Archive for March, 2021

Yiran Qian – Eye of the Storm Watch Design

March 11th, 2021

Long ago, mechanical watches ( pocket and wrist type ) were invented to keep track of time, and thereby manage daily chores / appointments in an efficient manner. Over a period of time, its usage spread to other areas. During the First World War soldiers exploited a wrist watch to synchronize various maneuvers and even time their attack based on this synchronicity. Fighter pilots used its sophisticated complications such as chronograph and stopwatch for similar functions. Later, divers and submariners also joined in, extracting data from its unidirectional rotating bezel.

As mentioned above, it all started with a pocket watch. It’s evolution to wrist accessory was rapid, but limited to the fairer gender. Yes, the first wristwatch was designed for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary by the Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe in 1868. Most of the brands during this era found it humorous, and a product which they thought didn’t really complement masculinity.

Today, men and women wear these attractive and compelling timepieces around their wrist with equal fervor. However, the heart and the soul of a wrist watch has remained the same for decades. Most of them either use quartz or mechanical movements. Nonetheless, designers from across the world have surprised and at times shocked the watch connoisseurs with their “out of the box” facial designs.

Yiran Qian, a Chinese-born, German-based product designer is one such individual. His critically acclaimed “Eye of the Storm” design took the world of horology by storm, pun unintended, and earned him the ‘design concept 2010′ red dot award.

What makes this watch so special? The answer is its “see through” design. The “Eye of the Storm” features a naked, transparent circular window in the center and a dark bezel. This minimalist design approach is not a new concept. Many designers in the past have adopted the same path and delivered products which have redefined the way we look at time.

The “Eye of the Storm” appears intriguing due to its faceless construction. From a distance it looks more like a bracelet, a fashion accessory than a wristwatch. It is only when the non-intrusive button is pressed does the rim gets illuminated at two distinct places – depicting the hour and the minute in fluorescent color, typically orange, green or blue.

Moreover, the missing metal base plate and native components make its skin friendly, cost-effective and light weight. It is these attributes which makes it one of the best design concepts of this decade. But why call it the Eye of the Storm? The answer is the void it creates. It reflects a sense of destructive stillness which is synonymous “Real” storms. Stare at it for a long time and you will be mesmerized by its silence and its seamless construction which just boasts a small crown on one side.