MINIMALISM for the wrist

lifestyle April 24, 2019 01:00

By KUPLUTHAI PUNGKANON
THE NATION

2,339 Viewed

Danish watch brand bulbul offers some unusual designs



PEBBLES are not symmetric, square or round so why, Danish brand Bulbul asked, should a watch called Pebble be? The timepiece, best described as rounded and slightly asymmetrical, recently made its debut in Bangkok, along with other models from the stylish and minimalist brand.

Founded in 2013 by Jacob Juul, Bulbul draws on KiBiSi for the design of its funky but functional watches. Considered as one of Scandinavia’s most influential design teams, KiBiSi is led by Bjarke Ingels, Lars Larsen and Jens Martin Skibsted and works across a wide range of disciplines, creating everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and aircraft, and signature designs to new functional and aesthetic hybrids. 

Available at the multi-brand M Market on The Emporium’s ground floor and at TheseCoolThings.com, Bulbul gets it name from a passerine songbird and offers meticulously designed and creatively crafted watches with movements made from genuine 14K Swiss gold and premium316GL stainless steel and boasts crystal sapphire dials plus straps made of German stainless steel and Italian leather. Water resistance is up to 3 atm and each watch comes with a two-year warranty. 

Defining an international hybrid of heritage and openness with precise Swiss movement, the watches are made to last. 

“Pebble is the first watch in the timepiece world to break the traditional rules with its asymmetrical dial that means all four corners have different angles and radiance. Indeed, the watch is complicated to produce even though it looks very simple. It is rare to see a new shape in the watch world. Normally the watch shape is driven by geometry; round or square. We spent two years developing this innovation and we are super happy that it became an instant hit as an item worth owning and is still very popular,” notes Juul. 

“Bulbul is now five years old. It goes against the grain of the classic watch industry, which is quite conservative and very technical. Danish design is different. It is more playful and very minimalist, and has a long life cycle in the design. I always hoped that the two worlds could meet. So I contacted KiBiSi, the stars of the Danish architectural world. I told them to try and design a watch that they would like to wear. They are the optimal target group – people from the creative industry. They came up with the first design that became the Pebble watch.” 

A golden version of Pebble comes with a traditional material surface in a matte finish, with traditional brown leather and an all white dial and hands - a hybrid of contemporary clean expression and heritage – while the all steel version is an elegant fusion of classic steel mesh and contemporary design.

In 2015, KiBiSi designed the round and refined Facette watch for the Bulbul collection. Facette, a subtle design in precision engineering, incorporates distinct design details while paying homage to an iconic watch shape. The markers float almost unnoticeably on the underside of the sapphire crystal. The Italian leather strap connects exactly in the middle of the steel casing, creating an unusually stylish fit. Inside Facette lies a Swiss-made, 14 Karat gold-plated Ronda movement, with up to 10 years of battery life. 

Adding to Bulbul collection, KiBiSi then designed the classic Oblong, a rectangle with a slight curve, which comes in eight styles matched with leather and metal straps creating a subtly flamboyant contrast to the sharp, minimal aesthetic. 

Juul says, “Our watch is a lesson in ultra-simplicity. It is what a watch looks like when you remove everything. So simple, it is beautiful in itself. When it is nothing, it is something. Our watches are for people who love an elegant, cool design that is clean and minimalist yet of high quality, going beyond the rules of seasonal fashion that only a Nordic design can offer. The Pebble reflects the philosophy behind Bulbul – the desire to do things a little differently, just enough to be interesting.”