Biegert & Funk Qlocktwo Watch

The Qlocktwo Watch made its debut at Baselworld in 2012 but as I am new to the world of watches, I only recently rediscovered it.  The venture appears successful as they currently have more models based on the original as well as one with a slightly larger dial face.

Marco Biegert and Andreas Funk are childhood friends who collaborated on art projects throughout their youth.  In 1999 they formed an advertising agency in the small town of Schwäbisch Gmünd in southern Germany.   By 2007 they returned to their art roots with the original wall mounted Qlocktwo project and the Qlocktwo company was formed in 2009 where all their products are hand made or assembled in this region of Germany famous for design pioneers like Daimler, Benz and Bosch.   The Qlocktwo has won over 30 international design awards including the 2018 reddot award.

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One of their creations displayed at the Porsche Museum in nearby Stuttgart.
This is the original Qlocktwo Watch with a 35mm face, 24mm lug separation and only 9mm thick. As you can see, LEDs light up word segments allowing the wearer to literally read the time. I purchased this second hand on eBay for less than half price since I suspect it languished for a while being scripted in the French language. I actually find that attractive and as a Canadian I was schooled in that language well enough to get by in Paris and definitely read the time. The time reads “25 minutes to 10” and the two dots at the bottom indicate two minutes past that reference so 9:37.    Olympus E-M1.2  Leica 15mm f/1.7 1/30s ISO 800.

There is some criticism about an MSRP price of over $1000 USD for the larger 39mm wide model with a Milanese metal strap as this is essentially a quartz watch without even its rudimentary mechanical gear system.   But the cases are milled by hand, and the components are hand assembled all in Germany, if not all the components sourced from Germany.   And that costs something.  If nothing else, the Covid Pandemic has taught the Western capitalistic world that we pay our employees far too little.  No where else is that more evident than in the US where workers often had to work two or even three jobs in order to earn a living wage.  The Western consumer had been captivated and lulled by the artificially low prices of Chinese made goods for decades whose quality has certainly improved and may even approach world class.   What China can never achieve under its present oppressive political system is the innovation and creative thinking responsible for products like Qlocktwo.   Creation, whether in the arts or in engineering, requires a relaxed and content population living in a free society with a fair and legal justice system.

This display is only possible with image manipulation and difficult to engineer since I suspect each word rather than each character is lit by a single led array. But it would be humorous and very Gallic for aphorisms like this to automatically appear at random throughout the day. Here the translation is “It’s too late”. That must mean last call and last requests at the Blue Note.  Olympus E-M1.2  Zuiko 45mm f/1.8  1/40s  ISO800.

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