Category Archives: Design

Nearly a decade ago I became aware of an American inventor called David Forbes. He operates under the name of Cathode Corner and resides in Tucson, Arizona. Affectionately I would describe David’s products as eccentric as they won’t appeal to most people. His creations range from video coats to Leopard print bike boom boxes. Most of these novelties are made for his own pleasure and not for resale. However, he has enjoyed a lot of success with his Nixie watch, largely due to free publicity from Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple). I acquired one of these watches several years ago and published a review on my website. Since then many other brands have started producing there own Nixie watches including Click, which is owned by James Lau. » Read more

Approximately 5-years ago I met with a gentleman called Christophe Hoppe who had co-founded a brand called Bausele. Even though Christophe originates from France he met his wife in Australia and now resides in Sydney. At the time he showed me visuals of a really cool watch concept. This timepiece eventually went into production and is called the Terra Australis. One of the most distinctive features of this watch is the lightweight ceramic granite type bezel (developed with Flinders University in Adelaide). Interestingly this material (trademarked Bauselite) is formed by injecting nano-particles of ceramic into molten rock. At the time this was considered pretty radical. However, since then brands have become even more experimental, especially with lightweight carbon composites. A great example is Romago Swiss who have developed the first bright red forged carbon watch (I am aware of). » Read more

A few years ago I visited Singapore to meet a few industry contacts including Alvin Lye. For those that are not familiar with Alvin, he is the Co-Founder and Executive Director Of Azimuth Watch Co. I believe this Avant-Garde brand really put Singapore on the map in terms of watchmaking. I also feel they have inspired many other designers to launch their own microbrands. In the last few months, I have featured several labels from this region including Achtung, Lytt Labs, Spectre Time and Zoid. Recently, I received a press release from another Singapore brand called Advisor. They have just launched an exciting timepiece on Kickstarter called the SUPA Diver Bronze. » Read more

Generally, when you think about Russian watchmaking there is one name that springs to mind. Of course, I am talking about the great Konstantin Chaykin who is an inspiration to watchmakers worldwide. I have featured Konstantin’s work on my website, in global magazines and in several books. He has produced favourites like the Carp Diem, Cinema, Joker, Levitas and Lunokhod Prime (which is featured on the cover of my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book‘). However, there is also another less well-known craftsman, like Ruslan Skutte who are also making their mark with label Silverwood. » Read more

As well as being a writer and author I also have a major passion for industrial design. In fact, I am presently in the process of creating several bespoke timepieces with my Watchmaker friend Ben Birkett. Two of the watch cases are constructed from concrete and were made by English based craftsman George Slaughter. Originally I commissioned George to create some concrete buttons for my leather jacket brand ‘Morley Rose’. Based on positive results I wanted to explore how this amazing material would work in a horological context. Certainly, achieving the precise texture wasn’t easy but after 12-months of trial an error we got the correct balance. Effectively my objective was to create the same aesthetic used in contemporary modern residential architecture. » Read more

Recently I completed my 7th book (co-written by my editor Cheryl Weber) about contemporary concrete residential homes. Previously this material was mainly used in the commercial sector for bridges and warehouse etc. In popular culture, many rap artists mentioned the term ‘concrete jungle’ Essentially this phrase references unattractive modern buildings in high-density living areas. However, over the last few years, progressive architects have massively changed peoples perception by creating innovative solutions. This has caused a ripple effect and now concrete has filtered into the luxury market. Rather than using it for its structural qualities, brands are inspired by the aesthetic. A great example is DZ4513 Mega Chief concrete chronograph by Diesel. » Read more

Since June 2019 Australia has encountered some of the worst bush fires in its history. The main states that have been affected are New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It is estimated that the fires have affected 450 square miles of land and killed 1.25 billion animals. This type of devastation has attracted international media coverage and is a stark reminder of the effects of global warming. With temperatures exceeding 49 °C (120 °F) it is anticipated that this situation could get worse over the years. That is why the Australian government is making provisions for future needs. » Read more

Recently I travelled to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to spend News Years with a couple of good friends. I was amazed at the number of skyscrapers and luxurious malls within close proximity. There was even a theme park with a double corkscrew in one of the main shopping complexes. On my visit, I had the chance to meet Leong Wong, who was formerly the editor of Esquire Magazine (Singapore/Malaysia). Even though have worked for Leong I had previously never met him, person. That is why it was great to share lunch and discuss watches and the general state of the industry. One of the topics was the emergence of small microbrands who now release new models on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. A good example is Von Doren who have just launched an exciting watch called the URÆD. » Read more