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It can’t text. It doesn’t send heartbeats. There’s no pedometer. But: It can tell time, and maybe convince you to appreciate it.
Without apps, sounds, or games, the Swiss-made Slow Watch is a timepiece for those who truly cherish the seconds and hours of their day; people for whom each tick has a meaning. The design looks familiar in some ways, but being built with only one sweephand to mark minutes, second and hours sets it apart. Far apart.
Cofounders Corvin Lask and Chris Noerskau have backgrounds in the watch and e-commerce business, and along with two other colleagues, set out to redefine the nature of time as seen through the personal timepiece.
“The concept was really born inside of us and is reflecting our own experiences, feelings, and attitude,” they told the Daily Dot. “We realized that everybody around us including ourselves is caught in the hamster wheel. We wanted to create a product that has a meaning to us. So what you be better than a reminder that helps you to get out of that hamster wheel.”
The Slow Watch follows the concept of slow food, were the focus is on the care taken in preparation of a meal rather than the presentation and cooking time. In the case of the Slow, the term evokes the need to value the finite concept of time.
“Yes, slow is not referring to speed,” the founders said. “It’s a mindset of appreciating time as our most valuable good again. And appreciating time is about cherishing the moment. Time has basically become an abstraction of digits, that usually puts stress on us. We treat it like an enemy and forget how precious it is. slow means to refocus on the beauty of time and life again.”
The vast majority of watches have hour, minute, and second hands with each pointing in a certain direction to mark the time. Variations, such as jump hour watches, have been around for decades, but the Slow brand differs in that it represents hours and minutes at the same time with one moving hand. Using the 24-hour time standard (common outside the U.S.), the hours are separated by four 15-minute interval markers which combine to show the current time.
Slow comes in two basic varieties—a 34-mm-width version called Slow Mo and a 38-mm-width Slow Jo. There are numerous styles and band choices and it costs $250 online with free shipping.
But who is the watch being marketed to? In some ways, Lask and Noerskau are targeting the same audience that Apple, Samsung, and others hope to reach with their smartwatches.
“We are targeting the new generation of business people,” they explain. “Business has become much more informal today but hardly any watch brand is reflecting this. They are still super formal, focusing on prestige and old values. We are delivering a high quality product, but made specifically for you and me.”
Slow Watch | Remix by Jason Reed
Allen Weiner has been a market research analyst in the area of new media and technology since 1994. He’s worked as writer, publisher and newspaper executive. He is the co-founder and publisher of Kombucha Network and the former managing vice president of Gartner.