Form and function are important elements for good design. What was your thought process behind Wode?
Given the fact that we draw our inspiration from 1919s Bauhaus movement, we pay equal heed to both form and function. Primal forms like circles, rectangles and squares are married with acute emphasis on functionality.
Today with growing demand and changes in buying patterns, sustainability has become a prerequisite for everything. How does your brand maintain ethical and sustainable practices?
We are glad to sense a consumer tilt towards sustainability. And for us, minimalism and sustainability go hand in hand as we believe in consuming just as much as one needs, and not numbing our minds with overconsumption.
The watches too are designed keeping in mind these principles. We use surgical grade steel which is a 100% recyclable material, which makes it one of the most sustainable metals. The detachable strap feature also allows people to maximize the usage through a single timepiece.
Packaging is one area that really gave us leeway to drive our sustainability goals. We wanted to push the bar beyond just green materials because the idea was to discourage the act of disposal itself and pair the watch with something just as timeless.. Hence, all our watches are housed inside a book that makes for a charming company as opposed to a box which will end up in your closet before finally landing in a bin the next year. The paper cover we use over the book to hold the watch also substitutes for the manual you'd normally see with other brands. So it’s makes for a rather efficient and earth-friendly affair.
If you were a Wode watch, which one would you be and why?
Haha, that’s an interesting one. Bukowski I believe since he condensed our entire approach in one sentence, “To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without style.”
Timepieces are very personal and serve a purpose. Post pandemic, will your brand help shift perspective?
I’m tempted to say otherwise, but the answer is no. Since we indulge in timelessness, I don’t foresee any shift in consumer perspective for Wode.
Your subtle play on emotion and minimalistic aesthetic create a brand people can get attached to. Does your packaging play an important role here?
Every touchpoint with consumers palpates with the same intensity. We don’t simply ride on minimalism, in fact it runs in our DNA. So much so that even the low-waste packaging walks the talk. Doing away with conventional packaging was a tough call because we live in a world where a pretty box is a deciding factor. But we hope people find a book is more intriguing and personal; it definitely goes a long way. It also resonates with what we believe in, so it’s our slightly lopsided way of adding a part of ourselves into the brand.
A book that would perfectly describe your brand?
I’ll take the liberty of naming an author as opposed to a book, Sir P.G Wodehouse. It’s an eternal pleasure to read him and we aspire to evoke a similar emotion for the brand named after such a fabulous writer.
Tell us more about the names you've given to your watches.
Just like the brand name, all the watches are named after people from the literature or the arts field we admire to great lengths. It’s a teeny-tiny way of paying an ode to their timeless work. It also personifies each timepiece to create something that people can identify with.
Let's get into details, how would you explain the technical side of your watches in layman terms.
What philosophically makes us tick is art, music and books. And what makes a Wode watch tick is Japanese precision. We use a 3-hand, GL30 quartz movement by Miyota, a Citizen company, which is extremely accurate and is powered by a single cell. The watches are encased in 316L surgical grade steel, which makes them fantastically durable and easy to recycle. Ergonomically speaking, we’ve endeavored to keep the watches thin with clean cuts along the crown, lugs and strap.
This year has been a taxing one for everyone, what was your mantra to stay calm and at peace?
Our mantra was to stay busy and adapt to the newfound reality as opposed to pondering over the looming uncertainties of life.
A message you would want to give to our readers about the minimalist lifestyle?
Rather than a preachy message, I’ll leave you with the mantra we swear by, “Own less, live more.”
Going forward, what does Wode's future look like?
Well, the inside joke and our unofficial tagline is ‘Indian origin. With a grim vision’. But we definitely work towards for the contrary. What excites us most is taking a more abstract design route as we go forward while staying married to Bauhaus principles and some experiments with various materials. We’re also slowly partnering with like minded platforms to take Wode to a larger audience. But yes, a future full of opportunities with high hopes pinned right on top.