This is the post in a new series of 'Meet The Designer' posts that will be added to the blog in the coming months. In each post we will catch up with the designers of some of our most popular watches. First up is Ross McBride from Normal Timepieces.
1. What did you do before launching Normal Timepieces and what attracted you to watch design?
I was originally a graphic designer, and morphed into a product designer about fifteen years ago. I still have some client-based projects, but I ultimately wanted to have complete creative control. The only way to do that is to invest all of your own, and accept all of the risk. I was looking into other types of products to create a brand around, but felt that timepieces are the most provocative. They have such a rich history deeply connected with our societal development. You can look at them in detail from a technical perspective, but also see them for their symbolic significance as our connection to time. Also, sexy.
2. Is there a particular watch that you wish you had designed? What do you love about it?
The watch, named "Watch", by Flemming Bo Hansen. It was originally made by Ventura Watches in 1989, but now by Rosendahl.
This digital watch is so simple by today's standards, but was the first timepiece to show the potential of the digital. Until that time digital watches were technically generic, and clumsy. This watch is minimal, and well proportioned, with the digits laid out in a way that a designer would consider.
3. What do you draw inspiration from when coming up with new designs?
Inspiration comes from anywhere (but not so many other watches). Anything that strides for purity, avoids superfluous decoration, has a focal conceptual, formalistic, or technical design point, etc.
4. Do you have anything new in the pipeline that you can tell us about?
I have several new watch ranges in the planning. The first will be out this Spring, and should have a lower price point than my current range. I'll announce it a soon as I can.
5. What are your thoughts on all of the hype surrounding wearable tech? Does it spell trouble for the traditional watch industry?
I am observing closely, but not yet worried. The watch market has already evolved since cell phones appeared, because they all have digital watches integrated. Wrist watches have become more of a fashion accessory, and will continue to be so.
Incidentally, for my brand, I am working on some ideas which are not "smart watches", but do incorporate bluetooth. They have several handy functions, and can interface with your smart phone which has the proper brain.
6. Finally, how many watches do you have in your personal collection and which one is your most treasured (excluding your own designs)?
I have so many watches as samples, and some for inspiration. My favorites are:
1) The Watch by Flemming Bo Hansen (of course).
2) A Pulsar Spoon digital watch from the 90's.
3) A classic Movado Museum Watch from the 80's, before the Movado brand expanded into obscurity.
Thanks Ross! Next up we will be chatting to Crispin Jones from Mr Jones Watches.