LEFF Amsterdam says, “Nobody really needs a clock,” provoking questions about the nature of technology and design. At the same time, the studio shows its followers why they probably do actually want one. Personal expression and seamless function are balanced in their attention-grabbing creations.
Riffing on the theme, the LEFF Amsterdam might also say that nobody really needs a watch. Seemingly everyone in the design world has had a cell phone, if not a tablet and a smartwatch and more, that can tell the time. Society has been headed in such a direction for years, and there does not appear to be any end in sight. Still, the desire to wear a beautiful analog object endures. The appeal of using something simple to gain a sense of the metaphysical remains.
The appeal of using something simple to gain a sense of the metaphysical remains.
The draw is especially clear when admiring the D42 and S42 Series Tube Watches, the latest LEFF Amsterdam timepieces by the Netherlands-based designer Piet Hein Eek (interviewed on Gessato here). Like the Tube Clock and the Tube Speakers, the two new designs are composed of a steel tube and extrusion ring. In both versions, the system takes the form of a 42mm case with a pressed bezel and a screwed-down caseback. The metal components are made of 316L steel and come in stainless or one of two IP-brushed finishes: brass or matte black. Housed inside is a Miyota 2035 three-hand movement, made in Japan. On the surface, the movement corresponds to the single push-pull crown with diamond-cut teeth and glides across the dial. Minimalist, even monochrome in some colorways, the face sports just notched indices and subtly engraved branding.
The D42 and S42 Series are marked by notable differences. A softer option, the D-Line has a mineral glass and a 22mm buckle strap in brown or black leather. More industrial, the S-Line is protected by a sapphire glass and brought together by a lugged case and a matching three-link bracelet and butterfly clasp. Despite their distinctions, the design heritage is evident, and both Tube Watches will show at ICFF (New York design week) and launch in September of 2015 as part of a limited-edition initial run.