TID watches are constantly producing timepieces that are innovative and attractive, pushing the boundaries and never compromising on the details. Ola E. Bernestål set up the company in 2012 with Petrus Palmér and design studio Form Us With Love to offer iconic products with genuine value over time. I sat down with Ola to discuss how important time is, taking time out for yourself and what is about watches that interests him.
I don’t think you can create anything of real value if you are not creating from a place of joy.
What made you interested in working with watches and time?
I have always been a curious person. The concept of time and space has always intrigued me, and I’ve spent many hours pondering about philosophical questions. The concept of time is something that everyone can relate to and something we all have to adjust our lives according to. No one gets to escape the daily argumentation with ourselves about time. That’ why we try to spend a little bit of extra time when it comes to all details so that our customer feel that we always walk that extra mile. This is also partly a reason why we at TID have invested so much energy into our mission Exploring Time. The TID Universe simply celebrates creativity at large. We offer our platform as a canvas for artists, thinkers, writers and visualizers to explore time. The watch as an object has always intrigued me as well. For me, a solid watch is something robust with a great longevity. A piece of jewelry, if you’d like. Or simply an object that tells the time. The focus of the watch is simply up to you.
TID collaborates with so many creatives across a host of artistic fields. Why do you think it is so important to champion creativity and bring in different people’s visual identities?
For us, it’s all about providing the customer with something more than simply the product (the watch). Our drive to explore time via different creative expressions comes down to offering something additional, an experience basically. It’s an essential part of the TID brand, we are not just creating iconic timepieces to be worn every day, we are celebrating creativity at large. Our mantra is that we one hand make iconic watches to wear through shifts in times and styles. And on the other, we act as a canvas for artists, thinkers, writers and visualizers to each year conduct a creative research with one very simple brief: Explore Time. To see the different results that the various creative expressions are generating, is truly a joy. For the end consumer – we are aiming for everyone to take a moment of reflection and really invest some time into thinking about the concept of time and what that really means to them.
How important is it for you to take time to do the things that you love?
Prioritizing things that I love is key and a life without pleasurable things would be a miserable life, that’s for sure. For me, taking time to be fully present with my friends and family and devote time to my interests, is definitely a priority – but sometimes life is a mess and sometimes, it’s not. It’s a challenge to succeed with this balance. I question my life quite hard, I always work on making my life suit me more. Ultimately, I don’t think you can create anything of real value if you are not creating from a place of joy – in order to do so, you need to prioritize what’s important to you.
…accidents will happen, rules will be broken, and through a series of material investigations, our ambition is to continuously expand the TID world.
If you weren’t working with watches, what would you be doing?
Being a true entrepreneur at heart, I would definitely invest my time in some other type of entrepreneurial business. I already have two side hustles with my jewellery company O.P Jewellery and ComCards – so I would most probably continue with those passion projects. At the same time, I’m very interested in everything from photography to carpentry to cooking, so really, the sky would be the limit…
How important is a watch to you?
For me personally, I love to express myself with different sets of jewelry and of course, also a watch. I switch it up constantly and try to wear as many of our 300 TID combinations as possible. I love the fact that it’s so easy to switch from sporty to casual to formal and everything in between just by a simple change of the wristband. I believe that a watch is a great way to express yourself. Just as your shoes or hand bag says a lot about you – so does your watch.
Do you feel the world is controlled by time?
Great question. This is something I think about often and yes, I would say that time is a more limited currency now than ever. It’s a lot of debate around how stressed we are and pressed for time. Sometimes, I think that the debate in itself creates time pressure and stress. From an optimistic point of view‚ I would argue that we are living in a more flexible (and in that sense less time controlled) world than ever. Sure, we have some major disturbing issues going on in the world right now, but at the same time – more people have more freedom than ever to design their lives the way the want to, and we are allowed more flexibility than ever before. In that sense, I would argue that he world is less controlled by time now than ever.
We want to create a true design classic that can withstand the test of time, aiming for that – no details can be left by chance.
The No.1 watch has become some-what of an iconic watch. How did it all begin?
The No. 1 watch was the first watch we ever released. It’s a timeless watch, appealing to a wide audience with the monochrome design and color setting. With the minimal branding, it was a refreshing diversion from the so-called design watches that had a moment at that time. The No.1 watch is still our best-selling watch and we created it with classic watches from Braun, Mondaine and similar in mind – timeless pieces with long durability, created with great craftsmanship. Given the long-term success with the No.1 watch, it’s beginning to take the position as a true iconic piece it’s proven that it fills a gap on the market.
Your new series ‘Exploring Matter’ sounds very exciting and mysterious. Could you tell me a little more about it?
Our platform Exploring Matter is all about supporting our ongoing product development though what we call TID’s material driven methodology. Here, we are challenging the norms of the watch industry through the creation of innovative materials and products. Basically, accidents will happen, rules will be broken, and through a series of material investigations, our ambition is to continuously expand the TID world. Exploring Matter is driven by guest collaborators and creatives and the results will manifest into short run pieces and horological objects. As a starting project, we launched TID Canvas – a collaborative platform launched during the spring of 2017. The aim of the platform is to invite a selection of designers to interpret our iconic TID No.1 watch, resulting in a limited-edition annual production. For the first project (TID Canvas 001) the original No.1 watch designers, Swedish design studio Form Us With Love, created for the design. We will very soon launch the second edition of TID Canvas, so stay tuned for that.
Together, we have always strived to create iconic products with a real value over time – a focus that will not change going forward.
For me, a TID watch is all about the detail and design, and I always take a minute to admire the craftsmanship. How much does the passion for detail affect the design process at TID?
For us, details are everything and something that we are obsessing about, both when it comes to the product and design process as well as the overall TID experience. We work tirelessly to refine materials and details to produce our limited collections of iconic timepieces. It’s a matter of quality and longevity of the product. We want to create a true design classic that can withstand the test of time, aiming for that – no details can be left by chance.
Your monthly time collaboration is such a great project and opens up the topic for such artistic interpretation. Who’s been your favourite artist that you’ve worked with?
That’s an impossible question, almost like picking your favorite child (laughs). All monthly interpretations and the artists we’ve been working with, are equally good, in their own way and expression. The wide variety of creative expressions – music, art, photography, etcetera, have all managed to capture the essence of what we are trying to achieve with the Exploring Time project – to reflect and put some time into the concept of time.
Where would you like to take TID in the future?
We have bold plans going forward. What we have to offer is truly unique and our ambition is to invite a greater audience into the TID Universe – one step at the time.
How has collaborating with design studio ‘Form Us With Love’ changed the dynamic of some products?
Since TID was born five years ago in October of 2012 by me, Petrus Palmér and design studio Form Us With Love – we have always been in tight sync with Form Us With Love in all product development and throughout the entire design process for all new product developments. Together, we have always strived to create iconic products with a real value over time – a focus that will not change going forward.
Make sure you follow TID to keep up to date on all of their new releases and artist collaborations.
For more design inspiration head HERE.
Tags: interview, TID watches
Sophia is our Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director. She works as a freelance photographer and graphic designer, and is based in Reykjavík, Iceland.
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