As part of the annual Hong Kong Watch & Clock show, there is a design competition for up and coming watch designers to show off their skills and get some exposure to the wider community. The theme for this year was “Time & Space Breakthrough” for the open competition and “Colorful World” for the student competition. While I can easily understand what Colorful World would entail, I had less of an understanding of the former category. In any case, my favorite submission ended up coming in as the second-runner up in that category (entitled “Space”).

I’ve always felt that new watch designers have to walk the line between derivative and gimmicky, so I absolutely understand the challenges that new designers have to navigate in order to get attention. Congratulations to the winners of the competition and take a look at the top three in the open competition and the winner of the student design competition below:

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The winner of the open competition, “Time Capturer” by Mr. Lee Sheeung Wah is, clearly, inspired by an old camera with the dial serving as the lens and the case as the body of the camera. Could have been executed in a hokey way, but actually really looks quite nice and not at all too “cutesy.”

The first runner up in the open competition, SAGRADA by Mr. Wing Ting Bong is inspired by the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first but once I thought about the architectural concept as well as the stained glass inspiration behind the colorful pattern flanking the dial, it came together nicely. I’d worry a bit about legibility and the actual cost involved with producing this piece as a mechanical watch but in theory, it’s really good looking.

I loved the architectural, vaguely futuristic design of the SPACE by Mr. Lee Cheuk Chung. The metal is done by 3d printing and the case is designed to resemble a UFO topped by the domed sapphire. Straddling the line between futuristic and not too attention seeking, I would love to see some of these in production honestly. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who would wear one of these, right?

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The Aurora, designed by Lam Yuet Wan won the student design category. The four colors of the gems are designed to add a flash of color, I assume, but the part I really appreciated in a ladies’ watch is the interesting design on the crown. It adds some edge and a little bit of masculinity to the otherwise delicate piece.

Again, it’s always good to see the future watch-designers of the world gaining recognition. Of course, their designs and styles will evolve over time but I think these submissions all have a lot of merit. Hopefully we’ll see more designs and ideas in the future. Hong Kong Watch And Clock Fair

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