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Throughout human history, knowing the time of day has been a fundamental part of our lives. Tracking the sun across the sky and estimating the time until it crossed the horizon gave us a rough idea of the time of day, but the invention of the sundial provided us with a much more precise measurement of time. Invented independently by the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks (to name just a few) sundials fundamentally connected us to the movement of our planet. Yet, as time passed and we adopted more intricate and complex ways to tell time — from water clocks to pendulum and spring-driven machines and eventually to quartz oscillators and microprocessors — we’ve lost that connection between time and the constant rotation of our home planet. With the Blue Planet, CIGA Design uses its Asynchronous Technology and unique dial layout to connect timekeeping with the rotation of the earth in a whole new way, using new technology to reconnect with the origins of timekeeping. (See Giveaway below.)
CIGA Design is a relatively young brand, launched in 2016. Despite its youth, the brand has no shortage of accolades to its name, having already won 16 international design awards, including the prestigious Challenge Watch Prize at the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Add to that a bevy of Red Dot and iF design awards and CIGA Design has quickly become a worldwide leader in design.
The GPHG Challenge Watch Prize was awarded to CIGA Design for its Series U Blue Planet watch. Even a cursory look at the Blue Planet makes it clear that this watch is far from ordinary. The azure blue of the Indian Ocean contrasts against terra firma, which is executed in micro-carved silver, the topography of the world given depth and texture, allowing you to see and experience the towering heights of the Himalayas, the plains of the Nile River delta, and endless islands of the Malay archipelago. Yet, this map of the world isn’t simply a backdrop for the watch, it is an integral part of the watch’s timekeeping — a feat made possible by CIGA Design’s Asynchronous Technology.
Based on that ancient progenitor of timekeeping technology, the sundial, CIGA Design has produced an entirely new way of tracking time. By using a central disc — the earth at the center of the dial— along with an outer rotating minutes track, the Blue Planet needs only a single marker to simultaneously indicate both the hours and minutes.
As the earth rotates, the marker, executed as an elegant silver compass rose, moves across the minutes track. Meanwhile, the minutes track itself also rotates at a slower rate (30° for every 390° traveled by the earth), allowing the marker to point at once to both the hours and minutes. It’s an ingenious way to tell the time and one that required years of testing and development to create. The result is a time-telling method that is nearly instantaneous yet evokes the simplicity of our most ancient time-telling devices and their inextricable link to the movement of our planet.
Though the time-telling mechanism and the stunning execution of the earth in topographic relief is, of course, the focal point of the watch, the Blue Planet wouldn’t have won the awards it has if the entire package wasn’t just as well-considered. The case measures 46mm in diameter with a double-domed sapphire crystal, but because it is a lugless design, the pebble-like case will fit comfortably on wrists of all sizes. Those smooth curves and organic, flowing lines are executed in either titanium or stainless steel, depending on which option you prefer — the titanium provides a slightly darker hue and lighter weight. In addition, CIGA Design is offering a limited Earthday Edition of the Blue Planet that is crafted from recycled titanium.
Regardless of which version of the Blue Planet you choose, each comes mounted on an extremely pliable and comfortable fluorine rubber strap that tapers from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm at the clasp. The blue of the rubber strap is a fitting complement to the deep blue of the earth’s oceans on the dial. Fitting with the theme of producing a watch that reminds us of the importance of protecting the only home we have, each watch is packaged in eco-friendly recyclable materials.
On May 21st, CIGA Design’s official website will launch a guessing game for a design draft to guess which design is the prototype of Blue Planet. Once the user selects an answer, they can unlock the correct answer by entering their email. The winner will have a chance to win our upcoming tourbillon watch. For more details, please visit the Giveaway page.
Prices for the CIGA Design Blue Planet start at $999 USD. To learn more about the CIGA Design Series U Blue Planet and experience a whole new way of timekeeping, please visit the brand’s website.Sponsored Posts are a form of advertising that allows sponsors to share useful news, messages, and offers to aBlogtoWatch readers in a way traditional display advertising is often not best suited to. All Sponsored Posts are subject to editorial guidelines with the intent that they offer readers useful news, promotions, or stories. The viewpoints and opinions expressed in Sponsored Posts are those of the advertiser and not necessarily those of aBlogtoWatch or its writers.