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The machines that travel through time

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August 2015


klokers is a new kid on the watchmaking block. The brand aims to design and manufacture timepieces that are inspired by iconic objects from the past. Their first timepiece is the KLOK-01, which goes back in time all the way to the 17th century.

The present era is one of being constantly switched on and permanently connected. And watchmakers are capitalizing on our obsessions, not only with the passage of time but also with the obsession of not missing out on anything. Today’s smartwatches are meant to resolve (or feed) those obsessions.

In a different move, klokers is a brand that is trying to reclaim the time that has escaped us. According to the brand itself, they “design and manufacture machines that time travel through time”. Each klokers timepiece is inspired by an iconic object or instrument of the past, evoking memories still embedded in the collective unconsciousness of today.

The machines that travel through time

Their first “time shuttle” for the wrist is the KLOK-01, which is inspired by the slide rule. Before the invention of cheap pocket calculators, slide rules were the fastest method for working out complex calculations. They were a sort of mechanical analog computer, usually comprising three scales, one of which slid between the other two. They were used extensively until the 1970s, but they became obsolete in the mid-70s with the arrival of cheap electronic calculators. Their fate reminds us of the quartz revolution that happened during that same time period, when analogue mechanical watches were increasingly replaced by chapter electronic variants.

The machines that travel through time

With the KLOK-01, klokers invites us to travel back in time, anytime from the 1970s all the way back to the 17th century, when slide rules really did rule! The dial of KLOK-01 is a graphical representation of the calculation tool of that era. It uses three rotating concentric rings to display the time along a vertical red line. The rings — one each for hours, minutes, and seconds — rotate at different speeds, making the whole dial a symphony of motion.

The machines that travel through time

KLOK-01 is Swiss Made and features a high-tech and precise quartz movement. The watch’s rotating disk displays are driven by high-efficiency, bi-directionally functioning Lavet micro-motors. The 44 mm case is fabricated from a modern composite of stainless steel and polymers for maximum strength.

The machines that travel through time

But this timepiece doesn’t only travel back in time. It can also travel with you through whatever challenge the day offers. The watches easily clip on and off a patented docking “jewel” on the bracelet. This allows for the wearer to remove the timepiece and carry it however he or she pleases throughout the day. This feature also allows interchangeability of watches and bracelets to suit the mood and look of the day. The bracelet is also designed to be worn by itself, as a standalone accessory.

The new KLOK-01 will be sold for $389 starting in September 2015, when it will be officially launched by a Kickstarter campaign. The launch will be limited to numbered edition of 200 pieces each in yellow, grey, and indigo. To get this relic of an older era at a price that is also more reflective of the good old days, you can register on their website and qualify for a special price of only $199 (VJ).