AMS Spring 2023

Rethinking Time Telling with the Time-IT 3D Printed Watch

Inkbit

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tiTheir mission is nothing short of the heroic: to redefine time through original quality timepieces. Whether or not Time-IT® has the power to do so is clearly questionable, but it’s certainly more than likely that they can reshape time telling. Their latest effort to do so comes in the form a series of 3D printed watches, the cases for which are printed in bronze through Shapeways.

The founder of Time-IT, Ramon Groen, has been involved in entrepreneurship of one form or another for almost 15 years. He began his career working for Philips, and in 2004 struck out on his own and formed Time-IT. Not one to be satisfied with merely reproducing the status quo, Groen set out to reimagine the very way in which a person might conceive of time through a watch. Rather than utilizing either the traditional dial or a now customary digital interface, he created an LED display with a linear system for reading time.

The technology needed to create such a timepiece wasn’t available and so, not to be daunted by so small an obstacle, he and his team started from scratch by building the technology they needed. Even with the amount of iteration and invention that was required to bring this idea to fruition, it only took them about two years to have their first working watch ready.

T-Block-limited-Edition-Bronze-II-625x413It should also not be surprising then that they were interested in some of the hottest, cutting-edge technology around: 3D printing. Groen talked about their approach to 3D printing in a recent interview with Shapeways:

“We always want to experiment with new designs, techniques and materials. Based on our experience in the development and production of watches and having access to a 3D printer, we decided to make some prototypes justT-Block Copper Deluxe1-350x350 around the corner from our office in Amsterdam. We got so excited with the outcome and were surprised with the speed of this new design and iteration process that we decided to send a 3D design to Shapeways to see how a high quality 3D print would look and whether it would be good enough to use as an end product. The result was mind blowing!”

It may take those used to traditional watch design (i.e., everybody!) a bit to get used to the unique interface, but the watch itself is so enjoyable, that you won’t mind having to stare at it just a little bit longer at first. Once you get used to the way in which it tells the time, it will make you wonder why we ever did it any other way.  Let’s hear your thoughts on this watch in the Time-IT 3D Printed Watch forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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