Seiko has just opened the latest installation of Power Design Project, the annual exhibition that invites watch designers to explore experimental ideas designs centred on a particular theme that diverge from their conventional designs, generating innovative concepts that might one day be incorporated into watches. This year’s exhibition is titled Incredibly Specialized Watches and serves as extension of last year’s event with a continued focus on avant-garde designs with a functional twist. One of this year’s creations is a sukiyaki timer that helps the wearer cook beef in the hotpot dish – complete with a Kobe beef-pattern strap.
Originally conceived two decades ago and halted in 2009, Power Design Project was revived in 2022 to capitalise on the increased interest in Seiko’s diverse stable of timekeepers. Taking place at Seiko’s exhibition space in the trendy district of Harajuku, the 2024 exhibition takes place from January 19th to March 31st.
For this year’s exhibition, Seiko recruited seven designers to create distinct perspectives on wristwatches, with each design meant to specialise in a specific timekeeping function. As a result, the exhibition features seven watch models, but each with in two different configurations of the dial, case, and strap, resulting in 14 different timepieces in total.
Consider the ambidextrous wristwatch concept created Seiko’s in-house designer Kento Ito. This watch epitomises Grand Seiko’s distinctive style, seamlessly integrating the key elements of the Grand Seiko “White Birch” into an entirely new aesthetic.
The case is heavily facetted and finished with zaratsu polishing, and topped by a distinctive decagon angular bezel with ten facets. And the applied hour markers, meticulously polished by hand on four surfaces, echo the refined surface finishing. The watch undergoes a dramatic transformation with a complete inversion of its colour palette as the crown goes from the right of the case to the left, transforming it into a watch for left-handers.
One of the more whimsical designs in the exhibition is the “hide-and-seek” watch conceived as an instrument for the children’s game, which incorporates a timer to start the game.
And perhaps the most amusing watch in the exhibition is a literal “panda” chronograph with a panda face on the dial.
Power Design Project: Incredibly Specialized Watches takes place from January 19 to March 31, 2024, at Seiko Seed, an exhibition space owned by the watchmaker. It’s open to the public from 11:00 am-8:00 pm daily (with the last admission at 7:45 pm), except for Sunday and public holidays when it closes at 5:00 pm. Admission is free.
Seiko Seed Harajuku
For more, visit seiko-seed.com.
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