Industries in a modern era are mostly governed by a set of norms, horology including. But every once in a while, someone has to rattle these norms for it to progress. Most of the time, such individuals are labeled as crazy. But crazy can also be a good thing, and in the words of Tony Mendez from the film Argo, “sometimes a plan can be so crazy, it might just work”.
Enter Seven Friday, an upstart brand based in Zürich that seems to be getting a lot of press lately because of its unique eye-catching designed timepieces. As of this writing, the brand had already made three different timepieces that are mostly inspired from industrial aesthetics of the modern world.
I took off one Friday to visit the country’s first dealer of the said brand, to look at their collection of timepieces and also to get to know more about the brand itself.
The Seven Friday Moniker:
Before we proceed to looking at the timepieces being offered, let us first answer the most frequently asked question when it comes to this new brand. So why Seven Friday…?
When it comes to timepieces, the number seven is easily deduced to be a sign for the number of days there are in a week. But the addition of a specific day – Friday, seems to confuse most folks new to the brand. In most countries, a five day work week would mean that Friday is a sign of relief, or a cause for celebration. Leading to the popular phrase “thank god it’s Friday (TGIF)”. By simply not dwelling too much on the past and worry too much about the future, the Seven Friday philosophy is fulfilled. That is to live each day to the fullest, and that living each day as if it’s Friday is what the brand envision for everyone.
The underlying meaning of the Seven Friday brand can easily be explained by two simple words, and that is “carpe diem”, or in other words to simply seize the day!
The collection of current Seven Friday timepieces is essentially inspired from an industrial aesthetic. Their current collection, the P1, P2 and P3 are all taken in context with timeless designs from the industrial age with a little hint of modernization. The P1 and P2 are virtually the same timepiece with a minor difference in their color. Where the P1 is of industrial essence, the P2 is more of a tribute to the entire industrial revolution and the golden age of breweries as hinted by the strong presence of copper on the dial.
The last piece of the collection, the P3 or the Industrial Engine is another variation of color theme from the first two. Whereas the P2 is a stainless steel case treated with grey PVD, the P3 went with full on black PVD. The dial color is said to be inspired from motorcycle patterns. Although the whole racing matte renderings of mechanical machines today seems to match the whole aesthetic of the P3 design.
A Closer Look:
A closer look on the dial, first thing that comes to mind, is that the dial is relatively busy one. It is also reminiscent of the popular TV dial pieces back in the 70s. But the similarities end there. Despite a unique outlook on time telling, the piece is still very legible. The use of an animation ring in lieu of hour or minute markers has been one of the highlights of the brand’s dial. In addition, the industrial series are all equipped with a specialized minute-hand that is designed to be the extended arm of the movement. The contrast in color of the hour hand is fantastically placed despite the large circular ring of the minute arm that overlaps it. Surprisingly, the unique design of the minute arm is similarly shown on the crown and the company’s logo. Perhaps the signature design of the minute hand could possibly mark as the brand’s identity in the future.
Next would be the eye-catching special discs visible at the 9 and 5 o’clock position. The former serves to be the 24-hour indication (I could’ve said it was the 24-hour hand, but it isn’t a hand) and the latter a constantly rotating disc as its second function. Both of which are quite a pleasure to look at. Fans of the gliding second hand of mechanical timepieces, you might want to look elsewhere. But seriously though, a rotating disc looks great and, although not entirely new, it might be something worth exploring.
Lastly, one cannot simply neglect the detail of an open balance wheel design. All three models are equipped with a Japanese made caliber that is the Miyota 82S7. Details about the caliber can be found here. In essence, all three watches have the exact same dial design albeit the difference in color themes. But there was one detail that I find to hit the sweet spot that is only found on the P2. The pèrlage finish on the dial with engraved text.
Note that in earlier versions of the P1 and P2 dial, the “Zürich” marking is visible and is later on replaced by “industrial series” text right after “Seven Friday”.
Watch Manual or Caseback?
The piece measures 47mm top to bottom and 47.6mm across. There are no lugs here as the edgeless square case makes the dimension smaller than it actually is on paper. The P1 and P2 each come on a calf-leather strap with matching buckle color while the P3 comes with a perforated leather racing strap design.
Flip the timepiece over and you are greeted with tons of information about the watch itself. Visibly one can easily see that you are actually looking at a screw down case back on top of another case back. The addition of a smaller case back is for the purposes of giving the user some quick information about the timepiece. The upper left portion constitutes the watch’s dimensions as mentioned earlier. The upper right hand portion shows details of the automatic movement and its resistance to water (3 atm). The bottom portion constitutes the elements used in the animation ring for time telling purposes and ended it with the serial number.
The introduction of the Seven Friday brand is perhaps a sign for both watchmakers, watch collectors or even the average watch buyer that an aesthetically beautiful design need not be expensive, nor it be relegated to the usage of off-the-shelf quartz movements. Conversely, the brand also aims to let everyone know that a timepiece can also be good without the need for heritage or history. There is no need for good sceneries or landscapes where the manufactory and the watchmakers resides. That good design can be achieve without the need for such. At the end of day, Seven Friday watches is all about living the life, and as cliche as it may be, I would say “Carpe Diem”, but since I am living from the other side of the world, I say, “Carpe Noctum”.
The Seven Friday Watches is created by Swiss born Daniel Niederer, you can check out the Seven Friday website for more details.
The first official Seven Friday boutique will be opening soon, and astonishingly it’s on this side of the planet – South East Asia, Philippines.
I’ve been meaning to ask on their decision to use a Japanese made movement in lieu of Swiss calibers, it’s not that I look down on it or anything, but only for curiosity. But then again, when I found that all three pieces can be had for less than 1,000 CHF, I think I already know the answer to it.
This article is written by Evan Yeung, contributing writer for Monochrome Watches.