What if every day was a Friday? Always hearing the vibes of the weekend approaching and ready to let the hassle pass by… With his love brand, Daniel Niederer captures this moment of relief and the insuppressible expectations of the joy to come. Removing all rotes and constraints SEVENFRIDAY has been the reckless kid in the world of seriousness since its inception in 2012. It is not just another watch company. It is a well thought out brand with every piece of its physical and virtual existence strengthening its core attitude to life. You cannot simply box it as ‘bold watches’ – SEVENFRIDAY is an expanding shelf of lifestyle products just as a culinary, art and entertainment spot together with its culturally diverse community. It does not frontally attack, but attracts with spicy fragrances and groovy tunes and marvels with genuine collaborations in product design and the arts.
We recently visited the SEVENFRIDAY Space in Zurich for a photo shooting.
What is a boutique to most of the manufactures out there is a ‘space’ for SEVENFRIDAY. By nature, spaces frame something but also allow room to breathe. The chilled atmosphere of the SEVENFRIDAY Space leaves stress and awkwardness out and releases positive energies, which makes it more than just an ordinary watch shop. In fact, it is primarily a place to eat delicious food and hang out with friends. Watches, similarly to other pieces of applied art like painted leather jackets, car models or guitars, are there for you to experience – or not if you don’t want to.
We witnessed how well it all actually works. People waiting for their meals or drinks stood up and walked around. A friendly conversation suddenly turned into an undesigned shopping moment. Within minutes sunnies were being tried, watches climbed out from their showcase and bracelets shone in the summer light.
The first Space opened in 2015 in the second most populous city of the world, Jakarta. It was the creative idea of SEVENFRIDAY and its local partner, which proved to be highly successful too. The concept became the de-facto meeting and physical selling point of the brand in 16 cities around the world. Although the approach and the industrial design are similar, they are all run by a local partner in order to accommodate to the local tastes.
In February, the Space in Zurich launched a series of monthly concerts called InTune Live, which will continue throughout the year. The reception by the crowd at Bahnhofstrasse has been so good that SEVENFRIDAY plans to implement it also in other Spaces – with local musicians everywhere, obviously.
“Show Me Don’t Tell Me” - the jacket and the back wall light singing the SEVENFRIDAY mantra in chorus
If you have such a powerful design in the house it is hard to resist trying it on. Daniel and his team have been exploring the square shape in many ways since they started. There are five series (M-Series, P-Series, Q-Series, S-Series and V-Series) in three different flavours: Industrial Essence (raw steel coloured), Industrial Revolution (the copper and brass of the 18-19th century with slightly steam punk feel) and Industrial Engines (edgy look with black and red accents). It is their architecture and the colour combinations that are so defining of the SEVENFRIDAY models. The watch face is built up from multiple layers and (as the name of the theme suggests) it always reflects industrial motifs. Sometimes hands circle over it, other times rotating disks show the hours and minutes.
The dimensions are equally characteristic: 47mm to north and east. You gotta have the balls (ladies’ balls count too) to wear one of these. In its absence you will turn back to your papaya salad anyway, but otherwise you feel the pins and needles immediately. When personalities meet, you know…
I particularly like the M1/01 model with the turbine-styled disc covers and the new yellow P3B/03 and red P3B/06 RACING TEAM editions.
All timepieces are designed in Biel by a workshop partially owned by Daniel Niederer. They are equipped with dependable Japanese Miyota movements (8215, 8219, 82S7) and all come in the very attractive 1,000 – 1,600 CHF price range.
The more you see from SEVENFRIDAY the more you can tell that someone with business acumen is leading the brand who also feels the weight (and the freedom) of investing his own money. Although SEVENFRIDAY started with watches, it has gradually evolved a lifestyle brand. Not going all in, but as something starts moving, a next logical step is taken. Nevertheless, all SEVENFRIDAY elements let it be the Spaces or other products orbit around the original concept of the brand.
Accessories emerged, such as bracelets. They again reflect the industrial themes and fit into the Essence / Revolution / Engine trinity. For instance, the new Crash bracelets were just introduced last week with the three different colour codes immediately.
With the new sunglass collection the company takes the SEVENFRIDAY universe closer to the sun this summer. They created the JAZZ EDITION – a square model and the INSANE – a round model, both in visual kinship with the watches. The novelties received a dedicated Instagram account where they pose on the coolest faces from Tokyo to Mexico City (captured by photographer David Aeneas Giger). They finally arrived to the Zurich store and are available in the 300 CHF range.
I guess there are several cool things about the SEVENFRIDAY phenomenon. Although it seems easy-going, the brand is built up very strictly. It is refreshing to see how a watch venture can develop an entire product portfolio with a clear understanding as to where they want to run with it. They intentionally break away from being only associated with watches – they go so well together with a Phở, a Thai Basil Fizz and funk music anyway that you find yourself enjoying the SEVENFRIDAY experience even if the timepieces don’t happen to be to your taste. But if you have the curious, fun-lovin’, weekend-awaiting personality who is hungry for something interesting on the wrist, you will try them on one-by-one regardless of whether or not you’re a serious collector during the week or a painter of graffiti on the walls.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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