Kollokium, a newcomer to the watchmaking scene founded by industry veterans Manuel Emch, Bart Nussbaumer, and Amr Sindi in 2020, has made an impression with its debut Kollokium Projekt 01, also known as K,P–n°01...
This inaugural timepiece stands out with its unrefined, industrial aesthetics, employing unconventional manufacturing techniques such as casting 316L stainless steel to achieve a distinctive texture reminiscent of industrial design.
K,P–n°01 sets itself apart from typical luxury watches with polished finishes, opting for a 316L stainless steel case created through casting - a method chosen for its industrial, textured look that reflects the unrefined beauty found in industrial products. This technique gives the watch a unique character, where each surface tells its own story of creation. The case measures 40 mm in diameter, tapering to 38.5 mm at the cylindrical part, with a modest height of just under 11 mm, partly thanks to the sapphire glass element that significantly contributes to the watch's vertical profile.
One of the most striking features is the watch's dial, a 3D pixelated landscape created using Adobe Illustrator. This design is not just aesthetic, but challenges norms and invites the wearer to appreciate beauty in the unconventional. The dial houses 468 individually hand-applied cylindrical hour markers, each sandblasted and filled with white Super-LumiNova emitting orange light, offering a sharp contrast to the subtly textured black base.
Beneath this industrial facade beats the heart of Swiss precision: La Joux-Perret's G101 mechanism. This automatic mechanism is a testament to Swiss engineering, operating at 4 Hz with a 68-hour power reserve. It's a choice that balances the watch's robust external identity with a core of reliable and sophisticated mechanics.
Aligning with the founders' desire for exclusivity and personal touches, the pre-series of Kollokium Projekt 01 is limited to 99 pieces, mostly gifted to family and friends. This approach not only underscores the watch's uniqueness but also builds a community of wearers connected by their appreciation of this distinctive timepiece. A wider release is expected in the first quarter of 2024, making K,P–n°01 available to a broader audience that values the intersection of avant-garde design and watchmaking craftsmanship.
Kollokium advocates a philosophy it calls 'Neobrutalist Horology.' This concept draws inspiration from the stark, functional forms of post-war brutalism, the innovative spirit of Kraftwerk's synth-pop, and Philip K. Dick-style retro-futurism. It's a blend of the familiar and unexpected, creating an atmosphere that is both nostalgic and forward-looking. This philosophy is evident in every aspect of the watch, from its architectural case design to the absence of visible branding, encouraging deeper engagement with it as a piece of art and engineering.
The diverse backgrounds of the founders - Emch's managerial skills, Nussbaumer's versatility in design, and Sindi's influential voice in watch media - come together to form a unique brand ethos. Their shared vision is embodied on the dial of Projekt 01, a canvas for their stylistic preferences and horological ambitions. The three-dimensionality and complex construction of the dial invite careful consideration and contemplation, revealing new details and depths with each view.
Despite its unorthodox design, Projekt 01 is crafted with wearability in mind. A 40 mm diameter ensures comfortable wear on a variety of wrist sizes, while a one-piece textile strap provides a lightweight, breathable option for the wearer. The industrially inspired case and cross supports evoke a sense of strength and durability, complementing the overall aesthetic of a functional art piece.
In conclusion, Kollokium Projekt 01 is more than a debut timepiece; it's a bold entry into unexplored design territory, challenging the status quo in watchmaking and inviting enthusiasts and collectors to acquaint themselves with a brand that values uniqueness, craftsmanship, and a decidedly unconventional approach to horology. As Kollokium continues to evolve and unveil new projects, it promises to be a brand that keeps watch enthusiasts in anticipation of which boundary will be pushed next."