Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements

In February, we launched a design competition for people keen to develop animated digital dials for smartwatches - namely the Samsung Gear S3. Five winners would get a Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, and one of them would also get $500 in cash. Further, all entrants will have their dials listed on the Facer platform - a service that allows people to download new dials for their smartwatches.

aBlogtoWatch worked with Facer and Samsung Mobile on this design competition because we've seen a general lack in the quality of watch dials being made for smartwatches. Some are great, but most are not so great. In our opinion, while smartwatches need to focus on developing in all areas, design and sex-appeal are the two major issues the smartwatch industry needs to tackle. We hoped that a competition of this nature would help us promote good smartwatch dial design - and help designers understand some of the things we value when it comes to watch dial design.

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements
Winner - MbM Aileron 2 Gold by John Morga

Facer told us that about 2,000 Samsung Gear S3 watch dial designs were submitted to them in the several weeks the competition was open. I looked through a wide variety of them and can say that while there is some "gold" out there, a lot of the designers would benefit from understanding what makes traditional dials great and apply them to smartwatch interfaces. The most common mistake I saw was trying to overload a dial with way too much information - so much that legibility is practically destroyed (not to mention processing power).

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements
Green Army by Jimmy Cheung
Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements
Muro by JC Dalisay

A lot of smartwatch designers are still designing "off the wrist." Meaning that dials are on computer screens and it appears that little to no time is actually spent testing them in wrist watch form, or as utilitarian devices. This novice approach to smartwatch design is something I expect as third-party designers only recently began offering watch dials for smartwatches. This could be a major money-making market in the near future as more open smartwatch platforms make it to people's wrists, and those watches take a greater role in their individual lifestyles.

Before choosing the winners, we each decided on some finalists and then pooled our opinions. Besides myself, the voting panel included Yvan Arpa - who designed the Samsung Gear S3 case - and some of the top guys at Facer. I'm pretty proud of the winners. What I most look for are high-quality, distinctive and original designs that make the best use out of the medium - a smartwatch dial. These are designs that should match the look of the case, be visually interesting, symmetrical and well-balanced, and also combine the best of what we like about traditional watch design with the opportunities presented by smartwatch design.

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements
HUD by TIKTOK
Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements
Black Revolutions by Harpocrate

You'll soon be able to download each of these dials for your own Samsung Gear S3 (as well as a few other compatible smartwatch devices). The list of aBlogtoWatch & Facer Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch dial design competition winners are:

  • MbM - Aileron 2 Gold by John Morga
  • Muro by JC Dalisay
  • Green Army by Jimmy Cheung
  • Black Revolutions by Harpocrate
  • HUD by TIKTOK

Samsung Gear S3 Watch Dial Design Competition Winners Announcements

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the design competition. Thanks also to Facer and Samsung Mobile for helping to make this happen. samsung.com

  • I was thinking “when will smartwatches finally depart from the mechanical legacy, and try truly new dials?” and then came HUD by TIKTOK!

  • Jim B

    I think the “Muro” looks like one I’d be more than happy with. Great job on all the designs!

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Odd. Id happily wear a couple of those on a smart watch dial, and think they looked cool. (I know oxymoron: cool smartwatch). Yet I’d never choose a watch with a dial like one.
    For example the winner, or Hud, pretty funky for a smart watch. Terrible for a watch.
    I’ll echo Jim B, great job!

  • Diehard

    I find it a bit contradicting here that I feel the winning designs are very hard to read. I personally wouldnt want those dials in my mechanical watch. I guess I am not suited for smart watch haha..
    But congrats to all winners!

  • There’s a bit of early Star Trek into HUD. A watch I’d see Malcom or Captain Archer wear.

  • SuperStrapper

    I think the winning dial is pretty great, and an excellent choice for the win. All of these are well thought out, and I do appreciate how the HUD design exploits that this is a device more than it is a watch.

  • Mark1884

    Sorry, but I can’t get too excited about faux watch dials designed for wrist devices.
    I do congratulate the participants and winners though.

  • Nice work all!

  • Shinytoys

    Super fine designs all around…Congrats !

  • IG

    So after describing the requirements of simplicity and legibility on the wrist the winners are full of 5px numerals, tiny hands and visual gimmicks (fuel, really?). LOL

  • Steve Loader

    Congrats to the winners and thanks ABTW for hosting a fun competition – here’s one of my entries: https://www.facer.io/watchface/PZrenVQM0g

    • IG

      LOL

      • Steve Loader

        I’m glad I brightened your day

  • Adrian

    A link for them to buy/download?