Designer Samuel Amoia on his new Collaboration with Swiss Watch Brand Rado
Although Rado is in the business of keeping time, when one thinks of the Swiss brand's sleek and polished design throughout its century-long history, only one word comes to mind: timeless. Continuing a tradition of collaboration with leaders in the field of design, this year, Rado has launched an exclusive watch with noted American interior designer Samuel Amoia, who in the past has worked with concept-store Dover Street Market, Lauren Santo Domingo (of Moda Operandi fame) and Soho House Berlin.
"I wanted to create a simple but innovative piece. Something that reflects my aesthetic and personal design philosophy,” says the co-designer about his inspiration behind the Rado True Blaze. “The result is an understated and innovative piece. Not of the traditional canon of watches but something more interesting and special, yet simple and timeless."
Here, Amoia talks about the design process, his history with the brand and inspiration.
What is your relation to watches?
Before this project, not much to be honest. However, being in the design world I was of course familiar with Rado, so it was very exciting to be co-designing my first timepiece with them!
Rado is known as a pioneer in material innovation – how important are materials in your work as a designer?
It’s very important and paramount to the process and the work. You can’t create something incredible with bad materials. The basics need to be great, and then you can build upon that. This is how you create incredible design.
Let us know some of your favorite products you have designed before – key projects of your work.
I have several. My most special is the first side table, which was a cylinder drum made of sand and cast cement. I was inspired by nature and the ocean, and I used simple but beautiful materials and translated them. Also we have used recycled aluminum shavings and made beautiful console tables for several boutiques in London, Cannes and Paris as well as tables using pyrite stone from Mexico.
Did you have any personal connection to Rado before this project?
No, I did not.
What was your inspiration for the design of the Rado True Blaze?
I wanted to create a simple, timeless, but innovative piece. Something that reflects my aesthetic and personal design philosophy. I usually draw upon nature and materials for my work, so that is what we did here.
Is this the first time that you have collaborated with a watch brand?
Yes it is.
What was it like working with Rado?
Great, very educational and efficient. It’s incredible to see the history behind their technique and craftsmanship. I really enjoyed learning about the process and the diligence involved in making these beautiful timepieces.
It’s very interesting and inspiring to see how Rado uses innovative materials in their work. I also really appreciate the craftsmanship and bespoke approach that goes into each timepiece.
What were the challenges compared to other products you have designed before?
I have never worked on something so small in scale. So there are new challenges that we had to figure out. Obviously designing spaces and furniture involves a different approach, so we tried to translate what we could into the timepiece.
What is your design philosophy and how did you express it in the True Blaze?
My approach and philosophy of design has always been very simple and straightforward. To show more by doing less. By exercising restraint and focusing on natural and honest materials I am able to create clean, textured and beautiful work. Work that is still rich and layered, but not over designed and contrived. These same principles made for an easy and seamless collaboration with Rado. Using high-tech processes to transform natural materials – the result is an understated and innovative piece. Not of the traditional canon of watches, but something more interesting and special, yet simple and timeless