So much of the strength of a product line can depend on creating distinct and effective brand DNA. Building a “family resemblance” between every model in the catalog can make a brand instantly recognizable from across a room, but can potentially place a damper on creativity in design. SevenFriday has built its reputation on finding a balance between brand DNA and creativity, creating wild and colorful variations on its central rounded-square theme over the years. The brand’s latest release is one of its most ornate interpretations to date, combining its signature silhouette with the ornate geometric lines and warm metallic colors of early Art Deco design. The new SevenFriday T2/04 T-ART brings a striking new semi-skeletonized look to the brand’s signature series, with a design inspiration far outside its usual brand of sci-fi futurism.
The SevenFriday T2/04 T-ART’s 45mm by 45.6mm-wide case should be familiar to brand aficionados by this point. Rendered in stainless steel with a gunmetal gray PVD coating, the lugless rounded square design of the case is sleek and cleanly modern, but SevenFriday adds a layer of more vibrant personality to this iteration in images with its bezel. The use of brushed gold PVD stainless steel here gives the design a touch of refined warmth, and the wide engraved groove is filled with a rich gloss navy blue Berlac lacquer. This classic gold and blue combo calls to mind both ancient Egyptian and early Art Deco jewelry in images, rooting this contemporary design in much older visual styles. A matching treatment for the crown helps to visually unify this two-tone layout. Like many entries in SevenFriday’s lineup, the T2/04 T-ART’s solid caseback contains an NFC chip, allowing the watch to pair with mobile devices via the SevenFriday app for easy registration and authentication. Outside of this high-tech element, however, the caseback is remarkably rudimentary, with only a miniscule 30 meters of water resistance. Likewise, the use of mineral glass for the flat crystal is unusual for this price range.
Like many SevenFriday designs, the dial of the T2/04 T-ART takes on a complex layered look, but here the brand uses a unique mishmash of antique and futuristic cues. The grainy matte black outermost ring is accented with classically Art Deco rounded motifs, while the radially brushed gold PVD ring inboard of this uses ornate printed blue Arabic minutes numerals that wouldn’t look out of place in “The Great Gatsby.” Inside of this ring, however, is a brushed gunmetal PVD ring with a far more modern look. The use of tone-on-tone gray for the minutes scale gives the design a stealthy modern cast in images, and the beveled cutouts in place of hour indices lend an already complex layout even more depth and intricacy. Likewise, the hyper-stylized skeleton handset takes a decidedly futuristic approach in images, particularly with the short, nearly circular hours hand. It’s the translucent blue glass central segment that takes the visual spotlight here, however, particularly with the geometric PVD latticework beneath tracing out an Art Deco-esque geometric pattern. This complex skeleton framework helps to mask the minimal finishing of the movement below in images, while immediately setting it apart from the rest of the brand’s stable at a glance. Taken as the sum of its parts, this disparate mix of styles and visual elements should not work, but in practice the overall dial design gives off an intriguingly eclectic feel in images.
SevenFriday powers the T2/04 T-ART with the Seiko NH70 automatic movement. Essentially a lightly skeletonized version of the ubiquitous NH35, the NH70 offers affordable and reliable performance with a 40 hour power reserve at a 21,600 bph beat rate. Although the skeleton treatment does afford a view of the balance wheel through the translucent dial, the overall finishing is function-first with a mix of brushed and matte surfaces. To complete the package, SevenFriday mounts the T2/04 T-ART on a lightly distressed leather strap in deep cocoa brown. This classically masculine pairing helps to reinforce the more vintage themes of the design, and should offer a versatile wearing experience.
With an eclectic blend of futuristic and Art Deco design elements and a dynamic, layered dial layout, the new SevenFriday T2/04 T-ART offers a complex and striking left-field take on the brand’s core themes that nonetheless keeps SevenFriday’s brand DNA alive. The SevenFriday T2/04 T-ART is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $975. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.