Dezeen Magazine

True Square FormaFantasma for Rado

Formafantasma creates a watch with a sense of secrecy for Rado

Italian duo Formafantasma has developed a watch for Swiss brand Rado that emulates the closed pocket watches of centuries past.

Set to launch during Rado Design Week on Dezeen next week, the True Square Formafantasma looks back to a time when watches kept their delicate mechanisms concealed behind a protective outer casing.

True Square FormaFantasma for Rado
The True Square Formafantasma takes its cues from closed pocket watches

Similar to these pocket watches of the past, it is only possible to glimpse the time, thanks to a small round window in the centre of an otherwise opaque face.

By referencing the past in this way, Formafantasma designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin hoped to create a design with a timeless character.

"This special design edition draws on the historic idea of a closed watch to create a bold and impactful style statement that is designed to stand the test of time," said Rado.

True Square FormaFantasma for Rado
The watch hands can only be glimpsed through a small round window

This reference to context – the idea of looking back as a way of looking forward – is a common theme in Formafantasma's work. Trimarchi and Farresin see research as a vital aspect of their design process.

After graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2009, the pair became known for their use of experimental materials, including bioplastics, animal skins and lava, as alternatives to artificial substances.

More recently, the Amsterdam-based pair have been exploring the impact of the timber industry and researching e-waste, to understand the historical, political and social forces shaping the future of manufacturing.

True Square FormaFantasma for Rado
Both the case and bracelet are made from scratch-resistant ceramic

The True Square Formafantasma is also designed with longevity in mind – both the case and the bracelet are made from Rado's high-tech ceramic, making them highly scratch resistant.

Likewise, the window for the dial is made from sapphire crystal, while the mechanism inside is high-quality Swiss-made.

The watch also features a hypoallergenic titanium case back, to ensure a comfortable wear.

True Square FormaFantasma for Rado
The watch features the square-shaped face that has become iconic for Rado

The design is one of four new Rado watches launching next week as part of Rado Design Week, a week of virtual content hosted exclusively on Dezeen from 30 November to 4 December.

All four boast the iconic square-shaped face that characterises watches in Rado's signature True Square collection.

The other contributing designers are Indian duo Thukral & Tagra, British designer Tej Chauhan and Japanese studio YOY, which has unveiled a design that celebrates the futuristic feel of the 1980s.

True Square FormaFantasma for Rado
The titanium case back is hypoallergenic

More details about all the watches will be unveiled during Rado Design Week, when Dezeen will broadcast a video about each watch as well as live interviews with Rado CEO Adrian Bosshard and each of the designers involved. Click here to see the schedule.

Rado Design Week takes place from 30 November to 4 December at