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Nooka Founder Matthew Waldman Talks Watch Design

Back in the late '90s, when brand designer and specialist Matthew Waldman waited for a client, he passed his time like anyone, looking at the clock. Waldman, who has always been fascinated by object meaning and form, was struck by the strangeness of the dial. The clock make-up didn't seem natural; minute and hour hands wouldn't make sense to anyone who didn't know how to tell conventional time.

So taking his talent for branding and design, Waldman in 1997 sketched a square clockface, which used fractions and bars to indicate time in, what he dubs, "an intuitive interface to tell time." First he took his idea, along with the retro and sci-fi imbued approach, to Seiko, which licensed his designs. There, he named his project 'Nooka', an ambiguously ethnic name that has Waldman's modus operandi ("new") within the word itself. Setting out on his own, Waldman founded Nooka in 2005, which in just four years has became known as a manufacturer of futuristic, mostly digital, rubberized and mesh alternatives to traditional watches.

Today, Nooka's Manhattan offices are bustling, filled with collaborations that teamed the brand up with everyone from graffiti artists and fashion labels to musicians and Sponge Bob, and Waldman himself has branched out with high design wallets, toys, and even a fragrance. The location is like a toyshop from the future, with colorful vinyl figures and taped, cutout collages on the wall as inspiration. Sitting down to discuss his projects with Switched, Waldman emphasized that infusing technology with design is a great way to rethink anything mundane, not just watches, but the digital devices lent themselves to his forward-thinking tinkering. And to that, we say, it's about time.

Tags: accessories, design, fashion, features, nooka, style, switchedvideo, top, watches

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