I have gathered over the years as a city dweller that we are busy creatures with very strong opinions about how we dress and accessorize ourselves, from the shirts and shoes that coordinate with our wrist watches, to the rings that decorate our fingertips. As a self-identified city dweller, it was only natural to start by designing accessories. The Concrete collection of jewelry was inspired by this dynamic dance between urban living and style, and was finally released in 2007. By 2011, we launched the beautiful collection of concrete writing tools. We constantly strive to create gorgeous and unique products by combining simplicity in design with exclusive materials, and push ourselves to design the most unique products in the world. It was only a matter of time until the possibility of designing a concrete watch came to mind and became our new working collection.
4th Dimension Watch
What makes a product truly exceptional? Good design and quality materials are essential details, but are only elevated beyond greatness when energized by the concept and the vision behind the product.
Our fascination with contemporary architecture and design, as well as the progression of our product development, lead us to a passion towards crafting the perfect time piece. Time converges with space into our physical world through, what is known in Physics as, the 4th Dimension, which sparked the idea of binding time into this beautiful and solid timepiece.
The spiral staircase immediately stood out as a visual connecting point between 2 separate dimensions. With each stair turned at a 30° angle, you can align 12 steps together, each representing an hour, to form a complete Escher-like cycle. Serving as a break in between spaces, the stairs present an opportunity to pause between time and space. Rather than rushing from destination to destination, we can slow down to reflect on our moods and our thoughts, or take a moment to pause and appreciate the stillness in between.
A Watch that Suits the Urban Style
We believe that a good watch is an extension of the wearer’s statement of self. More than just a reliable and accurate keeper of time, the 4th Dimension Watch is an expression of the wearer’s attitude in life. With a medium sized face at 42 mm in diameter, this watch asserts boldness regardless of the size of wrist it rests on. The glass is composed of sapphire crystal rated 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which results in a clear surface with extremely high durability against scratching. This gorgeous urban timepiece will always show time with clarity and precision.
Our wristwatches are available in three exquisite Models: the Original Model, the Urban Model, and the Midnight Model.
The Original Model combines the authentic concrete base as the watch surface with a brushed stainless steel bezel, untreated brass hands and crown, and a naturally tanned leather band. Every detail of the wristwatch highlights the original beauty of the materials and is a natural fit for the casual wearer.
The Urban Model combines a dark gray concrete watch surface with a brushed stainless steel bezel, silver and blue hands, a polished brass crown, and a black leather band. This color combination exudes a subtle sophistication and elegantly complements formal wear.
The Midnight Model plays with a daring color combination by matching the brass hands and crown, and tanned leather band of the Original Model with a black concrete watch surface. This model is also equipped with a DLC (diamond like coating) black plated bezel and coordinates well with trend setters who embrace bold self-expression.
At 22 Design, our muse is the contemporary architecture of the city. As urban creatures, it is not long before you are acutely aware of how deliberate our fashion statements and accessory choices are. The Concrete collection of jewelry and accessories were inspired by this dynamic dance between urban living and style. We strive to create gorgeous and unique products by combining simplicity in design with exclusive materials and constantly push ourselves to design the most unique products in the world.
Early stages of 4th Dimension Watch
The concept for the 4th Dimensional Watch was born in 2010, however it took many years to fine tune and materialize the final product. Due to the high threshold of manufacturing watches, we decided on a step by step approach and started by working on simpler structures. Since then, we launched our acclaimed Concrete Wall clocks and Desk Clocks while simultaneously working on our watch design. The four years following involved numerous samples, revisions and relationships with suppliers all across the globe before we resolved on the final design and form of the watch. 18 months later, we forged the physical form, transforming this lofty concept into the beautiful and functional watch you see today. Now in Fall 2015, after fine tuning the details and extensive quality checks, we are finally ready for the market.
An ancient poet once said, it takes a decade to sharpen a sword. Our wristwatch represents the completion of our first phase since graduating from college and founding our studio when we were 22 years old.
Watch Dial: We chose the material we are best at manipulating, concrete, for the surface of our watch. After repetitive testing and fortifying of the structure, we overcame numerous obstacles to create a 1mm thin concrete panel. Both the mold filling and grooming are done by hand, allowing each piece to retain the touch and unique patterns that come with handcraft.
Hands: We designed exclusive brass watch hands to characterize time as three-dimensional hand movements floating above our unique watch surface. Three-dimensional hands allow our watch design to transcend traditional two-dimensional thinking and leap into third, even four-dimensional thought.
Crown: The crown is a regular dodecagon shape with a hollowed out center. It was designed with the intention to have each detail in the design of the watch correspond with the concept of time and space.
Band: Our 4th Dimension Wristwatch is quite substantial in weight at 104.5g, therefore the band must be thick and durable enough to support it. We tried no less than 30 available bands of different colors and various materials, only to discover that not a single one met our demands. We decided to return to the most classic but costly method, in which we handpick Italian leather treated with the traditional vegetable tanning process, then have them hand stitched together with twine. The band is 100% handmade by long standing professionals and is over 3 mm thick for strength. Good leather matures with wear and time, and will deepen into a rich color hue while you wear it. With proper care, your band will last years without developing an odor.
Movement: The hands on our watch are heavier than usual, therefore we chose the high torque, precise, and stable Citizen Miyota GL36 Quartz movement. For more details, please refer to: http://www.citizen.co.jp/miyota_mvt/download/#GL36
Bezel: The bezel is made of 316L stainless steel with a brushed finish. 316L stainless steel is a medical grade stainless steel that is acid and alkaline resistant as well as anti-corrosive, and will not cause allergic reactions on the skin.
Watch glass: We use sapphire crystal as the watch glass. The hardness of sapphire crystal is only second to that of diamonds. It tests 2200-2300 (seven times harder than steel) on the Vickers Hardness Test and rates a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Sapphire crystal is hard, light permeable, nearly frictionless, and high in heat tolerance. It is also more resistant to wear than crystal glass.
Assembly: Our watches are unique in structure and limited in amount. Only a highly innovative company would be daring enough to assemble them. We searched far and wide before finding such a company. Assembling the watches in Switzerland was far too costly while the quality offered in China did not meet our expectations. Finally, we were able to find a company that specializes in high-end bezels to manufacture our bezel and assemble our watches. This factory is one of the very few continuously growing Taiwanese watch companies that possess exclusive techniques and innovative capabilities. Additionally, the watches are assembled by seasoned craftsmen with over 30 years of experience.
Aging of the leather
The watch on the right is brand new; the left shows the color after six months of wear.
22 Design Studio
Sean Yu and Yiting Cheng were both 22 years old when they graduated from college in 2005 and decided to merge their creative talents to form their own brand. In order to remember the motivation and vitality that drove the creation of their brand, and the hope of never forgetting their original aspirations, they named their brand, 22™ - as a tribute to their age when they founded 22 Design Studio.
During a trip to Japan in 2006, the two designers witnessed and experienced the thrill of many classic contemporary buildings and found their inspiration amidst the busy hustle of the city. Since that point, concrete became the medium of choice for their creativity, eventually growing to become an essential characteristic of 22™ products, which range from jewelry to writing tools to time pieces.
22™ Design’s concepts are innovative, and their materials are unique to their own exclusive formula; the studio and production center are located in the same building allowing a closeness that oversees the integrity of the manufacturing process for all their concrete products.
22™ products can be seen in most major cities around the world. Their products can be found on online platforms as well as design fairs across the globe.
Risks and challenges
Manufacturing high design products take a lot of time and work. There are so many opportunities for unexpected hiccups along the way which can derail and delay the production of the final product, which is why we spent the last year preparing this project to minimize these risks.
The prototype production run has been funded and completed to ensure that all design elements are finalized and perfected, and that the manufacturer is fully capable of producing the 4th Dimension Watch. They are one of the few watch manufacturers in Taiwan that possess perfected technique and innovative capabilities with over 30 years of experience. We are more than pleased with the quality of the final prototype presentation.
This partnership with MollaSpace also adds great value as their years of experience in distribution will ensure the fulfillment and operation process go as smoothly as possible. If we experience a setback in production or cannot make the estimated delivery date for any reason, we will be as transparent as possible and keep you informed with any further updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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