If you were to describe the Codek Spiral to me, I’d likely conclude that the designers were themselves spiraling out of control. At first glance, however, I saw that the minds behind this watch were not only in control, but that they held deft command over a complex set of details that form a surprisingly serene whole. This watch should be funky, but instead it’s sophisticated. It should be jarring, but instead it’s placid. Basically the Spiral ought to fail, but instead it excels.
A strong concept does not guarantee a successful design, but it’s hard to imagine that the Spiral would have turned out so well without one. The inspiration for the Spiral is the hairspring. Already we see the designers’ intelligence at work, designating what some would call a found object as the watch’s conceptual and aesthetic center. I am reminded of certain modernist masterpieces, such as Isamu Noguchi’s famous coffee table which he based on a sketch of a woman in repose, or the entire city of Brasilia which Lúcio Costa based simultaneously on The Cross and the jet airplane.
Such concepts not only inform the design, but also our subjective interactions with it. By considering the hairspring, we become more aware of our most intimate partner inside the movement, and by engaging the hairspring in this way, the folks at Codek are flirting with the borders of conceptual art, but thankfully they stop short of being overly heady about it.