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Your Number's Up

Nooka watches offer a brand new way of telling time- mostly without the use of numbers!
Your Number's Up Nooka watches offer a brand new way of telling time- mostly without the use of numbers!

It's the anti-watch watch that's slowly but surely reeling people into the other side of time-telling. Forget numbers—they're overrated. Disregard that tick tick tick of the second hand- that's annoying. It's all about the visual experience, people!

Meet Matthew Waldman, creator of the Nooka watches. Matt envisioned the idea for these watches after staring at a wall clock in a London hotel and wondering why options for time display were so limited. He then proceeded to sketch designs for potential ways of time-telling. You can pretty much guess what happens next. His designs were patented and Nooka watches were born, right alongside brand new ways of telling time.

Nooka watches present a more intuitive way to tell time, with linear and graphic representations of time. Each type of Nooka watch offers a different version of how to tell time, but the gist is this: one block or dot in the hour bar represents one hour, one line in the minute bar represents one minute.

Style Bible threw some questions Matt's way to figure out just why he chose to rebel against the traditional way of telling time.

What made you decide to come up with an idea to tell time a different way?
"I'm a born contrarian. I feel it is very important to question everything—it's the only way to find solutions to unidentified problems. The Nooka designs are more the result of an unrelated process for interface design in general, mainly my pondering how learning how to tell time is not easy for children. You need to learn your numbers first, then you have to memorize a base-12 system when all other math is base-10. This was the genesis for the Nooka designs."

What bored you about the standard way of telling time?
"Who ever said I was bored?"

Do you generally like to do things differently?
"That is a very good question. I like riding my bicycle through new neighborhoods. I try to rent a bicycle in every city I visit to do the same. I will always order something strange on the menu of a restaurant and try the specials before a regular item. I do the same with street food when i travel. Mexico city and Bangkok at night are amazing for that!"

What was the first Nooka model you came up with?
"The initial licensed version was similar to the current ZOO model. I produced two models, limited to 1000pieces each [zot and zoo] which finally hit the market in 2004. The first run sold out within a year and I then realized that I had a business on my hands. The past few years have been a trial-by-fire/school-of hard-knocks education in the business, but we are having fun."

How often do you come up with new designs and what are the variations like?
"We release one or two unique interfaces every year and over 10 variations in color and style for different price points. There are surely many more options for new ways to tell time but my focus is more on producing elegant objects to wear, so fashion and design aspects are more the goal."

Do you think Nooka watches are for everybody?
"These watches are not for shy people as wearing one always gets comments and conversations."

Which one is your personal favorite model?
"The Zen-H is my personal favorite and was designed expressly with the goal of producing a timepiece that would be easy to understand without numbers."

Which one are you wearing right now?
"Right now I am wearing a black Zon, which is our newest design. It features a dual display, with time measured by small blocks, similar to an hourglass, as well as a traditional numeric display. In addition to this, it is a world-time watch, allowing you to scroll through all 24 time zones. I love the way it sits weightless on the wrist though it is actually one of our heaviest pieces to date."

Who do you design for?
"People who are utopian, optimists and understand the true nature of fashion."

Who do you envision wearing a Nooka?
"I try to remove all expectation on that subject. That way, every person I encounter wearing a Nooka is a fresh experience."

Who have you seen wearing a Nooka?
"Lots of hip hop artists and rock bands wear the watches and I get sent photos of this a lot—Kanye West, Li'l Wayne, Fall Out Boy in the US."

Click on to learn how to tell time using a Nooka, and find out which famous wrists are donning these ultra-cool watches.

Nooka watches are available at Rafael Jewellery at Shangri-La Mall, My Diamond at Glorietta 4 and Gateway, and My Tempo at SM North EDSA and Robinson's Place Ermita.


—Renee Puno, Editorial Assistant

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