Funny isn’t it, how despite our tech-invaded world, so many of us still prefer an old-school analogue watch over yet another screen clamped to our wrist. Or maybe not so funny. I’ve noticed that my younger digital native friends are getting fatigued by screen time and craving the simplicity of cash, books and classic timepieces.
Of course, most of us want both. That’s definitely the case for my generation, who grew up with analogue, but for the past ten years has had a foot in both camps. I love my tech devices but I’m equally cynical about them and appreciate that time passes more leisurely when I’m not reacting to endless notifications.
So this collaboration between Farfetch and watchmaker Uniform Wares is, er, timely. Uniform Wares designs handsome, minimalist watches in London, then manufactures them in Switzerland. Its design ethos is rooted in Dieter Ram’s rigorous functionality; think clean, uncluttered watch faces with ultra smooth brushed steel and brass casing. Then the straps are made from beautifully tactile materials – Italian calf skins, nappa leather and soft suede – and everything is finished in the atelier, just a few hundred metres from London’s watchmaking district, where boxes are stored in Dieter Rams’ sleek ‘606’ Vitsoe shelving and cabinets.
For this women’s collab, Uniform Wares is pairing its M-Line and C-Line watches with a range of suede straps pilfered from its made-to-measure atelier service. As part of the press launch for the collection, I got to hang out at the atelier and see my own watch being assembled. I went for the M35 Two Hand watch with black strap (top, a good size for my teeny wrists) and ordered an additional bottle green calf suede strap, which I’ll pick up next week.
Convenience and personalisation are key parts of the Farfetch success story. It excels in online-to-offline innovations, including artificial intelligence, frictionless delivery and the ‘connected’ changing rooms that make up its store of the future.
But whizzy futurism aside, I like that it also recognises the simplicity and value of slow craft. Watching the process of refining the pieces and putting the components together was curiously satisfying. I think it’s true what they say, that when you have a hand in making something, you cherish it so much more. In an increasingly speedy, tech-enabled world, it seems rather apt to be seduced by the humble craft of watchmaking.
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Farfetch X Uniform Wares event by Joe Harper
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