This watch has a wonderfully simplified depiction of the time - each hour is marked by a little character crossing over a bridge in the centre of the dial. You judge the time by looking at how far across the bridge the character has moved.
The watch has the feel of a tiny theatre - the eye is drawn in by the different layers of printing on the face of the watch. We printed and assembled The Bridge in our workshop in glorious south London. The dial is printed on white birch veneer to give a warm, living feeling to the piece.
The design was inspired by a visit to the Togetsukyo Bridge in Kyoto, Japan. The bridge is a well known landmark and you can observe the swelling and subsiding of the crowds who come to visit over the course of the day. I imagined that locals who were very familiar with the bridge could glance at it to judge the time of day based on the volume of visitors.
The bridge is also the site of an important initiation for local children: boys and girls receive a blessing from a local temple and then make their way across the bridge under orders to do so without looking back. If one ignores this instruction, it is said to bring bad luck as a result. Fortunately none of the characters on the watch ever cast a glance behind them, so you are assured of good luck with this time piece!
-- how to read the time --
Reading the time on this watch is simple and intuitive: each hour is marked by its own character. The markers above the characters indicate the minutes - a thick maker at the start and end for 0 minutes and 60 minutes and thinner markers for the quarters of the hour.
If the character is directly under the first thin marker then it is exactly a quarter past. If the character stands between the first and second thin markers (as in the illustration on the right) then it's 22 minutes past - i.e. equidistant between 15 and 30 minutes past.
The above all sounds rather technical, but don't worry, it's not! The watch shows you in a very intuitive way how far through the hour you are. It obviously doesn't show you that the time is "37 minutes and 19 seconds past", but then most of us don't need this sort of detail, we just need to know that it's a little after half-past.
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