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When you think of a watch, what do you picture?
Many people will instantly conjure up images of elegant wrist-based timepieces which feature three key components: a strap, traditional clock face and second/minute/hour-hands.
Now, while this may be the traditional look for a watch, as time and technology have marched forwards, more and more watches have started to surface which go against the grain. Whether you prefer a sophisticated timepiece, a digital alternative, or a high-tech smartwatch, it is now possible to buy incredibly unique watches that are individualised to each person.
Long gone are the days of a watch simply telling you the time – today they can do that and so much more. From one watch designed for blind people, to another which shows the time using intricate swirls, listed below are some of most unique watches ever created.
If you are blind or partially-sighted then, for obvious reasons, telling the time can be extremely difficult. However, that is no longer true, thanks to The Bradley Timepiece from the US-based watchmakers Eone.
Named after the former naval officer Bradley Snyder, who became blind while defusing bombs in Afghanistan, the watch was produced by founder Hyunsoo Kim with the idea that everyone has a right to know the time.
The timepiece’s sleek yet sophisticated design is described as ‘universal and all-inclusive’, enabling people to tell the time using both sight and touch. Whether you’re partially sighted or not, there’s no denying that the watch really is a thing of beauty, representing one of the most unique products on the market.
Iron Samurai Watch
From a watch designed for the poor of sight to another which keeps time out of sight, Japanese designer Hironao Tsuboi has come up with one of the most unusual looking watches ever to exist.
Known as the ‘Iron Samurai watch’, the timepiece may look like a normal segmented bracelet to the average observer but it can, in fact, tell the time as well. Contained within the metallic segments are a number of LEDs which, when lit up, show a digital version of the current time.
While it may not be the prettiest or most expensive looking watch, it really is very unique. Plus, according to its hilarious product description, the watch is supposed to ‘increase the wearers’ strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom and charisma’. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.
ZIIIRO Mercury & Gravity Watches
If having a traditional ticking second, minute and hour hand isn’t for you, ZIIIRO could have the answer for you. Their creations aim to make telling the time fun, displaying time in a simple yet highly unique way.
Coming in a range of styles and colours, ZIIIRO’s Mercury and Gravity watches use two swirls to show the hours and minutes. These then move in a continuous gradient motion as time passes by throughout the day. To see the watches in action, take a look at this video.
ZIIIRO watches also replace the traditional leather or stainless-steel strap with a sleek silicone alternative that can be customised to the wearer’s choice. They’re waterproof, durable, affordable and, thanks to their unique design, ZIIIRO watches are definitely a conversation starter.
Cabestan Winch Tourbillion Vertica
One of the less conventional looking watches on this list, you would be forgiven for thinking the Cabestan Winch Tourbillion Vertical looks more like a tiny typewriter than a timepiece. The watch is, in fact, specifically designed to work in a similar way to a capstan – a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships.
Using a small lever to wind the watch’s movement and set the time, a miniature chain and fuse then transmit the energy. In turn, a vertical tourbillon regulates the movement, allowing the contained drums to display the precise time.
The result of this horological creation is a rare work of mechanical art, and one of the most unique watches to have ever been made. Getting your hands on one is easier said than done though, since Cabestan limited its production to only 135 pieces.
Watchmaking really is an artform, so why hide that level of horological ingenuity under an ugly watch face?
Skeleton watches let you to see the intricate inner workings of the watch, allowing you to witness the extremely fine level of detail that goes into each timepiece’s production.
Whether you’re a fan of mechanics, engineering or simply quality craftsmanship, skeleton watches are one of the most handsome yet individual designs money can buy, and come available in a wide range of styles to suit any budget.