One of the most common gripes that I hear from people in the watch community, particularly those who have been around for a while, is that there’s a lack of originality in new watches. This might be one of the most contentious topics in the watch world at the moment, with fans of vintage inspired and retro designs in one camp, and folks who are quite simply ready to move on from heritage inspired releases in the other. While nobody will argue that there has been a glut of watches released in the last decade that exist purely to riff on classic designs from the past, original work is most definitely out there if you go looking for it. One place you’ll find it, again and again, is with Israeli watchmaker Itay Noy. Itay makes small runs of limited edition watches from his studio in Jaffa, Israel, specializing in whimsical complications that force you to see time in different ways. His watches aren’t for everyone, but nothing that’s truly original is, and that’s part of the fun. He’s recently announced two new watches that are definitely worth taking a look at if you’re curious about watches that are born from genuine creativity.
The new watches seen here are new additions to the existing Time Tone and Full Month collections. Noy’s Time Tone watches replace the traditional hour hand with a dial made up of 12 circular apertures with a rotating element underneath. As time advances and the colored disc rotates, the tone revealed through each circular aperture changes. During the purchasing process for each watch, the owner specifies which tone will act as the hour “hand.” The result is a highly personal time telling experience, with only the watch owner knowing, at a glance, which color tone represents the correct hour. For this new edition, Noy has created a “Color Wheel” edition of the Time Tone, which differs from previous versions in that it shifts through 12 distinct colors (it has a rainbow vibe, for sure) rather than incorporating a gradient shift through a single tone.
The other new watch is a similarly colorful take on Noy’s Full Month design. This format prioritizes the date display, and can be thought of as a unique interpretation of the pointer date, but without all the pointing. Time is seen in the familiar way with traditional hour and minute hands posted at the center of the watch’s dial, but the date is read at the outside as a colored disc highlights numerical apertures around the dial’s perimeter. For this color wheel edition, a total of 15 apertures have been cut around the outside of the dial, so the current date is read in a different color each day.
These watches are niche products, to be sure, and they are priced accordingly. The Color Wheel version of the Time Tone is priced at $5,600, and the Full Month retails for $7,950. There’s a lot of watchmaking included in the asking price, though. Each watch features a customized movement with intricate finishing (the Time Tone utilizes the hand wound caliber with 42 hours of power reserve, and the Full Month is powered by a micro-rotor movement allowing for a case height of just over 6mm), and the complications and unique expressions of time in these watches are legitimately novel. For collectors who are interested in watches that prioritize creativity and watchmakers who take the approach of an artist to their design work, Itay Noy’s watches are definitely worth a look.
Like all Itay Noy watches, these are limited editions (24 of each, in this case), and he’s currently taking orders for these new variants. Itay Noy