We’re back after a long hiatus, and while there’s quite a bit of new shiny Apple gadgetry to be had (and I’ve been rabidly looking forward to some of it- that new Apple TV in particular) I wanted to take some time to bring you news of something outside of my normal scope.
The Apple Watch would seem to be a more fitting subject, but I’ve never been one for wearing accessories. In the distant past before cell phones I opted for a simple pocket watch– it was the best of all worlds. It sated my dislike of wearing accessories, provided a way of keeping track of time, and was unusual and eye catching enough to make me feel a bit special. Now that the majority of us rely on our phones or a booming number of smart devices for time telling, it would be easy to assume that devices like a pocket watch would fade into obscurity and antiquity. Thankfully, that isn’t necessarily the case.
The good folks at Starling Watch recently sent me an announcement that made me nostalgic for my old pocket watch yet piqued my interest with something a bit tech-y and shiny. While you typically won’t see many pocket watches in the wild, there are quite a few to be had with a simple Amazon or eBay search. There has to be some special facet, some unique value to make a new yet retro device noteworthy, and Starling has done so in more ways than one.
Their lineup of six watches are eye catching, sporting a strongly Steampunk-influenced design. The specifications are reassuringly nondescript- the zinc housing is sturdy without being too bulky or heavy, and the quartz timing mechanism provides accurate timekeeping without winding. The design belies the Disney background of co-designer Imagineer Terri Hardin Jackson as well. The crowning jewel (so to speak) of the design is the creation of the other co-designer Frank Cohen dubbed the Chillovean Lighting System.
It operates as a sort of ambient background illumination for the watches, creating an Aurora Borealis-like effect with a reported 67 million possible color combinations. The soothing hypnotic-appearing patterns fill the watch face behind the clock hands, and is even visible through some of the watch design enclosures (like in my favorite, the Inception).
For those with a bit of the romantic in their persona Starling Watch has included a free story about the background and tale of the watches, star-crossed lovers, and the evil inventor seeking to further his power.
So if you’re in the mood for something both retro and new, or something unusual but practical check out the Starling lineup. Whether it’s to complete an outfit or add that extra flare to your Steampunk this might be just the thing you’ve been looking for.