A watch that doesn’t tell you the time but marks the passing of it? Durr has no hands, markings or digital display; instead the timepiece gently vibrates every five minutes. The watch was designed by Norwegian designers Theo Tveterås and Lars Marcus Vedeler, who work together as collective Skrekkøgle.
The watch’s repetitive vibration action isn’t designed to distract or interrupt but act as a gentle reminder, and alert the wearer to time and how long they spend on specific actions or activities. Its single-purpose design is the antithesis of multi-use smartphones and, because it alerts the wearer automatically and without any prompts, can be integrated seamlessly into daily life.
“We’ve heard several times; ‘why not just make an app for your phone with the exact same functionality?’”, designer Lars Marcus Veleder told Dezeen Watch Store. “The answer to this is our fondness for single purpose objects, products which do one thing, and do that one thing in a proper, peculiar and perhaps even fun way. We think there’s a kind of calmness and a feeling of longevity to these products, in contrast to many multi-purpose devices that are constantly change, both in terms of hardware, software, behaviour and graphics.”
The idea for Durr came after the designers realised how quickly time passed when they were working in the studio. “It was a quick and dirty half-hour prototype that we strapped to our arm before we went for some beers. We were really surprised and excited about how tangible time seemed”, Lars said. “The next day we started reading more about the concept (time perception), which is explored mostly in philosophy and psychology. There’s a lot of interesting stuff to read up on in those fields, but we found it more useful to form a subjective understanding ourselves, by wearing the device.”
Five minute increments were found to be the most useful alert system; any longer and the designer’s found it difficult to recall what task they had been working on between vibrations.
Durr’s simple design consists of a minimal colour-block dial and a slim leather strap with a coordinating buckle and loop.
Check out Skrekkøgle’s video to see Durr in action.