The world of men’s luxury watches is a staunchly traditional one. Classic techniques and materials are often more expensive and sought-after than innovative modern styles and the unmovable names in the industry are the ones who have earned the position through generations of premium watchmaking. Sometimes, though, a new brand enters the fray with a design so refreshing that we can’t help but take notice. In 2014, a Glasgow-based studio called Instrmnt released one simple product: Instrmnt 01. We took notice.
We’ve all seen minimalist watches for men before, but the Instrmnt 01 takes the style to a new level. We consider the Scandinavian-style men’s watch a future classic, so we’re breaking down our favourite bits.
At its core, Instrmnt revolves around minimal design cues which allows the studio to apply its style to a range of products from a day bed to a city bike in collaboration with Freddie Grubb and most recently, stylish wall clocks. When it comes to the brand’s watches, this style translates perfectly into a range of minimal men’s watches that cater to function as much as form.
The studio’s first watch design, Instrmnt 01 acted as a statement of intent for the new brand. A supremely understated, open watch face is the protagonist of this piece, exemplifying the true power of simplicity.
D-Series boasts more features than the stripped-back construction of 01 – a rotating bezel, for example – but retains the studio’s signature minimalism. A restrained colour palette and material choices position this as one of the best diving watches of the moment.
Designing a range of minimal watches for men is no easy feat, but designing a range of watches that work as well as they look is even harder. Instrmnt watches combine Swiss components with utilitarian design, take the Instrmnt 01 for example:
Movement: Swiss Ronda 585 3H Casing: PVD-coated 40mm 316L stainless steelGlass: Sapphire crystalStrap: 18mm vegetable-tanned leatherWater resistance: 170ft
As for the D-Series:
Movement: Sellita SW200 movement (26 jewels, +-4 seconds, bespoke Instrmnt rotor)Casing: 40mm 316L steel casingGlass: Double-domed sapphire crystalBezel: Aluminium Dial: Steel dial, Luminova markings, sweeping second handWater resistance: 666ft
Last year, Instrmnt redesigned its packaging. Seeing as each of the label's watch comes unassembled with the tools for you to build your piece, the packaging is an important consideration. The studio’s unique box displays each watch component simply and clearly but there was one thing missing.
Although the packaging was working well, Instrmnt believes that it’s the duty of every company to do their bit to reduce consumption, so it was back to the drawing board to devise a more environmentally friendly option. The foam that was previously used to hold the components in place has been replaced by recycled bamboo pulp – the most sustainable material in the world – that has been wet-pressed into shape.
The rest of the box is crafted from recycled coffee cups, with approximately 1.9 coffee cups recycled into each box. That means that between the box, bamboo insert and recycled postal envelopes, Instrmnt packaging is 100% recycled and 100% plastic-free.
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