England 14/06/2012- The Watch Band Gets a Make Over
For most people a watch band is a pretty uninspiring item. It is a very mundane, day-to-day object that they take pretty much for granted. However, a 34-year-old student of sculpture has taken this pretty boring object and re-worked it to produce a beautiful, yet practical object.
In May, CriEnglish reported that Ke Jianhui from Ezhou, Hubei province, China had taken a piece of jade he bought for about £500 and sculpted it into a fantastic watch band. The strap is fully functional and is made up of a series of links in the same way many traditional metal straps are. It has a proper security clasp, which is also made from jade.
Built into the watchstrap is a touch screen phone that doubles up as a watch. Ke had asked a friend to take apart an old mobile phone he owned and re-configure it so that it would fit into the 4 x 6cm aperture he left for the watch face. The resulting watch looks great it really is a wonderful combination of artisan skill and engineering. Given its contemporary look and great functionality there is definitely a market for this kind of watch despite the relatively high cost of the materials used and the time it took to make it. Ke worked on it for four months. Despite the amount of work involved he is confident that he has a winning design, so is now in the process of applying for a patent for his masterpiece.
The First Stone Watch Band?
However, there is some debate about how unique Ke Jianhui’s watch band is, but so far claims that it has been done before have all been proven wrong. The closest are watchbands made from metal finished with stone or shells, such as mother or pearl, inlaid onto each link. There have been stone watch faces made before, but so far, no one has made the face surround and the strap of a watch out of solid stone.
Watch band specialists like Sec Time are excited about seeing the watch strap elevated to such levels of craftsmanship. They have a passion for their business, but are used to the fact very few people share that passion. The beautiful new strap Ke has created has changed that, at least for a while.
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