President's Column

Elegant craftsmanship interweaves trandition and modernity

Author:Professor Dr. Peter Zec|2019-4-8(This passage is concurrentlypublished on the Economic Daily)

Every time I evaluate the Red Dot awards I would be amazed by the entries. More than 6,300 products are submitted this year,and each of them highlights the importance of the award and the need for good design. While I am always eagerly awaiting the results of the 48 categories, there are a few that I will pay particular attention to: cars, computer technology and wristwatches.

Today I'm going to talk specifically about wristwatches, which I've been passionate about for years. For example, Nomos Glashutte's automatic upper chain mechanical Tangomat watch has become one of my top 10 favorite design products.

But there was a time in my life when I didn't wear a watch at all because I was disappointed at the quality of some of watches on the market. But I still know the time by looking at the clocks in the train station, the post office, the clock shop and the city hall building. My second home city, Berlin, has a very famous clock, the world clock in Alexanderplatz, which has been telling the time of 148 cities around the world since 1969.

In the urban area, clocks have gradually disappeared. People can use their smart phone. But the watch has always been our most loyal companion, so I do not want to go back to non-watch life.

At a recent jury meeting, I had the privilege of exchanging ideas with Gisbert Brunner and Rudiger Bucher, the famous German timepiece critics. They particularly liked the entries from luxury watch brands, and even commented that the retro style is still dominant in the wristwatch circle, with designs from the 1950s and 1960s apparently still appealing to consumers. This trend is characterized by the combination of traditional design and trendy elements in technology and materials. Tradition and future interweave in a small space. Such features win appreciations from the jury and granted awards.

This year, the jury in particular favored Bulgari's "Bulgari Octo," a watch with a body and strap made of ultra-lightweight titanium. In addition, the watch has a variety of shapes and a gray dial to create a good appearance. Another watch that won the Red Dot:Best of the Best was a luxury watch set by TAG Heuer. It combines digital technology with a pointer dial to allow for variations in the wearing experience.

Octo Finissimo Automatic
Manufacturer: bulgari, Italy
Internal design team
Award: Red Dot: Best of the Best 2018

TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 LuxuryKit
Manufacturer: TAG Heuer, Switzerland
Internal design team
Award: Red Dot: Best of the Best2018

I’m happy to see two Grossmann watches receive the recognition of Red Dot.They are dedicated to manufacturing precise clock, focusing on details from the smallest dial and machine operation, the draft to the finished product. Every part is hand-made by the brand "Moritz Grossmann". Thank to those efforts, BenuTourbillon becomes a masterpieces that can be enjoyed every day. Through the end of sapphire crystal table, we are able to appreciate the complex precision machinery and operation. Meanwhile, the AtumEnamel wrist watch in every facet demonstrates the pursuit of pure art, enamel dial with Roman numerals design offers the association with the old craftsmen. In addition to appreciating the extraordinary aesthetics of the watch, we should not forget that the most important function of the watch is clear and accurate timing.

BENU Tourbillon wristwatch
Manufacturer: Grossman watches, Germany
Internal design team
Design: Neodesis Sarl, Switzerland
Category: Red Dot 2018

As I exchanged ideas with the two watch critics, I was reminded of how fascinating the watch world can be, and the heavy role it plays in everyday life in emphasizing personality and character. This may be the reason for the shift from functional designs to more elegant, classic luxury ones, or it may be that time has become more important and relevant to many people.

In a word, I am proud of the famous brands participation in the Red Dot awards, and I am also curious about what trends and changes I will see over time.


“Exhibition of Winners Red Dot Award: Design Concept” Opening Ceremony Reveals the Vision of Tomorrow from Xiamen
Contemporary Good Design Award 2020 officially calls for entries