Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

The "Watch_Brotherss" are a duo of actual watch designers from Hong Kong who have done something artistically interesting and worth talking about. What they do is use their Photoshop and design skills to merge various watch models they like to form hybrid designs which range from cool and desirable to really weird and thought-provoking. I interviewed them in order to share a bit about yet another mysterious set of personalities on the often anonymous world that is social media - and because what they are doing is particularly neat.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

The Watch_Brotherss aren't real brothers (even though they actually do have the same last name) and share their work on Instragram under the @Watch_Brotherss name. I will refer to them as "L" and "J." For not actually being brothers, these two talented guys have a lot in common ranging from both being trained industrial product designers to working for the same watch design company. Given the nature of the industry, they prefer to keep their identities (as well as their employer) confidential for now. According to them, the watches they design (which go into production) typically retail for a couple hundred dollars to about US $1,000.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

The tagline on their Instragram page pretty much says it all, but their process and goals are worth exploring since they aren't that obvious. The duo seeks to explore "what if the watch brand mixed," and that is more or less what they do. Currently, they only have 60 images or so on their page, but each is an interesting work unto itself. The various watches and other designs they come up with typically combine 2-3 popular watches and seek to come up with something new. You'll see a lot of repeating themes such as use of elements from brands like Rolex (they really love Rolex bezels), but this isn't because they are being lazy. In fact, the use of repeated visual elements is done intentionally, and for a few reasons.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

The expressed reason is very practical, and that is to gain attention from as many people on social media as possible. The average person on social media spends perhaps a second looking at each picture, so it is important to catch people's attention right away. Thus, the Watch_Brotherss are intentionally using the most identifiable elements from the most identifiable brands such as Rolex, Hublot, Panerai, and others.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

What I think people should stop and consider is what elements they are choosing and how those elements make certain watch designs more distinctive than others. You might ask yourself what makes a Rolex so identifiable, but not really be able to come up with an answer outside of, perhaps, "the name." Well, a good answer according the work of the Watch_Brotherss is clearly the rotating bezel. In fact, looking at their work, one can immediately see just how important elements like bezels and crowns are when it comes to brand identification.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

Take Panerai, for example, with their Luminor locking crown guard. They use this element to help people identify their watches. In fact, there is a form of trademark Panerai has registered for this design element. It's no longer even close to being patent-protected, so what Panerai did was take the clever step of tradmarking it as part of the "dress" of the product which helps consumers identify its origin.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

Such elements which are part of how we identify popular watches aren't always obvious, but seeing the design combination work of the Watch_Brotherss really helps one understand that. What I particularly like about the duo's efforts is the mostly refined and very skillful integration of parts. Not all of these are watches I would want to wear, but each is immediately interesting and thought-provoking.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

In China and other parts of Asia, original design is observed far less than what I call "curated selection design" and replication. One reason for the popularity of fakes coming from China isn't just economic, but rather cultural. The notion that someone can copy something else perfectly is actually rather valued. In this sense, many watch designs from China, Hong Kong, and Japan in particular often look like hybrids between popular looks in high-end European watches. To Westerners, this doesn't always look great, but my understanding is that there is a lot of artistic and creative merit in these parts of Asia not just in coming up with original designs, but also original curation and merging of existing design elements from around the world. I'm saying this as a way of explaining one possible reason why the duo was drawn to this type of artistic expression.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

In their own words, the Watch_Brotherss said they began playing with and merging watch designs in order to impress each other. Each design takes anywhere from a few hours to a day to complete, and much of the time is simply spent trying to figure out what to actually do. Given that the two spend a large amount of their time looking at watch designs as it is, doing this type of work is not a particular stretch, and I think they do it pretty well.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

Even though L and J bulk their work together, you can easily tell their individual work as each design thus far is produced by only one of them. When they aren't designing watches, L is an avid cyclist (uphill riding) and designs his own riding jerseys. J's hobby is leather goods, and he produces wallets and other items he likes for the satisfaction of completing something tangible all by himself. They also have different watch tastes and design preferences. When you look at their Instagram, you can tell L's work because the "@" symbol on his pictures is squared in the signature, while J's "@" symbol is more traditionally round.

Skillfully Mixing & Matching Watch Designs With The Watch_Brotherss ABTW Interviews

J also happens to really like the Apple Watch, and some of my favorite things he's designed are "Watch What-If" versions of the Apple Watch. In fact, I've basically gone ahead and offered the Watch_Brotherss the role of leading the next series of aBlogtoWatch Watch What-If design projects, and if you agree, let them know in the comments. What fuels them? It's really about the feedback from the community and passion that they can share with people who also care about watches. I think it is also safe to say that as watch designers they'd be pretty happy to start their own watch brands someday. Thanks again to L and J for chatting with me, and be sure to check out their Watch_Brotherss Instagram page here.

  • Simon_Hell

    Don’t all chinese people have the same last name? And so do Koreans.

    • Julian Chan

      Like how all Caucasians are either Smith or Brown?

      • ??????

        Lee, Zhang and Wang – 100,000,000 each.
        Smith – <3,000,000.
        Brown are not even in the top 10, so no funny statistics.

    • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

      You so funny round-eye.

  • Bill W
    • IanE

      I thought you must have photoshopped that until I googled the thing! I suppose the concept is fun, but I can’t think of anything else positive to say!

      • Bill W

        I thought it was photoshopped too, but there are unboxing videos on youtube. 🙂

    • Ariel Adams

      Years later and seeing that Diesel watch continues to bother me. That’s timepiece PTSD if there ever was any for me.

  • ??????

    There is one brand which strategy is to mix random parts like a LEGO. You know which

  • “In China and other parts of Asia, original design is observed far less
    than what I call “curated selection design” and replication.” – that’s one way of looking at it. While I appreciate their obvious skills and am amused by some of their imagery, I prefer to see non-derivative designs. So in a sense, this is the worst of all worlds in terms of seeing nothing new. But the mixing of elements is fun to look at, but nothing I would want to see in a real watch. Having said, that I think having them do the “What If” series makes perfect sense and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

    • Bill W

      I think my man Mark would agree…sorry Watch_Brotherss, I choose the
      Horological Brothers. But they would be perfect for Watch What Ifs and I hope Ariel signs them on.

      And Despicable Me sucks.

      • Of course you are right Bill. Without a nose or ears, the Rolex goggles on the yellow dude would not stay up – they would fall down to his overalls. Obviously a functional failure.

        • Berndt Norten

          Steve Martin to the rescue?

          • But even with OptiGrabs, you still need a nose to anchor them. Plus they cause eye damage – but there is still time to get in on the class action lawsuit.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e60617b9f7af40613bcadbcb98e511c50bab36eccb610d3dcc57dd61c82f4e9.jpg

          • Gokart Mozart

            Why the eye damage? You only see the Rolex bezel when you look in the mirror.

            I hope the bracelet does not catch the ear hair.

          • In the Steve Martin movie “The Jerk”, the OptiGrab device causes people to go cross-eyed. Which lead to a class action lawsuit.

          • Gokart Mozart

            I know, great film, probably about the best Steve Martin film after Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.

            I was being funny, about the Rolex bezel, but maybe it was not as funny as it was in my head…

          • No problem, I just thought that perhaps the movie reference was too esoteric or you had not seen it back in the day. Cheers.

      • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang
  • Word Merchant

    When I was a kid, I used to avidly devour 2000AD, a U.K. produced weekly sci-if comic. One of my favourite strips within was Judge Dredd because his world was drawn so vividly, and seemed so plausible.

    In Mega City 1, Dredd’s home city, unemployment and disillusionment was so rife, that people invented spurious and pointless non-jobs to fill the days: utter idleness suiting few long term. One citizen was deeply proud of his self-built device for automatically throwing and failing to catch eggs. Another acted like a robot all day to work on an automated assembly line. And so on.

    And now we’re here, in real life. I find none of these images clever, amusing or thought-provoking. They are barren mash-ups, sad and vacuous. The watch brotherss (sic) would do well in Mega City 1. They’d fit right in.

  • SuperStrapper

    Somewhat interesting I suppose, but I don’t know that I would consider that photoshop work to be exceptional.

    • Gokart Mozart

      What it is Mark Carson’s view of the photoshop skills?

      • SuperStrapper

        I’m not sure… I only give my own opinion. But Mark and Russ would be the ones to ask for sure.

  • Berndt Norten

    There’s no ‘skill’ on display here. Boy this site is hurting, grasping if it feels this is a worthy topic. There’s the door and there I go. Goodbye cruel world it’s over. Goodbye goodbye goodbye

    • DanW94

      DON’T make me get Bill and go all the way to Denmark for an intervention….

      • Bill W

        Århus, in the middle of År street.

        • Berndt Norten

          Sheer madness

      • Bill W

        Dan tried to make me go to Denmark.
        And I said, “no no no”

        • DanW94

          Not even for some Stegt flaesk med persillesovs and a Carlsberg pilsner?
          And how about the cruel irony in that little ditty you mentioned?

          • Bill W

            What irony? 🙂
            And I don’t drink beer. 🙂

          • Berndt Norten

            Like a black fly
            In your Chardonnay

          • Grumpy Cat

            Spanish fly?

          • Berndt Norten

            The whole rehab / death by drink thingy?

      • Berndt Norten

        I’ll save a table 4 U at Noma

      • Berndt Norten

        Don’t. Don’t leave me this way…

    • Marius

      Goodbye my love goodbye
      Goodbye and aurivir
      I hope that you remember me
      I’ll never be too far
      Goodbye my love goodbye
      I always will be true
      So hold me in your dreams til I
      Come back to you

    • dennis

      Keep the door open, i’m right behind you.

    • Bill W

      Berndt, who stands before you, was caught red-handed showing feelings.
      Showing feelings of an almost human nature.
      This will not do.

      2016: Brexit
      2017: Bernexit

      • Berndt Norten

        Goodbye, worm your honour

    • Ariel Adams

      20 years into the internet and still the same complaint is seen countless times across endless websites. One member of a community doesn’t personally find interest in a few pieces of content and the result is to loudly announce “I’m leaving.”

      I learned long ago that you can’t please everyone. Especially people who are prone to publishing notice of their apparent discontent. What I can say to everyone is that aBlogtoWatch publishes content that our editorial team finds interesting. As long as we like to consumer our own content and find it valuable, I consider us as doing an excellent job.

      • Berndt Norten

        Ariel, Ariel, Ariel. (Think Louis Jourdan to Maud Adams). I was only joking! It was a test of Billy Ray and Old Dan’s love. And they gave me a Sally Field moment. Now imagine John Matrix to Sully: ‘ I lied.’

        But I tip my hat 2 U 4 responding.

        95% of the time I love your site. That sure beats Meatloaf’s standards, non e vero? But this post…. it sent me over the edge.

        At the end of the day….

        ABTW is the place that
        when you need to go there
        They take you in

        Happy New Year tout le monde.

        • DanW94

          Hold on for one more day, the next post will go your way, if you hold on for one more day…….

          • Berndt Norten

            China Phillips: she was one sweet babe. Still is, actually

          • Gokart Mozart

            Were there not 3 women/sisters in the group? Which one are you talking about? I am afraid I am not on first name basis.

            I think that was the only hit the had in the UK.

            Or have I got the wrong end of the stick / strap?

          • Berndt Norten

            She was the blond with short hair. Let’s say she got a good dose of Mama Michelle’s genes. That’s a good thing!

        • Bill W

          Who you callin’ an Octopussy?

          • Berndt Norten

            Whatchu talkin bout Willis?

        • Ariel Adams

          I’m all for more horological haiku creation.

          • Berndt Norten

            Across the nation.

  • Nigel Kennedy was here. He met with Frankenstein’s grand, grand…. grand nephew.

  • Marius

    According to this article: “The “Watch_Brotherss” are a duo of actual watch designers from Hong Kong who have done something artistically interesting and worth talking about.”

    There’s nothing “artistically interesting” about these “designs.” I wouldn’t pay 1 brass Razoo for this crap. Do you hear me? Not 1 brass Razoo!

    Furthermore, I don’t understand why ABTW features these monstrosities. Come on, Big Boi, work with me, not against me! I said work with me, not against me!

    • IanE

      Slow news day!

  • ??????

    I see it as some two guys having fun mating different watches in phoshop. Well, cool.. moving on….®RW

  • Grumpy Cat

    I can’t believe you put this on your website. You have now convinced me that I want to see more cars and watches.

  • Omegaboy

    Fixated on the Sub bezel insert, they are.

  • Tõnis Leissoo

    I’m not entirely sure how most of you negative guys can call yourself watch lovers if you hate most of the watch world. I would not call myself car lover if I’d only like one very specific type of cars. Then you can just stay on Patek’s or Rolex’s homepage and ignore the rest of the marvelous world. You only make yourself look stupid if you dislike pretty much all the entertaining posts here.

    • Beefalope

      You’ve blown our world apart.

    • Word Merchant

      I’m happy for you to remain in your solitary miasma of confusion and misunderstanding. Send us a postcard from time to time, to let us know you’re alright.

    • ??????

      I’m not entirely sure how most of you positive guys can call yourself watch lovers if you like everything in the watch world. I would not call myself car lover if I’d like every type of cars. Then you can just jump between hundreds of pages and you cannot ignore any of the marvelous world. You only make yourself look stupid if you like absolutely every post here or anywhere.

      Joke aside – watch world isn’t black or white, come on, we like what we like and we blame what we don’t like, its normal. At least its more fun than playing holy paladin protector of the watch news and blog.

      • Tõnis Leissoo

        I’m pretty sure that I have my favorites in every car and watch category there is. In general this post is about people having fun. Professional designers having fun and Ariel having fun posting it. Just because he can. If there’s a group of people on the other table having fun and you sitting next to it having only grumpy comments about the people having fun is something that would make you look bad not the one’s having fun. They will still keep laughing 😉

        • Shinytoys

          I totally agree, you have to look no further than the snarky comments associated with Tonis’s post, and that’s just one post. There is more ball bashing going on in the comments than positive, helpful insight and information. I’ve been off the site since January first, and very little has changed with the room full of comments. Ariel and crew, on the other hand are really trying to make this an informative read with considerable effort. I take my hat off to Ariel for continuing in a positive manner, but it really has to be tough some days looking at these comments. Keep chugging Ariel…

          • Ariel Adams

            There are a few things we know about the comments which require mentioning. First is that statistically speaking people are more inclined to comment with a negative sentiment versus a positive one which it comes to online commentary on content. Second is that despite the dedicated participation of commenters, they represent a small fraction of the audience. Thus, it isn’t as though the audience as a whole truly likes or dislikes something based on the commentary.

            We also know that timepiece appreciation is a very opinionated pastime. That means people are prone to remark on what they subjectively are looking for or prefer, as opposed to making more qualified objective evaluations. That of course doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of commenters who understand that many people will be reading their comments and take that fact with the responsibility and respect it deserves.

            More so, this is a place for people to “have fun.” That can be a detriment to certain atmosphere considerations as this is not their business or their “home.” I have personally failed to come up with a perfect solution with does not inhibit the passion of clearly real and dedicated watch lovers, but at the same time make the environment here a bit more welcoming for all potential participants. There just aren’t that many options. Most website simple delete or regularly censor comments. That goes against my personal principles of how a community should be run. I instead prefer to encourage people to consider that this was like their home, and to behave in a way that not only respects the sanctity of that space, but that also makes it welcoming for guests.

            In the future I think it would be a good idea to appoint one or more community managers (essentially a form of moderator), whose responsibility is to ensure that people abide by the community policies we have, ensure that people treat each other fairly and with respect, and who encourage open but constructive conversations.

            I have hit a point where I cannot survey all comments made everyday, and consider it a luxury when I can view comments and respond. It takes a lot of restraint and thought when it comes to dealing with many of the more negative elements of having an active community, and given that I need to both produce content, manage a team, and run a business I can’t do it all.

            If there are community members who can dedicate some time each day for community management and agree that diplomacy rather than harsh moderation is the key to having a healthy and vibrant community, let us know by contacting us. I am sure we could think of a few good ongoing perks in exchange for such deputies.

          • Grumpy Cat

            I am highly capable and motivated in performing these censorship duties for you. I would like to put my name in the hat.

          • BiLL

            Cat in the hat.

          • Word Merchant

            I nominate Marius.

          • Marius

            Thank you for the nomination. Indeed, I would be best-suited for the moderator role, considering that I am the watch guru and the most important commenter of this blog. I am “The Special One.” However, I must respectfully decline. The reason is quite simple — my knowledge of cars is very limited. After all, this is a car blog, isn’t it?

          • Bill W

            Translation: Don’t joke around too much. If you don’t like a watch, NEVER say so (unless you can back it up with a spreadsheet). Just be quiet generally lest you scare away any fragile-opinioned, watch-loving wallflowers. And if you’d like to be my sheriff I’ll give you some fromage de Biver or an extra entry in the watch giveaways. 🙂

          • Wow, that’s what you read from his comment?

          • BiLL

            OK, tell me what “qualified objective evaluations” means. Or what the 3rd paragraph means.

          • Ariel Adams

            Conveying that you are joking in good humor in a way that is inclusive to contrary sentiments is historically quite difficult to do in article comments on the internet. What you don’t receive is the large volume of e-mails and other messages I get from people complaining about “negativity” or “unfriendliness” that can very easily be sensed from the body of comments. This is by no means a problem unique to this community. The issue is that certainly people who feel very comfortable with the subject matter and the other community members can tend to conduct themselves casually. What people can easily forget is that little of their meta-communication is translated through their written comments. This is a very diverse community with people from all over the world and unfortunately it is often quite easy to create an environment that comes across as aggressive of unfairly critical of viewpoints that don’t match those of more experienced commenters. At best it can be seen as a slightly boisterous “boy’s club” where members are given preferential treatment. At worst (like I said) the environment can come across as simply unwelcoming.

            I have a vested interest in making sure that commentary is both polite and inclusive of others. No one’s opinions are better than others so long as they are well-articulated, and considerate there when it comes to things like taste there are no right and wrong answers. I spend so much time explaining myself so as to ensure that people who don’t know me, and perhaps don’t form opinions like me at the very least can appreciate when I am coming from. We are all here for watches and the appreciation there of. Not all the content or topics here will be to everyone’s liking. When you see something you don’t like simply explain in a civil manner why or why not, and allow other people who do enjoy the content or topic to not feel as though their tastes are being insulted. I don’t want to turn this into a place where people need to walk on eggshells and be overly careful of not insulting people. It’s a delicate line between being outspoken and respectful which results in the type of community that I as a business owner must seek to maintain. This is my livelihood and that of the team, and if we must weigh one person’s sense of communicative freedom with that of others who feel unwelcome by the atmosphere, what do you think will be the winner. All I can say is that for aBlogtoWatch to remain strong, the community must conduct themselves as though they have a vested interest in the continued health of the community. Sorry all, but there is not 100% free lunch.

          • BiLL

            I can only speak for myself. And I know that sometimes I am very critical of the watches, but I don’t pick apart people in that same manner if we disagree. In fact, I don’t really recall seeing any kind of over-the-line disagreements about watches here (where one person loves the watch and the other hates the watch, and it turns into a screaming match). Sometimes there is salty language if someone wanders away from the topic at hand, which is a sort of community self-policing.

            What I think you’re saying is, to give a hypothetical, that a guy will read an article, like the watch, then read the comments, see that there aren’t any other fans of the watch, and then he is afraid to chime in. Then he writes to you. So it’s more about a perceived unfriendly atmosphere rather than some actual free-for-all Thunderdome. And if that is the case, I think some of the onus lies with that hypothetical guy. He should act like an adult and put a comment in. We may not all upvote him but we won’t assault him. This is the internet. We don’t know each other and we will probably never really know each other in the real world. Just say you like a watch even when everyone else disagrees. What’s the worst that could happen? But that’s just my opinion.

          • Gokart Mozart

            I think this is is quite polite, isn’t it? It seems to be pretty profanity free and not much abuse in my opinion, and mostly very mild. Same as working in an office.

            I imagine Marius hangs about with Archie Luxury or maybe just the Thai groupies 😉 Get him to get Archie here and then things will get spicy.

            To be honest once you start reading the comments reguarly you know who you can mess around with and who will give you a strong reply.

        • ??????

          So we should either give a positive comment or shut up, ok. And folks like you won’t react on positive ones anyway. My point was since Ariel’s blog offers such unique privilege to express your own opinion freely, which I respect so much, – why not do so? Visit H and see what happens when almost all the negative comments are eliminated.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I pretty much dislike all the renderings here.

      • Tõnis Leissoo

        Check out their Instagram then. There are plenty of very cool renderings

  • wallydog2

    Really?
    If I were grumpy, old, retired, dyspeptic, cynical, given to harrumphing, Metamucil chug-a-lugging/ bah, humbugging, I’d…Where’s my pudding?

  • Shinytoys

    The “Watch Brother’s” and ABTW have come up some very cool renderings. A Rolex in a square B&R case, The Hublot in the Casio G Shock body, all very cool to see these watches out of their natural enviroments…

  • These are lots of fun but unfortunately most of them make no sense in terms of the pushers, bezels or comps on the dial. The Bell & Rolex has strong potential but needs that GMT hand!

    • Marius

      “These are lots of fun…”

      Well, that really depends on what you consider fun. For me, fun is watching two midgets fight in a cage, or snorting cocaine off a hooker`s breasts.

  • Pingback: A Hublot Mudmaster?()

  • Ben

    It bugs me that the hublot in the g-shock case has way to many buttons on it for the functions of the watch. I’m guessing the rest of the article would f bugs me as well so I didn’t read it.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Probably best.

      • Manesh Karunakaran

        Wholeheartedly agree with you! I cant get over the guilt for glancing through the article1

        • SuperStrapper

          BAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

          • Manesh Karunakaran

            I get how you feel brother! completely!

          • SuperStrapper

            You so obviously don’t.

  • commentator bob

    Jeez, first the Royal Oak, then Richard Mille and now Hublot is knocking-off the G-Shock? Is nothing sacred?

  • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang
  • mtnsicl

    Muy estúpido!

  • Yanko

    Dumb and Dumber Part III

  • Dr Chewbacca

    Gives you eye cancer… and more.

  • Ryan B.

    The Hublot G-Shock looks better than a regular Hublot. Well done. Wish it were real.

  • Brian Hemphill

    When taking a first glance at the email, I just about freaked. Hublot / G-shock mix, thought it was a real watch for a second. Interesting designs.

  • Ulysses31

    The first one is actually very plausible, and doesn’t even look too bad. The rest are a bit silly.

  • 200 Fathoms

    I don’t get it. Just Photoshop mockups?