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TID Watches

TID Watches shares the story behind their timeless iconic watches

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TID Watches

Published 2015.06.29

It seems ironic to say that time can be made timeless, but that is exactly what Stockholm-based TID has done with its unique, practical, and carefully crafted watch line. The TID watch brand was founded in 2012 by Ola E. Bernestål, Petrus Palmér, and design studio Form Us with Love’s Jonas Pettersson and John Löfgren. Named after the Swedish word for “time,” TID Watches have been called a number of things—iconic, fashionable, long-lasting, minimalist—yet one thing underlies it all: quality.


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The idea of designing No.1 came from the somewhat paradoxical insight that wristwatches had become obsolete. The wristwatch lost its essentiality when devices for showing time moved into everyone's pocket.
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Timeless. Striking. Iconic.

Every decade has it, a defining style that sets it apart from what came before and what will follow; this generation’s “it” item is a TID watch. “We wanted to create something unique that would last,” explains co-founder Petrus Palmér, “that would become the defining watch brand for our generation.” Beyond the freshness of the TID DNA, the clean look and archetypal design are destined to be long-lasting classics.

The four founders behind TID are longtime friends with a shared sense of style. They found their calling after discovering a lack of fashionable, yet practical options for watches, especially those that fell between the extremes of cheap gadgets and exclusive heritage brands.

“We wanted to create something unique that would last, that would become the defining watch brand for our generation.”

Even more, they also noted a lack of watches, period, as today’s mobile devices have rendered nearly obsolete the need for a separate timepiece. Yet, stresses Palmér, watches are much more than tools; they are also jewellry, the cherry on top of the ensemble. The TID brand, then, filled two gaps, making both time and timepiece stylish again.

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No.1 - designed to be an iconic watch that withstands shifts in times and styles.
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No.1 comes in stainless steel with black ion plating - a resilient deep surface treatment. The inside holds a Japanese quartz clockwork. The accompanying NATO wristband in woven nylon is attached without screws or hinges. The watch is available with white or black face.
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TID No. 1 - Black

TID Watches
TID No.1 Black / Tan Leather
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TID No. 1 - White

TID Watches
TID No.1 White / Nato Wristband
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As with any good creation, the designers set out to craft something they would wear themselves—in essence, to fill the void they found in the watch market. Says Palmér, “We decided that the most important thing was to design a watch that would look good with any outfit, something you could wear every day.” To that end, they drew upon the Scandinavian product design tradition of functionalism. As such, TID No. 1—the brand’s first offering—is both bold and refined. Bombarding the unbreakable steel surface with ions gives it a sleek matte finish, while smooth Japanese quartz movement coupled with the lack of loose parts make the watch unlike anything else on the market. The wristband, attached without the use of bulky connections, is interchangeable so wearers can easily switch between the line’s brown, black, or natural-toned leather, or the more rugged adjustable vinyl band.

Study 002 – Flux
By: Albin Holmqvist and Adrian Mörner Hansen
Music: Communion by Oracle North

Designing for Time

In crafting TID No. 1, the designers took no shortcuts. There are multiple steps in the creation process, the first of which is to source the right stainless steel for the product. Next, the steel is milled and then given a black ion coating, lending both durability and the perfect combination of matte and gloss. The strap is composed of Swedish sustainable leather or nylon. No branding appears on the face of the watch; rather, the TID name is stamped discreetly into the side. On TID watches, easy-to-read numerals represent the hours, recalling classic design over trendy symbols. In addition to Japanese quartz movement and a face protected by mineral glass, the watch has a water resistance of 5 ATM, making it suitable for swimming, white water rafting, and fishing. TID No. 1 is available in two colours, an all-black sleek design and a white dial contrasting with the black casing, and the choice of three shades of leather. (The team is currently working on TID No. 2.)

Going into the process, the quartet faced some challenges, chief amongst them designing an object—the watch—whose/ raison d’etre was very much in question. Says Palmér, “We turned the focus in a more philosophical direction: How do you design for time? No. 1 is the first result, an iconic watch that aims to withstand shifts in times and styles.”

“We turned the focus in a more philosophical direction: How do you design for time?”

Initial development was slow, a nearly two-year process from concept to product involving much experimentation: with materials, with sourcing, with finishes. “We wanted to be meticulous with the details,” explains Palmér. “The weight, the font sizes on the engraving, the material finish, the boxes—it’s all of great importance.”

Of the process, Palmér shares one of the design team’s discoveries: “There are no shortcuts,” he reveals. And: “Don’t be afraid of failure.”

“We wanted to create something unique that would last, that would become the defining watch brand for our generation.”

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TID team
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TID Display Blocks in progress by Form Us With Love.

The TID Display Blocks are an architectural landscape. Based on the iconic TID box, the system features four geometric shapes; Cube, Prism, Triangle and Pylon. Made from pine, treated with lye and white oil and placed in formations on black marble, the Display Blocks are designed by Form Us With Love.

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TID Brand Store in Stockholm
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TID Brand Store in Stockholm

The TID Brand Store in Stockholm, inspired by “Modernist Simplicity” and features stark white walls, concrete floors and custom made furniture built with American Douglas pine..

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TID Brand store viewed from outside
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TID No. 2 - 40mm

TID Watches
TID No.2 /Natural Leather Wristband
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TID No. 2 - 36mm

TID Watches
TID No.2 36 / Black Nato Wristband
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TID Display Blocks

Original, Accessible & Minimalist

TID was born in 2012, the product of an agreement Ola E. Bernestål, Petrus Palmér, John Löfgren, and Jonas Pettersson made while at sea. From the start, they knew they would craft the watch’s design around a clean outcome, a style the team deems “rational, with a twist.”

“TID is less of a watch brand and more of a time brand,” explains Palmér. “On one hand, we make iconic watches to wear through shifts in times and styles; on the other, TID acts as a canvas for artists, thinkers, writers, and visualisers to conduct creative research on the subject of time. Our passion lies in exploring and interpreting time,” he concludes.

“The man constantly on-the-go can’t be bothered with a watch face that’s difficult to read or bands that are cumbersome.”

Form Us with Love, the driving design force behind the TID brand, espouses simplicity; it’s no surprise, then, that they embrace the phrase “Less is more.” Their goal with TID watches? Simplistic, minimalist, timeless products that inspire admiration over flashiness. Always with the customer front of mind, Palmér concludes, “The man constantly on-the-go can’t be bothered with a watch face that’s difficult to read or bands that are cumbersome.” Form plus function—always the best recipe for success.

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Stills from Exploring Time – Study 002: Flux
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Stills from Exploring Time – Study 002: Flux
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Stills from Exploring Time – Study 002: Flux
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Stills from Exploring Time – Study 002: Flux
This is the end of TID Watches’s story
Photos courtesy of TID Watches, Jonas Lindström & Niklas Panthell

TID Watches

Timeless Iconic Watches


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