Project Watches Nadir Review

Project Watches Nadir Review

Project Watches Nadir Review   wrist time watch reviews

When it comes to watches that aren’t strictly sold on the merits of the movement and function, you’re often left with what can be dismissively called a fashion watch. In my way of looking at things though, there are plenty of good reasons for opting for something that’s driven by form rather than function. I’d just recommend that you’re ensuring you’re getting a design that’s pleasing to the eye and if possible, adds some sort of a twist to the basic quartz three-hander design. Fortunately, that’s what we’ve got today.

Project Watches is run by Jack Markuse, who has worked for the last three decades to marry architecture and design in the products we use every day. Starting in the early ’90s, they turned their eye towards watches. This has led to a variety of collections, including watches that were directly inspired by buildings. Nothing so special, right? Well, those watches were actually designed by the architects of those buildings – so it’s not just some loose association for a quick sell. This is just a quick overview of their history and some of the products. For more information, head on over here.

Project Watches Nadir Review   wrist time watch reviews

It’s not just architects designing their watches, though. There are people from other fields (not traditional watch folks) coming up with their own unique vision for what a watch can do. And that brings us to our review piece. The Nadir was designed by Damian Barton, who is a designer, but not in the traditional sense we’d think of with watches. He started off as a furniture designer, and of course has gone on to other things(full bio). Needless to say, he’s not a traditional watch designer, which means we get a watch that isn’t traditional either – it’s a good mashup, in my opinion.

So, why Nadir? For those unfamiliar with what the nadir of something is, here’s the definition from Merriam-Webster. Using that theme, the watch has time as its nadir, represented by the small disc with the numerals in the center of the watch. The hour, minute, and seconds hands all point to that small disc, rotating around it as you would normally expect.

Project Watches Nadir Review   wrist time watch reviews

Now, if you’re like me, when you first glance at this watch, you’re figuring there’s going to be a lot of squinting going on to read this watch. And that carries some truth, until you realize one very basic thing – you don’t have to look at that central disc to read the time. The opposite ends of the hands still indicate (on the unmarked portion of the dial) what the time is. So, for “at a glance” you can utilize the outer portion. For a more precise read, then you can take the time to focus in on the center.

Once I realized that, it freed things up for me a bit in terms of how I perceived the watch when wearing it. It allowed me to appreciate the design – which, while stark, is still rather interesting. The white-on-black color palette is easy on the eyes and blends in with just about any setting. Should someone pay closer attention to the watch, they’ll no doubt start asking questions about those reversed arrows.

19 comments
Panagiotis
Panagiotis

I thought it was obvious but Nadir is the opposite of Zenith ;)

star42
star42

Just placed an order for one. I was intrigued with the design concept of this watch, and was very pleasantly surprised to see that it is so reasonably priced. I have a feeling this will get noticed way more than the other watches in my collection costing numerous times more.

spiceballs
spiceballs

Not something that I'd likely buy (but better than Swatch, IMO) and I have to admit that it is minimalist "cool". Agree with DSV's & other's options -  better differentiation needed between the hands.

Thanatos42
Thanatos42

Truly the nadir of Mystery Watch design.

D S Vilhena
D S Vilhena

Fun watch, me like it. But as mentioned below and if my understanding is correct, I'd have gone for minutes and hours with filled hands and seconds unfilled.  That would make a bit more sense.

AtotheG
AtotheG

Looking at this watch is giving me a headache.  It's just awful.  Then again, I  might just be in an extra foul mood because I saw a silver Porsche parked in my on-again, off-again girlfriend's driveway late last night.  I hate Valentine's Day. 

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

This is a fun little watch.  If the central dial had been a little bigger they could have added minute markers which would make this a lot easier to read.  It has that "designer" minimalism shared by many quirky watches that to me just looks cheap and nasty.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

Quiet fun for its little price ;) Good alternative to Casio and Swatch.

However I would like to see more colors! Its a fun watch, why black-grey, maybe make a Sauron eye in the center?

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Grinnie Jax Yeah, some color would help in telling time at a glance. As it is now you have to check which open arrow head is larger before knowing which hand is which. Maybe if they just made the hour hand shorter if would allow for our imprinted 'knowledge' of telling time to work with less cognitive friction.

On another note, where I have I seen a center disk with hands floating out from underneath??? Those arrow heads even seem very familiar. I'm sure it will come to me in a minute. Let me check my watch and see when the minute is up. Oh yeah, got it now...

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

@MarkCarsonGood point about color like additional instrument to make the differentiating of hands easier. We can quickly get used to color scheme (for instance: red - hours, blue - minutes, green - seconds) and then there would be no need to focus our look too much on the watch.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Grinnie Jax I stand corrected. The hour hand is the shortest one. I had to view the animation on their website to 'see' the watch work. So it is not that hard to read at all. But now I have an issue with their choice of head fills and lengths relative the order of magnitude for each. Oh well...

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@emenezes @MarkCarson@Grinnie JaxI agree - the photos are not much help. But the running watch is much easier to read. Just a case of where a static photo is a poor substitute for real life (or a video/animation). Cheers.

emenezes
emenezes

@MarkCarson @Grinnie Jax  Yeah, I couldn't figure out which hand was the hour or the minute from the pictures either.  I'd actually say that the designer bombed the hands.  Then again, the Bauhaus school created great kitchenware, but not much else.

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