In Focus Watches

How Kieser Design’s Mathias Kieser Adds Patterns of Nature to Horology

Kieser Design Tragwerk.T Watch David

The world of horology is a diverse and rich one, full of intriguing concepts to explore. It is after all a world where a brand dedicated to deep water diving can sit shoulder to shoulder with a brand dedicated to supercars. As a designer, finding a design language that inspires you is important because it can help to make your watches recognisable to collectors and also lead to some of the most interesting watches on the market.

For German independent watchmaker Matthias Kieser and his brand Kieser Design, the inspiration for designing their inaugural watch, the tragwerk.T, was easy to find in the patterns of nature.

Matthias Kieser

“I think nature is a beautiful source of inspiration,” Matthias said. “Nature is a genius. It provides smart, holistic solutions for complex engineering challenges. And the astonishing thing is: it does so in the most aesthetic way possible! When you let your eyes wander in nature, you never get bored. There are always new little details you can discover!”

Kieser Design Dragonfly Sketch 1

Matthias based the features of the tragwerk.T on the anatomy of a dragonfly.

Specifically, Matthias turned to an often overlooked part of the animal planet, entomology – insects. When it came to creating the 42mm diameter case, Matthias referenced dragonflies, “the internal organs of the insect are optimally protected by the exoskeleton. Despite being very sturdy, the exoskeleton forms this filigree and light body of the dragonfly.”

“This concept of a robust yet lightweight construction was transferred to the tragwerk.T. It provides maximum protection for the inner case and the movement without straining the wearer with additional weight on the wrist. The watch only weighs 47 grams without the strap.”

Kieser Tragwerk.T

A key aspect in realising this exoskeleton style case is the use of titanium. The robust, lightweight, hypoallergenic material makes it perfect for the intricate, skeletal shapes that Matthias machines and hand finishes for every single watch. Plus, it gives the case a dark anthracite colour that pairs well with the customisable dial.

And that dial is something special. Matthias said, “I was fascinated by how beautifully the light is reflected in the faceted eye of the dragonfly. You never get bored when looking at it. That’s why I milled over 250 honeycombs into the dial to achieve a similar effect. Each hexagon is individually milled into the titanium blanks. I use very sharp tools to achieve maximum reflection and make the dial as vibrant and shiny as the compound eyes of the dragonfly.”

Kieser Design

Additionally, thanks to the anodising process, it’s available in purple, green, blue, and orange. Theoretically, the full rainbow spectrum is possible. For a more subtle look, it can also be left in titanium anthracite or have a black DLC-coating.

Ultimately, the tragwerk.T is an exercise in bionics, on which Matthias says “I first learned about the principle of bionics in my university lectures. It essentially means applying functional principles found in nature to technical problems. I love bionic concepts that push technical boundaries and that are aesthetically pleasing at the same time. The dragonfly is definitely just the beginning. I will certainly keep on making watches that are inspired by nature.”

Kieser Design TragwerkT Watch David

As for the future, “Kieser Design already has a very high degree of vertical integration. We manufacture most of the parts for our watches in-house. Nonetheless, I want to dig deeper in the future. There are so many ideas for movement modifications and unorthodox time displays already in my head, I just need the time to make them become a reality. One new watch model is already in the final testing phase. But at the moment, we’re very busy fulfilling our customer’s orders for their customised tragwerk.T.”

If you want to order one yourself, prices are upon request and depending individual customisation. They’re by no means an insubstantial investment but you know that you’ll be getting the individual and full attention of Matthias. And considering the time he dedicates to things so subtle as the membrane of a dragonfly’s wing, you know your watch is in safe hands.

More details at Kieser Design.

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