Behind the scenes of a watch design

Aug 24, 2017by Emily Weston

The Promise of Happiness watch, worn by Fanny Shorter

When we make a new watch, we usually release it in a small run of 100 numbered pieces.

If these limited edition watches are reasonably popular, we’ll make some changes to the design and re-issue it as part of our permanent collection.

This time round, we wanted to share that process with you.

The limited run of The Promise of Happiness sold out extremely quickly, so we wanted to show you how we’ve been working on it over the last couple of months.


The Promise of Happiness watch, limited edition and permanent edition

Left: limited edition. Right: Permanent collection.


We loved the limited edition design, and we didn’t want to make any major changes to Fanny Shorter’s original painting. Instead we decided to try different colour options.


Various different samples of dials, using different colours

Experimenting with different coloured dials and layered prints.


We liked both the orange and the blue prints and we considered making two versions of the design for you to choose from – a day and a night scene.

Day and night watch scenes as digital mockups

Design mock-ups. Left: night scene with dark sky and leaves. Centre: night scene with contrasting light and dark leaves. Right: original green leaves with red sky (instead of white).


Sample Promise of Happiness watch with black case

Sample watch with red sky and alternative black case.


Sample Promise of Happiness watches using a night scene colour palatte

Sample night scenes. Left: original greens with blue sky. Right: purple sky and contrasting leaves.

Design mock-ups for the Promise of Happiness watch

Mock up of the final watch design.


The idea of creating a night scene came from Fanny’s original sketch, she used a beautiful midnight blue for the sky of the watch.

Fanny Shorter drawing in her studioFanny Shorter: sketching the Promise of Happiness watch in her studio.


Design sketches for the Promise of Happiness watch

New watch design with Fanny’s original design sketches.


Fanny’s design inspiration for The Promise Of Happiness watch came from Pahari Indian miniature paintings.

These paintings often have a faded sky, so we were excited to try the effect for this design.


Indian miniature paintings


We usually use a pad printer to lay down the colours for our watch designs, and it produces a very flat colour.

So to keep the sky as naturalistic as possible, we used an airbrush for the first time, which you can in action here.


Airbrushed dials for the Promise of Happiness tiger watch

Happy with the airbrush effect on the dials, we then used the pad printer for the rest of the colours of the design, printing each individual colour layer by layer.


Printed dial of the Promise of happiness, tiger watch

 Last was the assembly (building) of the watch, and here is the finished design…


The Promise of Happiness tiger watch finished design

The Promise of Happiness, tiger watch


You can find out more about The Promise of Happiness here.

What do you think of the finished design? We’d love to hear from you, please leave your comments in the box below.