A Retrostalgic Cassette Face Watch
By James Grahame
The £35 ASOS Cassette Face watch is a modern quartz timepiece that evokes the look of a cassette tape -- one 'reel' displays the hour, the other shows minutes. It features a hefty stainless steel body and bracelet that hearkens back to the LED watches of the 1970s. Apart from that, there's nothing old fashioned about this piece.
I'm always torn when it comes to writing about stuff like this. It's more retrostalgic than retro. However, I suppose this watch serves as a heavy-handed example of how the tech design of the past influences modern products.
In this case, there's nothing subtle about the influence. The novelty face is supposed to make your friends mumble effusive words of praise such as "Sweet!!" the first time they see it. But - unlike truly inspired industrial design - it doesn't evoke lasting emotion. Of course, very few consumer gadgets manage this. The Apple iPod is one such device. Its brilliantly simple form and unusual combination of materials make it seem special, even though it's mass produced. The iPod also manages to appear simultaneously modern and timeless.
Still, this watch is kinda sweet. And I admit that every time I write a post highlighting tin robots or vintage transistor radios, I hope there's a designer somewhere who is inspired by those classic designs and incorporates their essence into something new.