Introducing the minimalist and distinctive Aark watches.
Established in 2011 in Melbourne, Aark Collective is an independent watch brand that brings a refreshing twist to classic timepiece design. Founders Cedric Austria, Sara Su, Celica Austria, and Karla Magayanes are all friends who share a love of minimalist design. The brand’s first collection in 2013 proved that simplicity combined with clever creativity is always winning formula. Bold and playful as well as original, the first Aark watches didn’t even feature branding. Indeed, the timepieces lacked any type of logo or lettering marking them as an Aark Collective product. Using a perfect balance between function and beauty along with imaginative details in a wearable design, the first Aark watches were truly one-of-a-kind. Years later, the collection has expanded to include many different designs; all of them share the same Aark style that sets these timepieces firmly apart from others.
Apart from their originality, refinement, and fun style, the Aark Collective watches also feature the finest components. From the hand-dipped cases and precise Swiss and Japanese quartz movements to the Italian and Horween leather straps, every part used for an Aark timepiece is carefully chosen for its superior quality. However, the centerpiece of any watch from this collection is a quirky design complemented by an obsessive attention to detail. Aark watches boast simple geometric forms and abstract elements but have a minimalist aesthetic.
Uncluttered and clean, the dials are eye-catching with their mysterious shapes and forms that reinterpret classic concepts with a fun twist. The timepieces feature dodecagon cases or outlines on the dial as well as triangular crowns. Color also plays an important part in some of the brand’s watches, along with strong graphic shapes and contrasts. Indeed, Aark watches look more like works of contemporary art than a classic timepiece.
From the beginning, minimalist design with a playful twist.
The first Aark collection introduced the Classic, Iconic, and Timeless designs. The Classic represents the spirit of Aark watches perfectly. Simple and fun as well as refined and bold, the Classic watch boasts geometric details on the dial, subdial, and the hour hand. Included just above the 6 o’clock mark in its own outline, the second hand adds a distinctive touch to the design. This watch also features a matte satin finish on the case and strap. Iconic makes a style statement with industrial design cues. This watch comes with an aircraft-grade stainless steel case with PVD plating, a rotating bezel, acid-etched details, and a chronograph Japanese Quartz movement. Timeless has a sophisticated design with a day and date function, matte and glossy finishes, as well as black and white or black and gold color palettes.
The beautifully designed and crafted Aark watches.
Some of the more minimalist Aark watches, the Classic Neu and Prism designs explore the power of simplicity. Prism juxtaposes materials of different transparencies with clear, patterned, or frosted acetate outer shells and machined metal cases. Matte or radial dials, slender hands, and hour markers provided by the points of a dodecagon shape complete the design. Likewise, the Classic New watch has a clean aesthetic and refined details. It features simple hands, the signature dodecagon index, a custom-molded triangle crown, and an independent second hand.
All Aark watches are crafted to last but Eon takes things further with some premium components that include sapphire-coated mineral glass, a laser-cut dial, and a handmade Italian calf leather strap. This watch also boasts a white luminous coating on the hands, markers, chronograph, and date display. Likewise, the Tide model comes with a sapphire-coated mineral glass, a Swiss Quartz movement, and a soft and long-lasting leather strap made by iconic US tannery Horween Leather. The Tide Neu version brings some fresh new elements to the original design, but keeps the signature wave-form hand.
Elegant detailing that tells a story.
Some of the watches from Aark Collective draw inspiration from classic designs or the passage of time. For example, the Shell watch references more traditional timepieces in a distinctly Aark design. It features a clean dial with elongated indexes and unique patterns on the hand-molded acetate cases; this watch also boasts the signature wave-form detail on the Italian calfskin leather strap. The Accent celebrates color with a blend of muted hues and more vibrant accents in a graphic style. If the Accent uses color as an inspiration, Dome embraces its curves. This watch features rounded forms, circular details, and a smooth spherical crown as well as a domed-shaped lens that creates distorted perspectives depending on the viewing angle.
The Logo explores another concept at the heart of the brand: the idea of identity. Here, the logo becomes repurposed as an abstract motif that changes daily. Both the Interval and the Eclipse explore the passage of time. While Interval represents a sequence of events that help to measure time and features intricate abstract markings, Eclipse references day and night with refined gold or silver detailing and a dual-tone plating.
Collaborations with other designers and brands.
Aark Collective also collaborates with other talented creatives and specialist retailers to make gorgeous watches that tell a story. Created in a collab with Japanese retailer H°M’S” WatchStore, the Tide Neu ‘A to J’ watch offers a new take on the Tide Neu design with a dual case finish and a color palette that references the flags of Japan and Australia. A red wave-form hour hand emulates the former, while a two-tone leather strap mirrors the latter.
The brand has collaborated with industrial design duo Daniel Emma on two Aark watches. The Marble features a thin marble layer on the dial that gives the minimalist design an opulent but also organic look. Naturally, no two Marble watches are the same, as the natural material features variations in patterns and hues. Like its name suggests, the Multi watch boasts a multi-color palette in a bold and playful design. Apart from the different colors of the hands, the watch also comes with dual tone leather straps. Customers can choose between Morning, Noon, and Midnight versions.
Finally, the Aark Collective packaging is almost as stunning as the watches themselves. In a nice touch, the brand also offers gorgeous custom gift wrapping as an option. Photographs© Aark Collective.