Less but better.
Pinion founder, Piers Berry undertakes all of the design work for the watches and brand.
The watches that Piers designs are classically proportioned, with a tendency to do away with extraneous details, but instead letting the shape, textures and materials shine.
These designs form the ‘Pinion design code’ so that similarities feature across the different models. This code ensures a cohesive design language and a strong visual continuity for the brand.
Trust the process
Piers follows a strict design process when commencing a new watch project which consists of five key stages:
When introducing a new watch, the first thing Piers does is define the foundations of the model based on a business need or opportunity and a rough outline of specifications for the watch.
– Example: In 2018, the Atom watch had sold out, and there was a need to continue with this range. The specifications based a new watch on a similar size (41mm) in stainless steel and for it to feature an automatic movement.
Piers will then take the specifics of this model and conduct customer research to discover what people would like from a new product.
– Example: In 2018, Pinion conducted online research with approximately 250 people about a potential follow-up Atom watch. The findings from this research helped to form part of the specifications for the Atom 39.
In this example, the majority of people requested:
– A slightly smaller sized watch ( i.e. 39-40mm)
– To use a Swiss movement ( ETA 2824-2)
– To have a date display at 3H
– To make a white dialled variant of the watch
With the specification of the watch defined and budgeted, Piers first produces rough sketches that provide a form to a watch before he works in 3D CAD, providing a more refined look and feel.
The visualisation phase usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete, often resulting in many revisions and refinements until Piers is happy that the design both conforms to the Pinion design code, meets the needs of the business and the desires of the customers.
– Example: The new Atom watch would reference the original version. Piers was keen to keep the dial a similar size as before, resulting in a wider aperture on a smaller case and the date window integrated at 3H.
Piers will then spend time drafting detailed drawings including measurements for the various components of the watch – such as the dial, hands, crown and case.
– Example: Piers produces the detailed Atom 39 dial drawing in Adobe Illustrator. This accurate scale drawing can then be easily translated into drawings for the dial maker to use.
Piers then works with a watch case maker who will produce engineering drawings based on the design. Once completed, it provides most of the measurements for the rest of the parts, so Piers can make changes to these before getting detailed drawings from the other manufacturers.
A short prototyping phase will commence with samples of most components being made so that Piers can see how these look and for any changes to be made before heading into production.
Once the watch goes into manufacture, the parts are made by the separate companies, delivering them to Pinion over a 3-4 month period. Piers inspects finished parts for quality control.