Watch brand collaboration: JW Watch (Hong Kong) X 47Ronin Watch Straps
As a watch strap designer, I am always on the lookout to collaborate with emerging watch brands. Finding harmony between a watch strap and a watch face is like very much like a matchmaking process – arduous, but if it’s “meant to be”, something wonderful will come out of it. This time, 47Ronin’s flamboyant watch straps meets the functional and ultra-sleek JW watch faces.
Coming from an eclectic artistic background, Jason is a watch designer, a graphic designer, musician, photographer and tutor of a design class. He has received The Hong Kong Exporters’ Association Smart Gift Design Award in 2016 and has previously designed watches for various brands, including Memorigin and Marvel. Jason’s first steps into establishing JW began with a Kickstarter project and after receiving enough backing from trustees, JW was officially born. What is unique about JW watches is of course, the precise and high-quality mechanical movement these watches boast, along with a truly affordable price tag. Sapphire-crystal glass on both sides of JW watches provides full transparency for the wearer to admire JW’s in-house skeleton movement. What’s more, the aesthetics of JW watches follow the golden ratio, which is said to govern what we perceive as the ideal beauty.
Jason has very kindly sent a JW skeleton watch face over. I was excited to work on the design for such a sleek watch.
I wanted to preserve the integrity of JW’s golden ratio aesthetics hence I drew out a plan where 47Ronin’s watch straps would also follow the same aesthetic rule.
Playing around with thread colours, materials and kimono textiles.
The watch straps I crafted for JW’s watch faces followed the watch golden ratio concept, where there are 4 circles positioned in golden ratio proportion to one another. I also experimented with different arrangements and designs. Just like how the circle surfaces on JW watches reveal the movement beneath, the circles on the watch straps gives wearers a peak into the kimono textiles underneath.
Classic design with our button motif.
Another design is one of 47Ronin’s classic design with uniform buttons from Japanese high schools and vintage buttons from the Japan National Railways uniform. If you are wondering why Japanese high school buttons, head over to our blog post on Japanese School Uniform Buttons to learn more about its significance!
Watch face from JW.
Finally, as the lug size of the watch provided by Jason measured 21mm, which is an unorthodox size for watches, I had to craft the straps carefully such that it will fit the watch face perfectly. The materials I used were calf leather embossed with python skin pattern, calf leather printed with crocodile skin pattern, kimono textiles from Kyoto, uniform buttons from Japanese high schools and the Japan National Railways uniform, stainless steel butterfly clasp buckles and waxed threads of various colours.
The final product was an interesting blend of sleek and edgy! Very suitable for someone who is not afraid to experiment with the boundaries of fashion.
More angles of the finished JW x 47Ronin design.
I am very grateful to JW for collaborating with 47Ronin to expand possibilities of watch crafting. I will be going to meet Jason in Hong Kong in May 2019 to view a new watch face (EX series) he is currently crafting. Excited to see the next design we will be working on!
Watch from JW Watch designed by Jason Chan
Text by Isabel Yap