Brothers Oliver and Rudi Laing are the minds and movers behind Vapaus, a British watch company that is now onto their second Kickstarter campaign with a 38-millimeter chronograph they call the Vorcut. The Laings are unabashedly trying to capture what they call 1950s and 60s watch style, but there’s an interesting psychological theme here, too.A Rorschach ink-blot adorns the solid case back of the 38-millimeter Vorcut. Herman Rorschach, a Swiss psychologist, devised his test in 1921 as a way to help psychologists peer into the unconscious. By the 1960s peering into the unconscious had become a convention among intellectuals, and indulging in psychoanalysis was as chic as driving a Porsche 911, wearing a black turtleneck, smoking a pipe, and discussing abstract expressionism.
The Vorcut captures that 1960 retro-psych-chic and puts it into a playful light that could only shine in this new century. I wouldn’t call the Vorcut a work of irony, but it does seem to wink knowingly at us with those strange Rorschach lashes. Indeed, the Vorcut is flirting with our sense of irony, and its ability to keep things platonic points to the subtle sophistication of this watch.