Bright young things
Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for. Sure he's cool, funny, handsome and kooky, but Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, well, there are no excuses. Don't ask me why I watched it but I found the entire plot - where there was any - leaden with symbolism as Captain Jack sought out the legendary fountain of youth with supposedly hilarious consequences. I didn't make it to the end of the film, but the fountain of youth got me thinking about the obsession with youth, or 'yoof', in our culture. The problem most urban lifestyle brands and indeed watchmakers face these days is how to stay relevant when attention spans are on the wane and fickleness is on the rise. There are, however, some brands that seem to pull off looking cool and remaining relevant.
Californian brand Nixon has been able to carve out a niche for itself as the maker of increasingly quality watches that still have that rebellious and youthful spirit. The new Nixon Chronicle (below) from the Pinstripe collection is the perfect summer watch, with a clean design and a trump card: the wonderfully designed and constructed strap. Made from light blueish brushed leather, the strap has a pinstripe design that evokes the Hamptons lifestyle. The case size is a large 48mm and the material used is nice polished steel. The dial face is deliberately clean and uncluttered and features only a date window at the nine o'clock position. Nixon continues to place the bezel in the non-traditional left side of the watch, which I'm sure will please people who wear their watches on the right. The Nixon Chronicle from the Pinstripe collection is priced at HK$2,390.
Adidas is one of those age old brands that have a chameleon-like ability to keep changing and stay hip, although the label is not averse to celebrating its heritage when the occasion arises. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Originals range of Adidas products and clothing - basically anything that is stamped with the iconic trefoil logo. To mark the occasion, Adidas Originals has released a new batch of the Melbourne watch (far left). Priced at HK$3,400, the Melbourne is limited to 500 numbered pieces and what makes it so special is the gold plating on the enormous 50mm steel case. Other features include a rotating bezel, commemorative stamps on the case back and a screwed-in plaque on left the side of the watch. The dial face is dominated by an embossed trefoil logo and the overall styling of the watch will find favour with lapsed b-boys and nostalgia seekers.
Whereas Adidas Originals trades on its heritage, Diesel is all about looking forward and daring to be different. Diesel calls its watches 'timeframes' and its not hard to see the thinking behind such a move, as products such as the DZ7246 aren't exactly orthodox. The first thing to note about the watch is the size, with a case diameter measuring in at a massive 66mm, which might be a bit of problem for anyone with a thin girly wrist. That mammoth size means there is a lot of dial face to fill up and Diesel hasn't been shy in that department either, with the DZ2746 featuring six dials of varying sizes as well as a digital display. The dials allow for up to four timezones to be shown and other indicators include the date and a chronograph function. The DZ2746 is priced at HK$2,520 and is available in a number of iterations; including the brown-steel and leather strap version (above).