Dezeen Watch Store: industrial designer Michael Young has launched an updated version of his iconic PXR-5 digital watch exclusively at Dezeen Watch Store. In this movie he explains how, 10 years on, he was still receiving regular requests to buy it.
The Hong Kong-based designer first created the PXR as a utilitarian timepiece for his own personal use, and never expected it to become commercially successful.
"It just started to sell organically," he said in the interview. "We sold it at trade fairs and it sold really well for five years until I decided that the studio wasn't really committed to getting involved in the retail business."
Young had brought a batch of the watches with him to SuperStudio in Milan with the intention of selling them to retailers, but they were all purchased directly by customers.
"We took 500 watches and we sold them all," he said. "The queues were blocking the corridors. We had six or seven people selling the watch constantly."
The popularity of the PXR-5 marked the start of a new market for design-led watches, suggests Young, inspiring a number of other designers to produce similar timepieces.
"After we designed the PXR-5 we got a lot of enquiries from friends in the design business who I think believed I was making a lot of easy money out of watches," Young says.
"I think out of that emerged a lot of new watch brands who were using my manufacturer to just do these very economical watches which didn't require massive investment."
In 2013 Young decided to bring the PXR-5 back into production, due to frequent requests from the public to do so.
"After 10 years, we still get emails, several times a month, saying "Can we buy this watch?" he adds. "So last year I decided to get it back in production in four different colours."
The timepiece is loosely based on the design of belt buckles, with its stainless steel case and material strap, and is now available exclusively at Dezeen Watch Store in four colour combinations: gold/brown, silver/grey or brushed/blue, black/black.
The new version of the PXR-5 is waterproof to 15 meters, water resistant to 30 metres and comes from the same manufacturer that produces Young's MY03 Hacker watch for ODM.
"We improved certain details on the rear to make sure the waterproofing was perfect," Young says.
"Ultimately, the mechanism inside is a superior quality – the battery life is extended beyond one year."