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The Span Watch from Box Clever
A blend of analog and digital in the SF design studio's smartwatch concept
by David Graver
on 09 April 2014

With their new proposed timepiece, design firm Box Clever offers up a refined amalgamation of what we love in analog watches and what we've come to expect from modern technology. A jump hour, quartz-driven timekeeping unit operates the hour hand at the top hemisphere of the watch, while the minute hand ticks away on the lower half. Stretched across the center; a digital OLED screen (set within a black mesh band) shares the most important updates, alerts and reminders—designed to work in conjunction with a smartphone. On top of all that, the Span Watch looks simple, sleek and elegant.

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Span emphasizes the essentials; it's not about a superfluous number of notifications. It seeks to take the most important and prioritized information and puts it front and center, surrounded by clean, easy-to-read timekeeping. And when there are no messages waiting, the screen still remains a central design axis, beautifully separating the piece. All of it is navigated and managed by way of a textured bezel surrounding the watch face; allowing a survey of notifications or even answering phone calls. Each digital element is micro-USB-charged from a port hidden in the back of the watch. For something so intelligent, it's also remarkably direct. Clarity is key—from functionality to design.

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The Span Watch is one of the debut showcases from Box Clever, founded just last year by two highly awarded industrial designers: Bret Recor and Seth Murray. They foresee the watch as being composed of polished stainless steel, glossy black ceramic, and sporting a black PVD coating—high-quality but easy to construct, not to mention light and durable. The duo notes that these are materials found in high-end watches, but are unusual in the world of smartwatches. Their fully realized concept is ready for production—potentially an entry point for watch producers looking to enter the game. With its timeless appearance, it would also be a great first step for analog watch owners considering giving a brainier watch a try.

Video and images courtesy of Box Clever

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