As the clocks go forward here in the UK, (officially starting British summer-time) it’s got me thinking about timepieces. Now, I’ll admit it, I’m not the biggest fan of sporting a watch, although from a distance I really do long for one.
I thought that it was about time (excuse this awful, unintentional pun) to get my hands on something, to help stop that default reach for my phone, that I’m sure so many of us are familiar with. I start my search – after looking around for a while, I quickly began to realise what I loved and loathed. For me, I was looking for something slim, sleek and a piece that I could dress up and down with my wardrobe. After narrowing down the candidate list, I opted to find out a little more about one brand that stood out – Void watches. Their design held so much of what I liked or at least felt was important in a watch. Classic, minimal and arrogantly pretending like they had reinvented the wheel. Just taking the best of what came before and reviving it into something contemporary and damn sophisticated.
I got in touch with David Ericsson, the founder and lead designer at Void to ask him a few questions about what they do, how they came about and where they’re going.
How and when did the brand come about?
I had been working for a number of years for an industrial design company in Sweden when I got offered a job in Hong Kong. After a year in Asia when my contract was up for renewal I quit to set up my own business. I had been wanting to start my own company for some time and I knew I wanted to create my own products. Since I’ve been interested in watches my whole adult life it seemed like a natural choice. This was in 2008 and the current trend of small watch brands didn’t exist and by being one of the first designers to do this I got off to a good start that encouraged me to keep going. My first batch of 500 watches sold out fairly quickly and I started to look at VOID Watches as a brand rather than a project as I originally envisioned it. From there on we’ve been steadily growing.
Do you an overall design ethos/aesthetic?
I suppose I do but it’s tucked away in the back of my head and I should probably try to write it down some day. The overall idea is to keep things relatively simple and use high quality materials and finishes to make them come to life. When developing new products I think the big challenge is what not to do. There are so many fun ideas and it’s always challenging to not loose focus and start too many things at the same time.
Some of your newer range is digital faced, is this something you’re finding more people are looking to start wearing again?
I started off with a digital watch (our V01 that I designed in 2007). I thought then (and still think) that there are not that many nice digital watches and I wanted to make something that felt a little bit more sophisticated than what’s out there in general. I think they look great but the main trend is definitely not in my favour but I refuse to be discouraged by that.
What would you suggest as being your most versatile watch in the collection, something you can mix up with everything?
I would say our V03D-BR/BL/WH <http://www.voidwatches.com/en/shop/watches/v03d-brblwh.html>. It’s a simple, classic looking watch that you can’t really go wrong with. The diameter is 38mm and with today’s standards that’s on the small side but my advice is for people to wear a smaller watch. The over sized watch thing has never looked very nice.
Any plans for the future, new designs? Range expansion?
There are lots of plans but I’m afraid I can’t go into too much detail here. The exciting thing is that I’ve enlisted some talented designers to create some new watches and I can’t wait to share what they come up with. One thing is certain, they will be analogue and moderately sized.
What does Retrospective Modernism mean to you?
It’s a great formulation and I think it’s a very sound approach to keep an eye in the rearview mirror. A lot of my own design work is a nod to days past but with the ambition to be contemporary and fresh.