It’s rare to come across a collection of watches with almost totally unique key elements. You’ll often see an amalgamation of familiar detailing, including fonts, bezels and hand shapes, most of which are taken from a historic or current inspirational timepieces. AÃRK Collective, a young Melbourne based design agency ‘driven by a desire to create’, have recently released an impressive collection of design-orientated timepieces that truly provide a twist on classic watch styles.
AÃRK’s main aim is to achieve perfect harmony between design, functionality and aesthetic, with every detail meticulously refined and developed to ensure it’s in keeping with the minimalist design ethos so apparent throughout their collection. Although AÃRK’s bold and unique styling may not quite be to everyone’s taste, we can safely say that we’ve never seen a collection of watches quite like this before.
Their debut collection consists of 3 models, each of which is available in a handful of colours and features a reliable and robust Japanese Quartz movement. Firstly, there is the ‘Classic': a 38mm lugless watch with a rubberised case and rubber strap, which is also available in a special tortoiseshell effect case with leather strap. With no print on the face, and only oddly shaped hands and dials, the watch is eye-catching and could, at first glance, be mistaken for an object of modern design.
With prices starting at £95, the Classic will inevitably be directly compared with the somewhat sombre Uniform Wares 103 models.
Their mid-level watch, the ‘Timeless’, measures 40 x 29 x 10mm and is visibly much more substantial than the Classic. It comes in striking brushed steel, which is complemented by a fine Italian calf leather strap. Aside from its perfect proportions, the various angles, shapes and surfaces make the Timeless really shine on your wrist – regardless of whether you go with the black PVD or brushed steel at £180 or the slightly more expensive gold finish at £200.
Finally, the ‘Iconic’ is the brand’s largest and most expensive timepiece. Measuring 42 x 50 x 12mm and retailing at £260, it is described by AARK as being “influenced by industrial and avionic instruments, it is raw, tough and precise”. Finished in a matte black brushed steel the Iconic is chunky with re-assuring weight. Given the price tag the Iconic is still very much obtainable and, in our opinion, a more unique statement than, say, comparable models from the likes of Tsovet, Uniform Wares or Nixon.
In summary, AÃRK Collective clearly know a thing or two about design and this range of timepieces is an almost perfect application of their skill to an everyday item that will inevitably garner attention whenever and wherever it’s on display.
The full collection is now available exclusively in the UK and Europe at opumo.com.