Samuel Wilkinson designs Mòltair watch for Nomad
London Design Festival 2015: London designer Samuel Wilkinson has collaborated with new Scottish watch brand Nomad to release his first timepiece (+ slideshow).
The Mòltair watch has a circular face and a textured stainless-steel case, which is available in three different finishes: black, silver and gold. The model takes its name from the Gaelic word for a cast or mould – mòlltaich – and the shape of the watch apparently references the shape of a cast iron pot.
Designed to be unisex, the watch has a simple black leather strap that attaches to the face with a pair of clasps fixed to a stainless steel backplate.
"We wanted to set this watch apart from most other 'design watches', which appear to be designed from a 2D perspective, front-on – ie the hands, face, dial – so we made sure that the profile, construction and back of the case is as much its signature as its face," said Wilkinson.
"From the start it was our intention to produce a piece that would age well and have a solid construction – so cast metal and high-quality natural leather were first choice," he added.
Wilkinson is perhaps best known for designing the Plumen 001 lightbulb, which launched in 2010 and went on to win the 2011 Design of the Year Award.
Since then the designer has also created a rotating LED light for Swedish brand Zero, and a collection of lightweight aluminium furniture.
The Mòltair watch has a numberless dial and features oversized geometric hands in various colour combinations.
"We wanted to make the hands a strong centrepiece, so we chose a set of wide graphic hands that created a different combination of geometric forms that change through the hours," Wilkinson elaborated.
"As the face has had all the markings removed we needed to work hard on the interaction between the hands so we went through hundreds of iterations of slight positional movements and sizes until we ended with the right result," he added.
The face is covered with bevelled glass that is raised slightly above the casing.
Wilkinson is the first designer to collaborate with Nomad, although the brand plans to partner with a different design studio for each new watch release.
"Our name reflects our desire for ever-changing surroundings and exploration through design," Nomad founders Alan and Kelsey Moore said in a statement.
"Calling on a global network of collaborators, each watch will carry the clean lines and durable sensibilities of Nomad, as well as nuances of the designer's own environment." they added.
"I wanted to design a watch that I would like to wear; something that was expressive and a bit avant-garde but still functional," said Wilkinson.
Mòltair will make its debut at the designjunction exhibition in London, which is open to the public from 24 to 27 September 2015.
The event takes place as part of the London Design Festival 2015, from 19 to 27 September – see Dezeen's guide to this year's must-see exhibitions and installations.
Also for the festival, Wilkinson has designed The Ommatidium – a permanent installation in London's Shoreditch. The five-metre-high umbrella-shaped structure holds 1,500 crystal prisms which refract sunlight during the day, and light up at night.
The Ommatidium will offer free wi-fi, and use augmented messaging app Traces to allow passersby to leave pieces of digital content for others to enjoy.
Dezeen Watch Store will be stocking the Mòltair design exclusively for two weeks later this year. Keep up with more watch news and exclusive interviews with designers on the Dezeen Watch Store blog.