That exciting time of year is here again, our new Ladies watch collection of AW16 launch is nearly upon us!
One of the design elements from vintage watches I love is the thin profile they use. This is made using a dial that is loaded from the front of the watch and the lens set over the watch afterwards. A lot of modern watches today are made where the dial is inserted from the back of the case. This can be restricting from a design point of view because the case has to be thicker. The other design restriction is that the dial opening has to be smaller with more metal around the edge of the case. Using a front loading dial the design of the watch can be a lot more styled and more unique.
With this in mind I set about putting together sketches and ideas to design cases that had the thin profile and I looked at the old techniques of loading the dial from the front of the watch. This was the start of our AW16 collection with a much thinner profile.
I also love dials that give depth and detail, this can be seen on our other collections in the OWL brand. I felt the new slim profile with a large open stepped dial would be the perfect combination.
After looking at different finishes, I chose a sunray dial. This is fine etched line detail that radiates from the centre to the edge of the dial. Taking this finish and mixing it with the stepped dial gives a stunning look that catches the light beautifully.
I also decided that we should keep the thin profile strap that has become a key feature of the OWL brand for AW16. I feel that this gives a very feminine feel to the watch wether on the bigger 33mm size case or the smaller 21mm case.
Keeping our signature metal tab detail we use on the straps was very important and I needed to check this would work with the thin profile. After sketches and cads it was evident that it sat beautifully together with the new thin profile cases and finish the watch styling in a bespoke stylised way.
When deciding on the strap colours a Rose Gold case, complimented by a vintage feel tan strap was a must have. This combination is so easy to wear every day with casuals or smart casual. Then I have added a gold case teamed up with an amazing ox-blood red vintage feel leather. As with the Tan this is really easy to wear with so many outfits and I personally LOVE this ox-blood red leather!!
I wanted to bring through the warm chocolate in the Mayfair collection onto a strap as this is perfect for this AW16. I also wanted to keep the design a little softer and very pretty. This lead to mixing the warm chocolate with a soft nude pink. The leather was difficult to source because I had a key colour and shade in my mind so when I sourced the perfect tone with a slight pearl finish I was so happy. I initially made 2 samples, one with a chocolate dial to match the case and one with a nude pink to match the strap. Once I received the samples, the chocolate dial on the matching case, offset by the nude perl pink strap was just stunning so I really hope everyone loves this colour combination as much as I do.
I also had a look at what everyone has been buying in the collections to date and which colours and styles people have bought. Our mesh bracelets are a style that people have loved so I wanted to bring the new thin profile through onto a mesh style to ensure I'm designing watches for everyone and giving a choice. This is the Ledbury collection
With a beautiful colour level of Rose gold still being strong in the market, a rose gold mesh was a must! I also wanted to include something new and very different into the mesh collection. After researching into plating colours available, I chose a gorgeous warm brown plating and an Ink Navy blue which I felt could look amazing on a mesh bracelet. I teamed the warm chocolate with a rose gold highlight on the dial markers and hands and I felt the Ink Navy would work perfectly with pale gold highlights on the dial.
This resulted in the Ashbourne collection on a mesh and the Ascot collection on a leather strap being created.
Thank you for taking time to read this and I hope you find my design process for AW16 and thoughts that goes into creating OWL watches interesting.