Designing the new AW17 watch collections

September 22, 2017

Designing the new AW17 watch collections

With OWL AW17 stock imminent, I thought I'd give you a bit more of an insight into the new collection and the design concepts behind it.


Starting at the beginning, I wanted to pull all ideas and designs back to an authentic vintage style. My starting point was putting together trend boards, looking at styling and the colour palettes I wanted to use.

With paint companies such as Farrow and Ball using beautiful heritage colours, I adore the tonal shades, this was the perfect starting point for me.

Aw17 colour pallet trend 

Once I'd decided the shades, I put my colour groups together, this meant I could focus on the tones I wanted to use and the overall feel I wanted to achieve from the collection.


Starting with choosing colours may seem a strange way to begin designing a collection, but it gives me the feel and outlook I want for the watches.


I then looked at old vintage watches and the different shapes and profiles. I felt that a round case in a thin profile was perfect for the new designs.

Our ladies watches normally have thin 10mm straps but I felt it was time to introduce a wider strap which is 14mm. This is still thin enough to ensure the watch is easy and comfortable to wear but new to the current styles.

The metal tab we have used on the watches has become a signature feature and this was a must for the new range. I feel the tab gives the watches a stylish look and finishes the strap in a very unique way.

 Watch strap tab detail

The next stage was the dial design. With OWL watch designs, I always want to give people watches that are on trend and different to other watches that are available in the market.

With so many similar looking watches in the market, I decided to introduce a dial with full numbers 1-12.
To bring depth to the dial, I designed the Arabic numbers, each hand applied onto the dial.

It was also a way to bring the vintage tonal colours through onto the dial and using the vintage shades on the numbers and the dial base, I achieved the styling I wanted.

 watch dial numbers


 Once the ideas and direction was clear, it was time to take the sketch ideas through to cad.

Watch design from cad to sample

I always love to take a sketch onto the mac and see it come to life. Tweaking the proportions and scales and adjusting the tonal shades so I can see the overall outlook is always very exciting.


From this point, the cads can be made into moulds for the case, dials and straps. It normally takes around 8 weeks to receive the first set of samples.

When we received the prototypes, overall they looked fantastic. The mens collections looked very stylish and it was great to see the mens cases on mesh for the first time.

mens mesh watch silver


The ladies samples needed a few slight changes. This is when we decided to change the minute track to applied metal, a couple of the shades needed to be altered to be closer to the pantone colours we wanted and one of the colours we decided to hold as it wasn't quite correct. Finally the lens of the watch should have been a vintage inspired shape but it had come as a domed shape which wasn't the look I wanted.

ladies mink and rose gold watch

With all these changes made, it was time to go ahead with production. Production takes around 14 weeks. I'm expecting all our new watches to arrive in the next 4 weeks and I am very excited. We have had a fantastic response to the new collections.

 Here are a few of the AW17 collections:


Mens silver mesh watch hisMens rose gold brown leather strap watch hisMens rose gold mesh watch his



Mens chronograph brown leather stainless steel watchMens chronograph grey mesh strap stainless steel watchMens chronograph grey leather stainless steel watch


Ladies tan and rose leather strap watchLadies rose gold mesh multi dial watchLadies navy and silver leather strap watch


Ladies rose gold mesh watch with calendarLadies rose gold mink leather strap watch with calendarLadies rose silver mesh watch with calendar

If you have any comments and feedback, I'd love to hear them.


Thanks for your time in reading this and I hope you found it intersting.


Annette :-)

Annette Allen


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