Uniform Wares designs and produces timepieces based around a philosophy that is firmly rooted in classic British design and contemporary styling. Its wristwatches are intended for everyday use by individuals with an eye for meticulous detailing and a passion for diligent, modern design.
Established in 2009 by product designers, Patrick Bek and Oliver Fowles, the Uniform Wares aesthetic has been tailored with longevity in mind and a firm belief in design with a practical and visual permanence. Each Series is intentionally pared down and characterised by distinct form, durable materials, classic and seasonal colours and engineered surface finishes. While the movements are handpicked from the best Japanese and Swiss manufacturers, every other component part of a Uniform Wares timepiece, from the CNC machined buckle to the hand drawn font on the back of each case, is conceived, developed and designed in the company’s London offices.
It was a great pleasure that we interviewed Oliver and Patrick. We WW and UW were born about same time and we have been one of their first retailers to carry UW. Pleased with both successes.
Tell us why your passion for watches?
Oliver: We have always been interested in timepieces. A watch is an important object that is such an integral part of everyone’s lives; it can communicate a lot about the person who is wearing it. We also enjoy the challenge of working on such a small scale where even the subtlest of changes in dimension, line weight or surface finish can affect the overall feel and perception of the watch on someone’s wrist.
Patrick: Oliver and I would often discuss why there wasn’t a well designed wristwatch on the market that was discreet, simple, elegant and contemporary- something we would like to own and wear everyday. We knew that we could create something that would fit into that area; a watch brand that was positioned between design, fashion and horology.
If you were not designing watches what would you be designing instead?
Patrick: We both originally studied Furniture and Lighting Design at university but we quickly realised that when we worked together we were able to adapt our skills to most creative projects. If we weren’t designing watches then I’m sure we’d find something equally as challenging to test ourselves, though not necessarily in the purely creative sense.
What inspires you?
Oliver: The complex relationships between the combinations of engineering, aesthetics, styling, material choice and surface finish. It’s what makes us relish every minute of designing our collections.
Your favorite clothes pieces that wear the most?
Oliver: I’m quite a fan of Common Projects trainers. They’re so well made, smart and subtle. There’s nothing better than a crisp pair of brand new, white Achilles. WANT- Les Essentiels de la Vie’s brilliant collection of bags and travel items are also something we love in the office. Their new AW12 collection (which we saw a sneak peak of recently) is really special; a fantastic use of materials.
Patrick: APC jeans. I’m a typical gent; I find something that works well and stick with it.
What is your favorite design piece?
Patrick: We both admire the work of designer, Jean Prouvé; especially his Standard Chair (1934) currently produced by Vitra. It’s such a timeless piece. There’s nothing in the construction that shouldn’t be there.
Oliver: You’d think it had just been launched at this week’s Milan Design Fair, but it was conceived almost 80 years ago. That’s the quintessential signature of a great piece of design.
Will Uniform Wares move beyond watches?
Patrick: We are a watch brand. It’s better to do one thing really well rather than dilute your skills and creativity with things that aren’t needed.
What is the pipeline for Uniform Wares.
Oliver: We have a new 300 Series model due to launch in a couple of months which we are really pleased with. We’ve taken the model to a new level with specs that will be unique to this collection and also details that will filter down to some of the other collections. We also have a couple of collection updates in development for later this year and of course there’s always new models being prototyped, evaluated, worn and tested at the Uniform Wares office.
Have look here at our UW offering. We are about to receive new models by this week. So keep an eye on our site.
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