Projects Watches is not a brand that seems to rest on its laurels. Sure, they have re-issues from their back catalog (like the Newark Museum Watch), but they also are creating new designs. We have featured a few different ones over the last year, and their latest takes a love of geometry and pushes it to the stars. That watch, designed by Alessio Romano, is the Projects Watches Ora Major.
The Projects Watches Ora Major looks unique by the fact of its off-centered handset. Or, what appears to be off-centered. While I have not seen the watch in person, my presumption is that we have two clear discs mounted to the central arbor, upon which the (red) hour and (white) minute “hands” are printed. These form an ever-changing constellation on the dial of the watch, and stand out in stark contrast to the black of the dial. So you can keep track of which part of the hands you use to mark the time, there is a circle at the end of each, with both reaching to the outer track. This then necessitates the minute hand circle to be hollowed out, so you can read the time when the hands overlap.
This starry handset rotates over a dial which as raised circular indices (large at the hours, smaller pips in between) that look almost as if they were etched into the mineral crystal (but are not, we confirmed; they are printed on the dial). Once you understand how to read the watch, it’s a simple affair (checking out the animated image on the product page helps as well). The simplicity belies the fact that this gives a very kinetic sort of a design to the dial (and makes me curious what something with an active seconds disc would make the watch look like).
Frankly, the Projects Watches Ora Major is the sort of watch that I do like to see coming from the brand. It offers what initially looks to be a rather complex method of telling time, which is instead revealed to be a simple operation combined with an ever-changing geometric design on the dial. Coming in at a price of $135 (with delivery anticipated for mid-September), the Projects Watches Ora Major is also a very affordable way to get some well-designed, well, whimsy, on to your wrist. projectswatches.com
- Brand & Model: Projects Watches Ora Major
- Price: $135
- Who we think it might be for: You find yourself drawn to the crazy designs on Swatch watches, but want something a bit more restrained and kinetic
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: This one would be seriously tempting
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Aside from luminous hands (which had some problematic colors for the brand), I’d like to see them explore the seconds hand getting into the movement mix
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The ever-changing geometric pattern created by the handset
Tech Specs from Projects Watches
- Black IP Stainless Steel
- Movement Miyota 2036
- 40mm in diameter; 8.8mm thick
- 20mm Black Silicone Band