July 21, 2020
by Ariel Adams
Some of the best watch brands today have become creators of expressive wrist-based art as much as they are timepieces. Many of my favorite contemporary timepieces are those with very specific cultural or character references. What makes the better of these watches great is their ability to both attractively suggest a theme and serve as a quality timepiece. Swiss SevenFriday is no stranger to expressive watchmaking — arguably, the entire brand is about just that. Some of its themed watches focus on colors, materials, or other products in existence. And then for others, they get a bit more wild, and yet entirely refined. The SevenFriday T1/01 Cocorico is just such a watch. And I think it came out really fun.
The theme of the SevenFriday Cocorico is to combine the brand’s T1 collection case with a modern, masculine interpretation of the Gallic Cockerel iteration of the chicken. There are a lot of animal-themed watches out there, as well as animal-themed watches that present a particular cultural manifestation of how an animal can enter pop culture. Here, we have not just a chicken-inspired wristwatch, but one that expresses the chicken in its most flattering form as an element of French hero personality mythos. The male chicken is a symbol of not just assuredness and strut, but also volume and flamboyance. In other words, there are many fancy chickens out there and cocks in culture, but the French rooster is a unique facet in European culture and the SevenFriday Cocorico watch happens to celebrate it.
I would not be so excited about a chicken watch if it were not so nicely designed. SevenFriday did a really nice job with the dial to make it look legible but also original. Use of gradient colors and laser-cut dials for an effective skeletonization effect really end up layering well together. It is true that the Cocorico rooster on the rear of the watch is a bit easier to see than the one on the front (the sunglasses and artistic abstraction make it a bit tough to spot), but the overall dial is done so well it is easy to forgive this small quirk.
The SevenFriday T1 series is really straightforward as a watch compared to some other SevenFriday models. The dial has only the time, with traditional hour and minute hands. The movement inside the watch is the Japanese Seiko NH70, which operates at 3Hz with 40 hours of power reserve. The design of the face is, however, playful, mixing artistic elements with looks into the movement and a lot of traditional watch dial features, such as a very legible silver minute scale ring and a novel-looking hour marker ring closer to the center of the dial.
How the T1/01 Cocorico plays with color is interesting. The entire watch clearly celebrates the red, white, and blue theme of the French flag. It also has a 45mm-wide, rounded-square case with a blue PVD-coated siding. How the red, white, and blue colors are integrated into the overall composition are really smart — with the overall effect of the watch being that is is blue with some small red and white accents. The case is further water-resistant to 30 meters and has a K1 mineral crystal over the dial.
On the rear of the watch, you have nice well-done additional Cocorico artwork, where the chicken character is much more clearly identifiable. You can also see that this watch is part of SevenFriday’s more avant-garde “Off Series” (where the SevenFriday designers get to be even more experimental) and that the T1 watch collection also features and NFC (near field communication) chip inside it. The chip is used as a personalized identifier of the watch and is more secure in identifying it than, say, an engraved/etched serial number. If you’d like to use this feature, then you use an NFC scanning-compatible phone and a special website to read the chip and register your watch for yourself as the owner.
The little details we continue to see in SevenFriday products make them the most fun. Take, for instance, the chicken footprints on the rear of the strap. The strap itself is in red leather and blue denim and produced in a special shape that is meant to complement the case. It is hard to complain about prices when wristwatch products have this many bespoke parts per collection.
It is hard to say who the SevenFriday T1/01 Cocorico watch is for because with watches like this, you either like it upon first glance or it says nothing to you. It should not take too long for SevenFriday to sell all of the 450 pieces in this limited-edition set, even if a timepiece like this doesn’t fit into any particular established category of watch product. Price for the SevenFriday T1/01 Cocorico watch is $1,100 USD. Learn more or order via the SevenFriday website here.