Hello everyone, I was taking a look through Kickstarter the other day and came across these fascinating watches, VOORT One. I’m a little late to the party as they are already fully funded, that just goes to show how popular they are at the moment, and it’s no surprise when you consider the lowest pledge to receive a watch is around $96 USD.
I invited the VOORT One team to come along and introduce themselves and tell us about their watches, for now, I’ll hand it over to Kevin.
About VOORT Studio
Hi everyone, Yong Kang and I (Kevin) are industrial designers from Singapore and we have recently launched our first watch project, VOORT ONE, on Kickstarter after 2 years of preparation. As watch enthusiasts and zealous watch collectors ourselves, it has always been a dream for us to be able to design and launch our own line of timepieces.
The word “VOORT” is inspired by the Dutch phrase “Ga Zo Voort!” which means to go on or so forth. The brand is represented so as we are particularly intrigued by Dutch design which is known to be bold, minimalistic and experimental. It too expresses our aspiration to carry vintage watch elements forward into a modern context. This translation also brings about the desire of the brand to deliver time pieces that are on the fore front of design.
We founded VOORT Studios on the firm belief that watches should be simple, honest and that good design should speak for itself, without a logo slapped over the face. This is so as we are frustrated by how watches with inexpensive movements are unapologetically marked up just because it is stamped with a brand.
Instead, we believe that people who wear our watches carry and become the brand themselves. You are, after all, what you wear.
Motivation behind VOORT ONE Watches
Over the years, analogue quartz watches have been designed to match and suit different occasions. While the aesthetics differ based on the style of the timepiece, the user experience with the watch has pretty much stayed untouched. Curious as to how we can add a bit of spice to the regular time-telling/setting experience, we decided to challenge the conventional watch typology.
Adhering to principles of Minimalism, we asked ourselves a fundamental question, “How can we further streamline the elements in a timepiece?” Hence, that made us wonder if the watch crown can be redesigned such that it fulfills its function without disrupting the flow of an iconic, circular watch case, which remains today a timeless classic.
Biggest Challenge – Watch with No Crown
That sparked the ideation process as we looked into ways to integrate the watch crown into the case. Fortunately, we managed to chance upon a Swiss K62 calibre that functions without a standard crown after an extensive research on the various kinds of quartz movements. We were however informed by the watch manufacturer that the time setting mechanism is too small and would require the usage of a tool to set the time.
Thus, that became our toughest challenge as our intention was to have a designated button that would replace the existing crown such that users can simply set the time with a single touch. After ploughing through endless sketches and iterations, that hurdle turned out to be our greatest achievement as we were able to optimise the watch case and calibre to not only work, but also be water resistant. We were told that with a button of our size, water resistance is almost impossible. Yet, after months of trial and error, we finally succeeded in producing our first water resistant prototype with a working seal by referencing with water valve structures.
Inspiration behind ONE
The watch draws inspiration from marine sundials which use shadows cast from the Sun to tell the time. It incorporates shadow play via angular slits on the dial ring which appear more prominently under various angles. The watch hands embrace the concept of brightness and contrast and interprets light and darkness as tangible elements. To further emphasise on that, each hand is deliberately coated with a luminous phosphorescent (also known as lume) such that it emits a soft, warm glow in the dark.
All in all, these essentials contribute to a clean watch face which complements the neat, minimalistic and symmetrical design.
What’s so special about ONE?
The time setting button at the back of the watch serves as a semantic appeal to invoke a more pleasurable time-setting experience, something beyond just function – as the button is pushed, the watch hands react and glide in a similar motion that is comparable to automatic watches. ONE thus becomes an ornament that invites interaction and conversations rather than just a time-telling tool.
We also believe in the importance of dressing right and thus redesigned the lug of the watch such that it works well with NATO, Zulu and Perlon straps. With a quick tuck, slide and pull, ONE can easily be transformed from a casual, fashion watch into a formal, dress watch.
Kickstarter Link (preview): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/595131182/voort-one
VOORT Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/voortstudio/
VOORT Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/voort.studio/
For Enquires, contact us at [email protected]
Project starts on: Thursday, 15 December 2016, 09:00 PM SGT (GMT +8)
Project ends on: 14 January 2016, 09:00 PM SGT (GMT +8)
I’d like to say a massive thanks to Kevin for taking the time to come along and introduce the campaign to everyone today. In my opinion, the watch offers incredible value for money at their current pledge levels. I love the design of the timepieces, and the innovation involved is impressive. I’m glad they’ve managed to get fully funded, here’s hoping they can reach their stretch goals, good luck Yong Kang & Kevin.