Today, I’m both proud and excited to introduce Humism. Humism is a local watch effort, who aims to “turn the movement of time into mesmerizing art.” Humism is founded by David, who describes himself as a “globe-trotting Singaporean who has been designing things big and small for more than ten years”. David most recent job was as a researcher in the Huffington Post – before leaving the position, he had been involved with several NGOs in places such as Sierra Leone! In keeping with David’s love for helping others in need, 5% of sales goes towards The Red Pencil, a non-profit that uses art therapy to help those suffering from emotional trauma. When companies boast claims of donating a certain percentage of sales to a charitable cause, more often than not it comes across as a marketing stunt or an attempt at some form of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) – this is definitely not the case here with David and Humism!
2 years ago, David left his rather well-paying job at the Huffington Post to pursue his passion in design, eventually choosing “watches to be his artistic canvas” because he was excited by the “unique creative possibilities” that watches bring to the table. He has been tirelessly working on this project ever since (unlike most microbrand owners, this is his full-time job) – I think that attests to the complexity of his design, but also his commitment.
Being a regular patron of the Arts, I got really excited when I saw Humism’s watches. The design was simply so starkly different from the other watch projects on Kickstarter currently. The dial of the watch is mesmerizing, intricate yet minimalist in equal parts. Sure, the use of a rotating center disk isn’t new, but the execution and end result is.
Humism – the Kickstarter
Humism’s watches are currently live on Kickstarter here. Their watches go for a mere S$348 ($265 USD), which I personally think is a steal, especially factoring that 5% of sales will go towards a charitable cause!
In case you’re wondering how to tell time, the solid black dot serves as a hour hand, while the hollowed out circle indicates the minutes. In the video above, the time is approximately 4.14pm. I personally think this is design brilliance, and minimalism done right. The term “minimalism” is often used as an excuse for being boring – I don’t think anyone can say that about the dial of the Humism watches here!
For Humism’s maiden watch collection, each watch is heavily influenced by philosophy. For the Daesin, the name comes from Heidegger’s philosophy that the self is always engaged and participating with the world. Therefore, the design of the Daesin is correspondingly outward looking and explosive.
For the Eudaimonia, the name comes from Aristotle’s philosophy of well-being which emphasized balance and the golden mean in all aspects of life. Thus, the design attempts to personify this idea of balance.
Rounding up the collection is the Geist. The Geist is named after Hegel’s philosophy that the Spirit evolves through history. As such, the design of the Geist tries to capture this process of evolution, with its organic shapes morphing as it spirals from inwards out.
I especially love the fact that the dials are like a Rorschach test – due to the abstract design, different people will have differing interpretations. I personally think that the Dasein evokes the image of a star exploding, though I have read another reviewer describing it as a flower blooming. I think that’s rather cool, and allows the wearer to form his own unique connection to the watch.
I must say, at $348 SGD the specs are rather impressive. A Seiko NH35 movement (as opposed to the Miyota 8 series, which stutters), sapphire crystal used both front and back, a vegetable tanned, full-grain Italian leather strap (with quick release function) – that’s value for money right there. While the design of the Humism collection are undoubtedly the calling card, it’s great to see that David has put thought into the build quality of the watch as well!
Conclusion – An unique and affordable watch!
I genuinely believe that the Humism watches are great bang for your buck. Not only are they thoughtfully designed, the build quality is good as well. Factor in the fact that a portion of the sales goes towards charity (sales, not profit), and you have a series of watches that has both style and substance. Unlike most other “minimalist” watches, these watches are sure to be a conversation starter!
As aforementioned, Humism’s debut collection is currently live on Kickstarter. If you like the intriguing design, do back them on Kickstarter here. I’m pretty sure that the prices of these would go up quite quickly after Kickstarter, so grab them at this pricing while you still can! As of this point of writing, Humism has already attracted nearly 300 backers, with over S$100000 pledged. For a young watch start-up, that’s pretty amazing – a testament to the quality of the design!
Update: I have since published a review of the Humism Dasein here. For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” entitles you to a free Silver Milanese mesh strap! Simply add the watch of your choice and the Silver Milanese mesh strap to cart, and apply the abovementioned promo code upon checkout to enjoy the free strap.
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