At Paulin, our approach to design is ambitious – we’re always looking for ways to push ourselves into new territory with both techniques and aesthetics. Scroll down to read about each stage of our design process, or learn about a specific element by clicking the links below.
Our past two collections were inspired by art and architectural movements. Our Geo range paid homage to Glasgow’s own Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his decorative lettering, which was undoubtedly a precursor for the Art Deco style. Subsequently, we looked to mid-century design and Postmodernism for the Neo range. Both Art Deco and Postmodernism were reactions against the austere tastes of previous generations, and similarly, we felt the need to move away from minimalism and embrace a more joyful style.
Numerals are one of the first things we consider when beginning a new watch, and they often inform the rest of the design.
The distinctive Neo numbers took inspiration from the influential Dutch designer Wim Crouwel, who created typography rooted in systems and geometry. Scale is a crucial consideration when designing the numbers, so we continue to tweak the typography throughout the prototyping phase to ensure it translates effectively to the final design. This guarantees legibility and clarity while retaining character and design intention.
A big part of designing the dials is choosing a production method. For the Neo range, we decided to use anodised aluminium – a much more variable process than we were used to – meaning we had to be more open to change. Anodised dials can vary in colour from batch to batch, so we ensure the selected printing inks are legible throughout this tonal range. Read more about anodising here.
When it came to the dial design, we knew we wanted the Neo to stand out from what we had done before. The combination of the bold numerals, pared-back dial layout, and vibrant colour combinations fulfilled this aim.
Case design tends to begin with a series of questions and challenges rather than aesthetic goals. For the Neo, the main concern was disguising the thickness of the movement, so we opted for a deep Hesalite crystal to keep the profile of the metal case slim, doing away with the bezel and polishing the area instead.
For our cases, we’ve made efforts to transfer much of the testing process in-house. Our engineer, Euan, creates 3D-printed prototypes with which we can test comfort, fit, and even assembly. Doing this ourselves minimises factory sampling, which can be costly, wasteful, and slow production.
This process of sampling was particularly useful for the Modul case. We knew the Modul range was one we would want to develop and expand continually, and we didn’t want to be limited by movement choice. To combat this, we created a case with a modular inner component that we can adjust in order to house different movements.
Bespoke handsets are fairly uncommon, likely because production is an expensive and time-consuming process. However, we have always felt the design story should be present in every element of the watch, and the hands are no exception.
We form a cohesive design by picking up on shapes and details from other parts of the watch, such as the numerals, dial, or case. Skeleton hands are a favourite of ours, as they so effectively link the hands and the dial together.
We offer a range of straps to pair with our watches, each bringing a different aesthetic to the table.
Our cordovan and suede straps are constructed in a traditional method, with stitching around the entire perimeter, so are in keeping with a more classic – and dressier – style. Our bridle leather design is more minimal and contemporary, with just two vertical stitches towards the lugs. Some of our straps also feature our bespoke, double-bar buckle.
We also carry several leather alternatives, including two kinds of mesh bracelets. Our Paulin branded Milanese mesh is incredibly durable, with a sleek design that pairs seamlessly with our stainless steel cases. For a slightly different look and slightly higher price point, we also stock Staib bracelets, which are often used on high-end watches.