Monday, December 9, 2013

ZIIIRO Gravity Times An Evolution

When Robert Dabi first came up with the idea to create a watch without hands or markings, he didn't know much about watches. All he knew was that he wanted to create a watch that would show the passage of time without anything more than minimalistic patterns.

It all began simply enough. He submitted a concept design drawing to Yanko Design. He called it Zero because it has no buttons or numbers. It was a beautiful concept, originally designed with a palate of seven colors.

Several tech and gadget magazines helped take the watch concept to the next level. Dabi found the support his needed. About one year later, several models and colors were ready to sell with a new name that was more reflective of the the spiraling minute and hour hands.

Gravity has come along way and now it has cousins.

As Dabi became more comfortable moving from his graphic design background into product development, Gravity began to take shape. The simplicity attracts everyone, with the continuous and barely noticeable movement showing the passages of time.

It takes some getting use to, just like the bracelet strap that hugs your wrist. Made of metal and silicone, it's comfortable enough. The trick is learning to appreciate that a watch doesn't need to be tied down or strapped on too tightly.

One nice innovation from the early design is the ability to change the close body with one of nine different colors. Likewise, the second generation watch, called Mercury, adds another element.

The face adds small hour markers around a stainless steel case. And rather than relying on the flexible cuff design, these watches strap on with a snap-up enclosure. The tapered mesh strap gives the watch a less sporty and more sophisticated look overall.

ZIIIRO is working hard to evolve design. 

After Mercury, ZIIIRO began moving in an entirely new direction. The Aurora uses two transparent gradient discs to tell time. The blue represents the hour and the yellow represents the minute. It takes significantly more time to get use to, but the design makes it worthwhile.

If the colors seem like too much trouble, then the Orbit moves back to the designer's minimalist roots. The watch display features two planets that exist on a single orbit, occasionally overlapping each other several times a day.

Like most watches made by ZIIIRO, both of these rely on a Japanese Miyota 1L-26 Quartz Movement with an accuracy of +20 seconds a month. They are also made with stainless steel and the face is protected by hardened mineral crystal. They are water resistant (3 ATM or up to 50 feet) but not designed to be submerged for any length of time or frequency.

The newest designs are worth looking at too. In fact, it is the ZIIIRO Eclipse that is my hands-down favorite. Rather than relying on planets to track the time, two poles slowly circle around the face of the watch. They are covered with a patented Swiss Super-LumiNova pigment, allowing them to glow in the dark.

I'm equally fond of the Saturn that uses an out ring of 12 segments and an inner ring of 60 seconds to tell time. It too lights up, but what I like best is that it was designed around the more formal look of the Mercury.

The ZIIIRO Gravity Watch Tells 6.4 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

The ZIIIRO Gravity watch isn't necessarily going to be your prized timepiece like Invicta or Rolex. But it does make a statement for anyone with an appreciation for novel design and a sporty or sophisticated futuristic look.

While you can visit the ZIIIRO website for details, you can find most watches on Amazon, including the Mercury, Saturn, and Gravity. ZIIIRO also recently released an iPhone app that borrows elements of the original design. It's significantly busier (including a calendar and second sweep) than the original watch, but might make for a free fun conversation piece.
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