Catalina & Clipper were launched in 2015 after 5 months of product development - idea to final product. Here I explain the journey.
One year after launching the updated design of Bambu I was ready for something new. Looking into what my factory could offer in terms of shapes and designs (due to the small batches produced I'm limited to work with readily available hardware designs) I came across this classic spoon-shaped body design with a strong retro feel to it.
Gloriousdays has always been about quick decisions and learning by doing, so after sleeping on the idea for a couple of nights, and my gut feeling still saying go for it I took it to the drawing board to see what I could do to make it a distinctively Gloriousdays watch.
At first I had the idea to make it one model with two or three colour variations for the face, just as with Bambu, the previous model. Black and white were given colours to start with, and later on green and blue came to be strong candidates as well. The red second hand and the 3D diamond face pattern were there from an early stage but other details took a long, iterative process to get right.
With the latest Bambu designs I had gone with matt silver for the metal parts, but I had a strong preference for matt gold with the new design as I thought it would compliment the darker, oxidised bamboo really well.
After countless variations produced, asking friends and colleagues for feedback and letting the designs simmer for some time, a couple of strong designs emerged. Certain face designs worked better with certain colours and I realised that maybe it wasn't going to be one design in the end, but rather two or three completely different designs based on the same body.
I was aiming for a strong retro feel for these models, and while working with the designs the story behind them had also started to take shape - these new models were a tribute to an era of exploration and adventure, roughly taking place in the 40's, 50's and 60's.
It was time for some quick market research.
In the end I had two face designs, and four colours to test. In total eight variations.
After gathering feedback in an online survey two designs came out as strong leaders. Luckily, these were also my personal favourites so no darlings had to be killed.
I now had the two final designs, and I had the story I wanted to tell with them but I was lacking a theme - something to tie them together. One was strongly inspired by aviator watches and flight instruments, whereas the other was a more subtle design with a colour and texture combination alluding to nautical pastime activites.
This is how I came to use the seaplane as the theme for the new watches. The seaplane had it all - air and sea elements, a strong history with both glamour and exploration, and a romantic aura associated with the era I wanted to align with.
After some fun reasearch into old seaplanes I picked two iconic models that both had good names to use, and stories to tell which reflected the designs in a perfect way. Catalina & Clipper, the next generation of Gloriousdays watches, were born.
The remaining three months were spent on the development and iteration of physical prototypes, as well as the packaging that needed a redesign as well.
I had two goals with the new packaging. 1) Make it smaller to reduce space and weight in shipping and storing, and 2) Add more brand DNA into it to create a unique Gloriousdays experience for the customer right on receiving the watch.
Gloriousdays is about finding moments. A moment is simply a stamp in time that is highly valued on a personal level. These moments make for a happy life. I wanted to communicate this message with the new packaging and therfore went with photos representing moments from my own life, alongside an accompanying text and the strap line; Life is full of moments. Find yours.
It's rare to get it right on the first try, and above you can see some tweaks done from one iteration to another.
In the end I was very happy with the result, although the watches came out slightly bigger than expected. In hindsight I wouldn't change a lot, but I would definitely work more on the minute and hour hands and find something that would harmonise more with the overall design language. Also, I might consider making Clipper's hour dots in matt gold but as mentioned before Gloriousdays is learning by doing and this is why we iterate isn't it?
Catalina and Clipper are available at globalkitespots.com/gloriousdays.