Just to pass the time, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of timepieces that boast a design that is a little different to what we are used to. All the brands below have mastered the art of breaking the rules in watch design and have created some of the most unmissable and quirky timepieces in the industry; pieces that you do not want to hide under your sleeve. It is designs like this that I believe keep our love of timekeeping alive, breaking up the boredom of ordinary aesthetics and bringing us watch enthusiasts something completely unique and wonderful.
Number one on the list is the Dietrich OT watch collection. These watches have one of those designs that at first glance looks incredibly complicated and even difficult to read but you will soon learn that they are one of those perfectly designed timepieces that have the unique aesthetic you are looking for without eclipsing its ability to tell the time.
Dietrich Watches have not actually been around for very long having only been established in the last twenty years, but it hasn’t taken them long to rise to the surface. The Dietrich OT, or Organic Time range, was inspired by the unusual textures and geometric shapes found in nature, giving a certain sci-fi vibe to the timepieces. The 4 part skeletonised dials are set with luminescent superluminova hands shaped like sprouting leaves that are impossible to miss against the sun brushed black background. At 4 o’clock you can see the hexagonal seconds disk stand out with its 6 prong star shape polished in a yellow gold tone. These watches are perfect for those looking for something a little futuristic but still decipherable. You can find more information about these and where to order them here.
Next up is Perrelet, and more specifically the Perrelet Turbine watch collection. The Turbine design is without a doubt the brand’s most famous achievement and is inspired by the double rotor movement that displays an oscillating weight on the front of the dial. It is clear that the propeller style finish has drawn its aesthetic from the field of aeronautics and the breathtaking visuals that the turbine creates as it spins is mesmerising.
There is something truly extraordinary about the Perrelet brand since they assemble all of their models with automatic movements, a tribute to the invention of founder Abraham-Louis Perrelet in 1777. These automatic movements are also entirely crafted, decorated and assembled within their own workshops where their talented watchmakers keep every single element up to their high standards. One of my favorite features of the Perrelet Turbine watch collection is that beneath the turbine is a choice of different colour designs to choose from. You can find the full range here.
Although they don’t have the most unique dial designs compared to some of the other models on this list, I had to mention the B.R.M Art-Car watches. The bright and bold colours that decorate the dial and strap is something that is very rare in the watch industry, with the majority of designs being decorated in a classic black or blue. But with B.R.M they are not afraid to step over the boundary and add even more personality to their collections by using funky colours and limiting them to only 100 pieces.
You can see the exquisite detail that has gone into these models since every section of the dial and every stitch on the strap alternates with a different colour and when you continue to learn about the manufacturing process of the brand you will only be more impressed. They work from their independent atelier in Paris where talented watchmakers specialise in each part of the process and bring to life these refreshing designs. You can find more from the brand and the B.R.M Art-Car collection here.
So I may be cheating a little, but for number four on the list I am using two different designs from the Corum watch brand. They are renowned for their quirky and innovative thinking and although the two models below are a personal favourite of mine, it is definitely still worth checking out their many others. The first is the Corum Bubble watch which boasts a completely unmissable domed sapphire crystal glass that comes to a mighty 18.8mm in height. This impressive glass magnifies and distorts the dial beneath creating an impression movement, especially with the Corum Bubble Skeleton model that disfigures the exquisite movement inside.
The second is their Golden Bridge collection and although the price point for this one is significantly more, it is easy to see why. The unique linear movement crosses over from one side of the dial to the other, creating this bridge like effect. It is a real accomplishment by the watchmakers and the gorgeous 18 carat gold that is used in many of the models compliments it further. You can find out more about this model and the Bubble design here.
Perfect for gamers and retro lovers, the Romaine Jerome Collaboration watch collection features fun and unconventional designs that bring our childhood back to life. They have combined forces with all our favourite retro 8-bit games like PacMan, Space Invaders and Tetris as well as Pokemon to create an unmissable collection of timepieces.
The Tetris model is my personal favourite and was released in celebration of the game’s anniversary. The colourful dial features a random sequence of the famous geometric shapes while also having exquisite detail added like the brick engravings around the edge and a Tetris medallion on the case back displaying the limited edition number. You can find more information on this collection and where to buy them here.
SevenFriday is one of those brands that always comes to mind when I have someone asking for a watch that is truly weird and wonderful. They are not watches you will want if you are looking for something to tell the time effortlessly, but there is something charming in the way it takes you several seconds to work out exactly what the dial is telling you.
The dials boast several layers of rotating disks and other complicated features that are impossible to miss when they are displayed on your wrist. The SevenFriday Q Series is particularly striking since it has taken its inspiration from some of the most random places you could think of including music studio panels, steamboats and pit lanes. These, as well as many of their other new releases, are NFC compatible so you can authenticate and register your model using the SevenFriday smartphone app. It is not an easy feat deciding which model is your favourite but it is worth viewing the full collection here before making your choice.
Like a wrist tattoo you can (but don’t want to) remove, the breathtaking Bell and Ross BR 01 Burning Skull watch boasts a striking skull in the centre of the piece surrounded by an elaborate and complex pattern. Engraved within the stainless steel are the shapes of flames, a rose, a scythe, a heart and an hour glass. To create this bold decoration, an intricate process takes place where each line is engraved and filled by hand with black ink, just like the steady hand of a tattoo artist.
The expertise that goes into making this watch is extraordinary and even the centre skull is created from a stamped metal, the same process used when making coins and medals. The skull is then adorned with a black Superluminova coating that exaggerates its already rebellious and daring stare. Get a closer look at this particular model here.