British industrial designer Tej Chauhan is the latest designer to collaborate with Rado; a natural choice, his often futuristic vision aligns with Rado’s design-first philosophy. Together with Rado, he has explored ideas of what the ‘new future’ could entail for the True Square watch, the first square timepiece to be made from high-tech ceramic. Here, he reveals what inspired him.

Wallpaper*: You are adept at recognising how good design can alter moods as well as efficiency, and effortlessly incorporate faultless functionality into this. How have you translated this philosophy to a watch?

Tej Chauhan: Function and insight are core to our design approach. The objective is always to create a joyful experience; to look at, to touch, and in function. In the case of the Rado True Square Tej Chauhan, I wanted the watch to engage one’s attention visually, and then to feel amazing when picked up and worn. The padded leather strap is tactile and the rear case of the watch is designed to feel ‘liquid soft’; these qualities, combined with the unique lightness of the ceramic, complete this ‘trinity’.

rado

W*: You have worked on a wide assortment of domestic, practical and technical items. What is it about watches specifically that appeal to you?

TC: These days we don’t need watches to tell the time. It’s a choice. I have always worn a watch, and I like the fact that it has been crafted for one clear purpose; the rest is about expression. It’s a personal object, something which doesn’t require a software update and that will never become obsolete – it will always have purpose. It may be cliche, but one day I will pass my watches on, in the knowledge that they will always have relevance and the additional benefit of being enriched by a past story.

W*: Where did the inspiration for the font on the watch face come from?

TC: The font on the date dial is actually part of the Tej Chauhan Ltd visual identity; it’s part of our bespoke dynamic typeface. I chose to use it here as the numerals are all different, and the combinations lend a dynamic yet dependable energy. It’s a pure expression of my studio.

W*: Why did the bold colour choice appeal to you?

TC: I wanted the collaboration to focus on two things: expression and communication. I wanted the watch to be distinctive, to draw attention, in order to present an opportunity to tell the story of Rado’s high tech ceramic. The use of colour was core to this, and is a tool of our ‘Emotive Industrial Design’ approach. I loved this particular shade of mustard yellow, as it fits my classic sci-fi references and has a timeless expressiveness.

W*: How have you linked your own distinctive aesthetic with Rado’s?

TC: Our work combines our partner’s DNA with our own – we calculate a balance in order to tell the right story. With our collaboration with Rado, the True Square case was a strong DNA element. We wanted to complement this with our Emotive Industrial Design approach in a way which would enhance and compliment both sides to create one holistic story, combining tradition, technology and feeling. §