You would think this watch gives the reviewer an easy out with its featureless design but there is much given generously in this absence. “If I had more time I would’ve written a shorter letter.” There may be a dispute over who the original person was to coin this term but the message holds much value. Making this watch appear incredibly plain at first glance and including functional little perks here and there must have taken a truly creative designer.
The Pi watch was released around a decade ago and seems to have carried its reputation well over this time. Designer, Ben McCarthy, was asked to design this watch for WORKSHOPPED in 2008, as a signature limited addition piece. McCarthy decided to be unique and fashioned a watch that is made, in his words, to represent “purity, simplicity and honesty.” This piece definitely seems to do that.
Ben McCarthy worked in industry design for some time, specifically in furniture design. This background seems to have born some influence over the design of the Pi. It is made for regular use and can be appreciated by those of us with the creative edge for the ‘minimalist’ approach to design.
You might think at first glance that this dial is unimaginative until you put it on and check the time. The brushed stainless steel dial has been pressed at the hour markers so that when looking at the dial they clearly indicate the time. This means that no extra pieces have been added on and the dial manages to tell the time as a continuation of itself. The dial hands are powered by a Japanese quartz movement which, much like the rest of the watch, is there because it is reliable and allows for more space. The dial hands are not ornately decorated and blend well with the rest of the design. The Pi is powered by a reliable Japanese Seiko movement, making it a great EDC timepiece.
At the 12 o’clock you will see 3 hexagonal shapes. Without speculating too much I would assume this will feature as the trademark of the Pi watch.
Much like Pi, I am referring to the number, the case seems to have no end. The Australian, McCarthy, does this to enforce the resilience and beauty at the same time. If you are looking at the case and feel like there is something missing you are right! The crown is snuggly hidden in the back of the case. The case is a bit thicker which allows the crown to be at the back without annoying your wrist or scratching your skin. This might have to grow on you but keep in mind that we don’t need to adjust the time too often, those of us that aren’t regularly traversing the globe, which means that you probably won’t miss the little crown all that much.
The case is perfectly round and has a bit of weight to it but due to its modest size of 40mm, it does not create a burden. There is a sapphire crystal worked into the stainless steel bezel. The back of the case is marked with the WORKSHOPPED logo and a note that this was designed by Ben McCarthy. The water resistant rating of 30m is lower than usual but is still more than enough to deal with anything less strenuous than diving.
I am sure you have seen the trend of uniformity by now and you can expect the same with the rest of the watch. The injection-moulded plastic band flows through the front and back casing where it is fastened by screws. The band is made to withstand regular use and contact with water which makes the choice of material here sensible, like pretty much every other bit of this watch.
It is great to see a watch designed with purpose in mind without the need for extravagance. When you first see this watch it will probably look as though it was thrown together lazily but once you spend time examining the detail and placement of the parts you will have a greater appreciation for what was done here.
The watch may seem a bit expensive at $ 290 if you don’t have an appetite for design as well as functionality. We need to almost connect with McCarthy here and try to understand his reasoning to for the value of the watch to resonate. That said, if you are not a design fanatic or a lover of art, it still isn’t overly priced. The sturdy stainless steel case, three-dimensional dial and sapphire glass will hard to find in just any other piece. You can pick up a limited edition piece and bring something different into your collection with this piece.
The Pi Watch is original and can be worn if you are looking to dress up or cool down.