are very popular and very competitively priced. A great example is the Power Racing Black by Zoid. » Read more

Every day (rain or shine) I do an energetic circuit around the lake, which takes approximately one hour. The four-mile walk gives me time to crystallise concepts for future articles, books and product design. Interesting the area called West Lakes was formerly tidal swamp and was extensively regenerated by a prominent developer called Delfin in the 1970’s. Nowadays this suburb attracts affluent clients, who build amazing architectural homes overlooking the water. One of the finest examples is owned by a tech multi-millionaire in his twenties. As well as owning a spectacular residence he also owns some amazing cars including a bright yellow Lamborghini Huracan. » Read more

A few years ago I had the great fortune to visit La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland. The trip was a last-minute decision and coincided with Baselworld. Originally, I was supposed to be meeting Jonatan Gil (owner of Dubey & Schaldenbrand) at the show but because of prior commitments, he couldn’t make it. Whilst I was in this picturesque town Jonatan showed me around his father’s factory that was located in a beautiful heritage building. This gave me a unique insight into traditional watchmaking that could only be appreciated first hand. Another exclusive brand that manufactures its timepieces in this region is Cuervo y Sobrinos. » Read more

A few weeks ago, Adelaide encountered a heatwave and temperatures exceeded 45 °C (approximately °F) on three consecutive days. These conditions meant that the beaches were swamped with tourists. I also enticed consumers to do some early Christmas shopping in the beautifully air-conditioned malls. Every year the festive sales seem to start earlier and that relates to precious retail dollars. However, if you really want something a tiny bit unique there are several start-up companies that are offering some really unique products. A perfect example is microbrand Floately who have made a big impact with their magical levitating Volta Lightbulb. » Read more

A few months ago I spoke in-depth with a journalist called Melanie Abrams about my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book. She was writing an article for The New York Times and was interested to know what inspired the project. I have always been fascinated by the world of horology and the exceptional craftsmanship involved. Literally in the last decade brands have become more adventurous in their choice of materials and overall designs. A perfect example is Avant-Garde Swiss luxury watchmaker MB & F. » Read more