What makes for good design? These contemporary creations from eminent watch and jewellery brands each give a different answer
There is no question that good design should be both beautiful and functional, but as with everything in life, the devil is in the details. In the watch and jewellery world, creating designs that cleave to a brand’s heritage and identity are especially important—but they cannot simply continue doing so without pushing the boundaries of modern design. When the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref 5524 debuted in 2015 (then in white gold with a different dial colourway), it caused quite the stir. Its bold, sporty aesthetic was vastly different from any of Patek Philippe’s contemporary offerings at the time. A few years on, however, the watch has become a celebrated part of the brand’s oeuvre. Patek Philippe even created the Ref 7234, a smaller feminine version of the Ref 5524 that houses the same high-performance movement. Another example is the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic, which strikes an excellent balance between engineering and aesthetic concerns. It set the world record for the thinnest automatic movement when it debuted last year in titanium, and this year’s iteration in rose gold with a unique sandblasted finish, is aesthetically even more pleasing to the eye. Besides these timepieces, our cover couple, Alfred Chua and Annie Seow, also had their eyes on other items in the shoot. Annie, who is the managing director at Microland, was enamoured with the Panthère de Cartier necklace, which has the house’s iconic panther motif. Alfred, the founder and managing director of The Wok People (and watch enthusiast), made time for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar. It just goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there is plenty of room for different definitions of good design in this world.