VOID Watches was founded in 2008 by mechanical engineer and designer David Ericsson. Since the launch of its first set of iconic square digital watches, the Swedish watchmaking label has become renowned for its simple, fuss-free design and commitment to high quality craftsmanship. Its collection is rooted in Scandinavian ideals of functionality and minimalism, hallmarks that we're very much on board with here at OPUMO.
We caught up with David to learn more about his passion for watches, how he came to launch VOID and where he looks to for design inspiration.
Can you talk a bit about your background in mechanical engineering and design and how it led you to establish VOID Watches?
By the time I got my masters in mechanical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in the early 2000s, I had realised that design school would have been more in line with what I wanted to do. Luckily I managed to get a job at one of Sweden’s bigger industrial design companies and over the next three years I learnt a lot from my very talented colleagues there. I went to art school before university so it wasn’t a big or strange leap, just a natural progression and having an engineering background has proven to be very useful over the years.
After a few years at the design studio I was offered another job as a development manager for a business in Hong Kong. I took the job but quit after a year to start VOID Watches. I’d always had it in the back of my head to run my own business making my own products and VOID Watches really started as a passion project that grew into a real business.
Have you always had a passion for watches? Where does it stem from?
I got my first watch before starting school at age 7. I think that really made an impression on me, it felt like a momentous moment. As I got older I started to pick up vintage watches here and there. In the '90s you could still buy vintage Omega watches at flea markets for 20 pounds if you were lucky and I had a few lucky finds and also picked up a lot of vintage '70s watches that were and still are extremely good bang for buck. It wasn’t any organised collecting, I just liked the watches.
How would you describe VOID's design philosophy?
Well, it’s important to explain the context a little bit first. I started to sketch out the brand in 2007 and by that time there were not any ‘minimal’ independent watch brands. It was very uncharted territory and I wanted to make something simple but distinctive. The first watch I designed I called V01, it’s now our V01MKII (mark II) that has been slightly refined over the years but the concept is still the same. The plan was to make something as geometric and simple as possible but yet very recognisable and I think it worked, this is still the watch I like the most in the collection.
Over the years I’ve added a few models and worked with some designer friends to create some new collections but the goal has never been to react too much to trends or to add too many options. We’re pretty much a niche brand and it’s fine if we’re not loved by everyone.
What keeps you inspired?
If you mean design inspiration I tend to look at older things made using good quality materials and where form often follow production methods. I appreciate very transparent products where materials are well defined and where you can see how they are made and fit together. Of course there are a lot of people who inspire me, some I’m lucky enough to know quite well.
How do you spend your downtime?
I have a five year old daughter so down time is a very relative term but if I could get out sailing I’d be happy. The long term goal is to start designing and building a holiday home in the countryside, I’ve already picked the spot.
Do you have a personal favourite from VOID's range?
As I mentioned earlier the V01MKII is my all time favourite. It’s what launched the brand and I think the design has held up well over the years.
What's next for VOID?
I usually don’t discuss future product launches until the concept is proven and all manufacturing details are solved. I’ll have to get back to you on that.