The inherent nerdiness of the digital watch has been excorcised by the latest flush of stylish models available. There is a trend emerging amongst some of the most elegant watch designers to out-do one another on the digital front, pushing the form to new heights. The sharp lines and naturally austere contours of the digital watch offer a strict, precise kind of elegance that the antiquated analogues just can’t stretch to. Futuristic in an old fashioned kind of way, the models tend to be divided into two platforms: precocious retro and bold modern.
Of the retro styles the Lip Diode is the choice article. Wonderfully blocky, manufactured from stainless steele, sporting mineral glass and a leather strap, it’s just so evocative of a science-fiction vision of tomorrow. Another fine example of the new wave of retro digital watches is the unashamedly minimalist Wide Digital by Fleming Bo Hansen. A refreshing change from a gathering tendency to overcomplicate the time telling process, this Wide Digital Watch, as its wholly unpretentious name suggests, is a beautifully realised fusion of form and function in a device that is more than comfortable with merely telling the time. Of interest might also be the cheaper than trash Farmer PVC LCD watch. Just like the one you used to try and swap in the playground, the Farmer is liberating in its unpretentious simplicity. Great for sports and for summer. Also, its Miami Vice white strap and night-glo function is a real period turn-on.
There are also some daring contemporary models that should be mentioned. Nixon offer a devlish range, in particular the Dictator and Answer Watch. With a record / playback function and custom display, the Dictator is one of the coolest, most useful and, more importantly, sleekest watches around. The Answer Watch on the otherhand is a totally gauche Bladerunner of a timepiece, purposefully outdated but perfectly versatile. For something a little different, a little Star-Trek, the Tokyoflash Shinshoku is an entropic gem (see main pic above). Telling the time through a unique symbol sytem, this cyborg at the end of your arm will be a talking point: twelve red LEDs indicate the hour, three green LEDs indicate 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour and fourteen yellow LEDs indicate single minutes – it’s insane but it works. Of the higher end watches available, this has that extra something. Not to be outdone, Diesel offer a neat digi in the Dz7069. A more modest reinvention of the digital display than the Tokyoflash, its main attraction is quite simply that it looks fabulous.
Why not ditch your analogue antique and start wearing one of tomorrow’s watches today?