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Circle of Innovation

It is almost 3 years ago when Daniel and I had the conversation that was the genesis of SNGLRTY and it is quite interesting to look back on the whole process.  It is also very enjoyable to look back at all the documents and iterations we have been through and see how the core of the concept that Daniel and I discussed that evening has remained constant.

Design process for SNGLRTY watch in pictures.
SNGLRTY development process from top left 1) beer mat design from the first conversation 2) Drawings for patent application 3) Initial renderings for the watch case 4) one of the first prototypes

I posted the graphic here on social media under the title of “Stages of Innovation”. I was very surprised by the number of comments and the feedback I received.  In particular people asking for more explanation of the drawings and where they fitted in the process – so here it is, starting from the top left and going clockwise:

The first drawing, yes that is the back of a bar mat and it was after a couple of glasses of wine.  If you look closely even the mathematics is correct and both Daniel and I have signed it (it was our development contract).  This was around April 2015 although it took us a while to get confidence we had something really unique.

Next is the line drawing we created for the patent application, as you can see in the final version this needed quite an intricate description to ensure the key aspects of our initial schematic were captured. This process resulted in all the numbers and references dotted over the drawing.  We started these drawings in August of 2015 and filed the patent application in November 2015.

March 2016 saw us start the design of the watch case, this was one of the very first design concepts and the one that the final design was based on.

There were a few celebrations when we received the first prototype in August 2016, it has to be admitted that it did not work perfectly first time – but it was still a very enjoyable week and put a smile on my face.  The watch shown here is one of the 20 pieces of our Zero series and is the one my wife configured – she is much better at choosing colours than I am!

There has been a significant period from that first prototype to our launch on crowdfunding which has been taken up ensuring that all our production base is in place so that we will not disappoint any of our backers.  We hope you enjoy our story, there has been a lot of hard work to get here and we are delighted to be able to bring SNGLRTY to market and introduce our unique delivery of time.

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Our Date Debate

We have been sharing images of our new watch for a few weeks now and we have been flattered by all the comments and and feedback we have received, the vast majority of it has been extremely supportive and has been extremely encouraging to both Daniel and myself.  There has, though, been one area that has created a great deal of comment and has been the source of the majority of the critical feedback we have received – the date!

A close up of the date aperture
The date on SNGLRTY has been designed to be over-sized to give easy reading

There have been a number of different comments, but the majority have been all about the size of the date and the fact that it appears that the date aperture is too small for  viewing the date clearly – this is particularly the case for all the dates over 19.

Well, I have to tell the world this was done deliberately.

One of the biggest challenges we faced in the development of the SNGLRTY module, that manages the rotation of the minute disc and the date disc, was how to manage the movement of the date.  Historically this was handled by leaving the date disc below the module, on top of the movement and magnifying it so that it was readable.  We were not happy with that solution so one of the criteria we had in the development of our module was to bring the date drive through the SNGLRTY module and to the top so that the date disc could be on top of the SNGLRTY module and place it in the most readable position as possible.

In order to bring improve the readability a bit more we decided to increase the size of the date numerals to a point where it was as big as we could possibly make them, this resulted in the dates from 20 ~ 31 being larger than the aperture and when we tried it we liked it and in particular we found it increased readability as there seemed no way to confuse the date even with the very edge of some of the numerals not visible.

So that is the story of the date on our 20 prototype watches, but that does not mean the first launch series needs to be like this, do let us know your thoughts and we will take them all into consideration before we push the button on manufacturing the next batch of date discs.

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How We Started

I actually did not know Steve that well when we started our journey with SNGLRTY but admired his entrepreneurial spirit.

I love the stories and the people behind them.

My professional life so far has always focused on products; I never intended to go in this direction, but looking back my interests were in architecture, design and fashion but also technology and, being Swiss,  this almost naturally lead me to watches.

And here I am. Having followed a career of making watches and helping in the development of other patents, after a conversation with Steve in a bar we end up creating our own watch brand – SNGLRTY.

It has been, so far, a fantastic journey, with lots of excitement, ups and downs and long periods waiting for others to get back to us. And between that we have been managing projects to pay the bills. Not only that, but for me the journey started in Hong Kong but has brought me back to my birthplace, Switzerland, after 10 years of living and working in Hong Kong.

One of the joys of returning to Switzerland has been to meet up and work with many of my old contacts in the Jura Mountains, the watchmaking core of Switzerland – and making new acquaintances too.

Only during the development phase of SNGLRTY did we begin to understand how unique SNGLRTY is, yet so simple, and opening up a whole new world of new creations that remain true to the OHI (One Hand Indication) concept. Yes, we are not the first with a Single-Hand concept but definitely the only ones presenting the minutes on 360 degrees that delivers time in one place.

We are excited to launch our crowdfunding campaigns and are already working on the next iteration of SNGLRTY – an evolution in time.

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Where it Started

Daniel and I started this journey in early 2015, it was a bit of a random conversation over a couple of glasses of wine.  That conversation was the start of this journey to bring #SNGLRTY to the world.

At university I studied engineering and whilst I never practiced as an engineer in any way shape or form the analytic discipline that those four years foisted on me was where some of the initial thinking came from.  We were talking about a watch in its basic form – the energy store (spring), a motor (balance wheel) and a gear box (escapement & gears that allow the various time intervals to be displayed) – and as I thought about that the similarities to a internal combustion engine was not lost on me.

It was the gear box element that really started to catch my thinking as Daniel and I discussed the whole concept of how time has been displayed in the classic model.  How can we change it, make it different, so that we move away from the classic presentation of time on a watch face that needs decryption to something that is focused more on the solution.  Just playing around with this in my head I thought ‘what about a reverse gear?‘  Once we were able to put that into the mix the concept began to really take shape and the final design was scrawled on the back of a beer mat.


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Hello World

SNGLRTY  (sɪŋɡjʊˈlarɪti) – the state, fact, quality, or condition of being singular

This, we felt, was an apt name for our new watch with a singular point on the face to read the time.  It has been almost 3 years since our first concept to the launch and we are very pleased we have made it this far, there were moments when we were not too sure.  Please do sign up to receive our newsletters to keep up to date with the development, all those on our mailing list will receive special offers throughout our coming campaigns.