Valentine's day! Itay Noy and Nomos
A gift is a declaration of love and of the donor's powers of observation and mental state.
At times, the presents we make say more about us than about the receiver. If I offer my companion in life, say, Urwerk's Cobra or one of those industrial creations by Roger Dubuis – assuming I could actually afford one – should I not also offer a whole collection of leather accoutrements with various accessories? No, I do believe I know the womanwith whom I share my life, at least enough. . . Once, I came back home wearing a chic little quartz watch, a bit of advertising tchochkes I had received from a maison … This timepiece wandered seamlessly from my wrist to hers, where it has remained ever since.
Yes, a man offering a gift to a woman is like building a bridge between two worlds. My friend is complex, like everyone, but that is basically in the depths somewhere and invisible on the surface. She is very visual and her taste tends towards the Asiatic, a contrasting combination of a need for sleek lines with flashes of complexity, arabesque-like decorations, mandalas that intersect and intersect again to create sophisticated patterns. But anything overdone tends to irritate her, including those girlie decorations imagined by some designers. I, personally, would love the Oukamon by Kari Voutilainen, or the magnificent White Flower by Stephan Kudoke, a timepiece that must be seen in spe to be appreciated. But let's be reasonable, I am a journalist, not a CEO.
So here are the two affordable watches that I lean toward: I recall the latest by Itay Noy, an Israeli designer whose timepieces are usually philosophical comments on life, politics, human affairs, love – of place, for instance. Point Of View is just a three-hander, with a dial composed of a collage of skeletonized religious symbols from the world round or a world map on a gold-colored backdrop and numerals of thin metal wire running along the flange like a crown. The movement inside the 42. 2 by 10 millimeter case is a Myota 90S5, the Japanese competition to ETA, simple and efficient. It's a watch that will draw looks, but it also reveals the intelligence of the wearer. Plus, it comes in a limited edition of 99 pieces.
The other watch I would consider is the Nomos Metro Datum Gangreserve, which translates as Metro Date Power Reserve. Typical for a Glashütte manufacture, this timepiece has an open and clean face (with sunburst pattern and perlage) that enlarges the relatively small diameter of the watch, 37 millimeters, with a height of just 7. 65 millimeters. Time is instantly readable thanks to the long, thin, pointy hands and strategically placed blueish dots. The small seconds at 6 o'clock with a striking red hand are not really there to count time, but rather, in time-honored tradition, to indicate that the watch is running. And then, there is that power reserve display that goes from blue to red, a subtle decorative element to discreetly tell the woman at my side that it's time to wind up the in-house caliber (DUW 4401) with the Nomos patented swing system, which doesn't really interest her at this point.