Monday, November 9, 2009

It's About Time

Black-faced watches have always looked cool to me. As a teenager, when I bought myself my first watch, I picked out an all-black model with a bright red-orange second hand. I always liked that look. Years later when I first saw the Seiko Sportura line, I was reminded of that design theme. Sportura is Seiko's contemporary-looking line of 'Sport" watches. By the time I had made up my mind that I wanted one in particular — the all-black Seiko Sportura Chronograph snappily designated the SNA595P2 — it had been discontinued. And replaced with a line of very bling watches — all kinds of shiny chrome bits highlighting the dials and bezel, swathed in decorative patterns. Most popular watches have gone in this design direction — a shiny jangly 70s revival available from many manufacturers. I had to do a little searching online for a retailer that still carried it.

Precision timepieces are a staple in most designers' collections of revered objects. I think it's the technological precision of most watches that is so appealing. Even up close the details are sharply rendered, the graphics crisply printed, the quality of manufacture clearly evident. I have to admire a timepiece where the quality is to such a level that even fifths of a second are cleanly marked. I like the simplicity of the brightly contrasting hour designations, visible even in complete darkness. I love the repeating pattern of circular holes across its face (it's actually more subtle than appears in this photograph). I even like the racing stripe orange stitching on its unique leather straps — the inside surface of which carry on the orange color theme. The straps recently wore out; another worldwide internet search tracked down a replacement set from England. It has all the usual chronograph timing functions as well as a built-in alarm function, but I've never been able to figure that part out.

The bezel surface might be a little too shiny black for my taste (the surface of which has gotten pretty well scratched up if you look close). And I do wish the orange highlighted details were more towards the red side of the color spectrum. But the thing that bugs me the most are the product naming graphics — I mean, four different typefaces for four words — really?

1 comment:

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