Ones to watch: Scottish brand Nomad makes its debut with a minimalist timepiece by Samuel Wilkinson

The Samuel Wilkinson-designed debut from new Scottish watch brand Nomad is one for the purists

A minimalist black watch lying on top of a rough piece of wood
New Scottish watch brand Nomad teamed up with London-based industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson to create its debut timepiece, which was unveiled at last month's London Design Festival
(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Making their global debut at last month's London Design Festival, new Scottish watch brand Nomad believe there is a renaissance in pure watchmaking.

Set up by timepiece connoisseurs, Alan and Kelsey Moore, Nomad follows the success of the duo's modern watch store Twisted Time, which launched online in 2010 and opened its first bricks and mortar store at Boxpark in Shoreditch last year.

With Twisted Time we have always been limited by what we are given by the brands we stock,' explains Moore. 'We have no say over design choices, materials used, how the product is marketed or where else it is sold.  We wanted to have control over all of these things and every other little detail that needs considered when creating a new product.'

To create their debut timepiece, the Moore's worked with industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson, creator of the celebrated Plumen 001 lightbulb, who came up with the minimalist Mòltair (which takes its name from the Gaelic word for a cast).

'I wanted to design a watch that I would like to wear; something that was expressive and a bit avant garde but still functional,' explains Wilkinson of his debut timepiece, which took 18 months to design and develop. 'Watches, like chairs, have been overdone and the market is saturated, so the challenge is harder to find a design with its own signature or unique identity, which I hope I have achieved.'

Every detail of the Mòltair has been carefully considered, from the textured stainless steel casing that mimics the shape of a cast iron pot to the custom clasp that fastens the organic Swedish leather strap to the engineered steel backplate. A set of oversized hands take centre stage, creating different geometric forms as they turn through the hours.

'Every part is bespoke and has been thought through in great detail,' says Wilkinson talking us through its construction. 'The hands are made from lightweight aluminium so that we could achieve the desired size, as they would not be possible in brass, which is the industry-standard material for hands. The crystal is 2mm thick, so it is really protective, with a wide bevelled edge that blends out to the fine metal rim. This magnifies and distorts the crisp geometric hands when viewed from the side.'

Refreshingly free of superlative smart technology and complex additional functions, the Mòltair is a single-function watch in a market flooded with all-singing, all-dancing alternatives. 'I think recent publicity for smart watches has reignited the analogue watch market,' muses Wilknson. 'People want to express themselves without having to be surrounded by technology. A watch has always been more than just a timepiece, it is the perfect way to express your individuality.'

Black watch lying beside designs for the casing

Called Mòltair (the Gaelic word for a cast), the new watch features a rounded stainless steel casing that mimics the shape of a cast iron pot

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Two black watches, one face-down, the other face-up showing the minimalist design

A custom clasp fastens the organic Swedish leather strap to the engineered steel backplate and a set of oversized hands take centre stage, creating different geometric forms as they turn through the hours

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Black, deconstructed watch showing the face, strap, holding plate and screws

Refreshingly free of superlative smart technology and complex additional functions, the Mòltair is a single-function watch in a market flooded with all-singing, all-dancing alternatives

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Watch with minimalist design and black strap lying on rough wood

'I wanted to design a watch that I would like to wear; something that was expressive and a bit avant garde but still functional,' explains Wilkinson of his debut timepiece

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Black watch with white face lying on rusty metal

'The hands are made from lightweight aluminium so that we could achieve the desired size, as they would not be possible in brass, which is the industry-standard material for hands,' says Wilkinson. 'The crystal is 2mm thick, so it is really protective, with a wide bevelled edge that blends out to the fine metal rim. This magnifies and distorts the crisp geometric hands when viewed from the side'

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Watches showing the availability of three colours: carbon (black), steel (silver) and gold, with different coloured hands on each

For its launch edition, Mòltair is available in three colours: carbon (black), steel (silver) and gold, with different coloured hands on each

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Three watches, two face-down and the middle one face-up

Set up by timepiece connoisseurs, Alan and Kelsey Moore, Nomad follows the success of the duo's modern watch store Twisted Time, which launched online in 2010 and opened its first bricks and mortar store at Boxpark in Shoreditch last year

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

Black and white image of a woman surrounded by foliage

Samuel Wilkinson – creator of the celebrated Plumen 001 lightbulb – is the first designer invited to collaborate with Nomad

(Image credit: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden)

INFORMATION

The Nomad (opens in new tab) Mòltair is available in three different finishes from www.nomadwatches.com (opens in new tab), www.twistedtime.com (opens in new tab) and other select retailers, from £185

Photography: Sylvain Deleu and Stewart Bryden