Uniform Wares’ Collaboration Glorifies Tiny Details (+ giveaway!)

Published:  September 24, 2013
Uniform Wares’ Collaboration Glorifies Tiny Details (+ giveaway!)

British watchmakers Uniform Wares make a strong point about their passion for tiny details. The opening line of their company biography reads determinedly: “The wristwatches are intended for everyday use by individuals with an eye for meticulous detailing…”, with poetic descriptions of the intricacies of the movements and mechanics of their creations.

Upon the recent release of their new 104 series, Uniform Wares exhibited their collaboration with fine art photographer Jim Naughten. The project, entitled 12 Details, sought out unique people who shared Uniform Wares’ passion for tiny details, and captured them in silvery, ethereal portraits.

“Working closely with Jim, we selected and photographed twelve influential and inspiring people who share Uniform Wares’ passion for the finest of details.”

Each portrait was a celebration of the minuscule and often unnoticed elements of the design process. Bridging neatly with our October issue, The Graphic Effect, we talked to Uniform Wares and Jim Naugthen about their incredible collaboration. The resulting article, featuring the 12 Details portraits, discusses why these details are so special to designers in all fields, along with the kind of fervor and dedication it takes to make these projects come to life.

12 Details Exhibition, London

12 Details exhibition, London.

Uniform Wares 104 Series

Uniform Wares 104 Series

In celebration of their launch, Uniform Wares has given Desktop one of their new 104 watches in Signal Orange to give away! We thought in the lead up to Desktop‘s October issue, The Graphic Effect, we’d love to know what this meticulous way of designing means to you. Use the comment box below to tell us briefly what small details or tiny objects do you love? (Competition closed.)

Uniform Wares 104 Series in Signal Orange

The watch features a 316L stainless steel, two-part case housing a Swiss-made, 5-jewel Ronda movement. Colour blocking, rubber wrist band and material finish textures are complemented by subtle Pantone variations used to accentuate each of the watches secondary level details. Contrasting cases, bezel texture and applied batons give relief and definition to each timepiece.

The giveaway is for one Uniform Wares Series 104 Watch in Signal Orange. Retail £170. Winner will be chosen who best represents the theme and will be contacted by email on 11/10/13. Prize will be sent out the week of the 14/10/13.


34 Responses

  1. Samuel Rowe

    Hidden Connections

    When mind-mapping and brainstorming ideas, I love the little insights that we as designers can make through connections of similar ideas. This especially seems to happen when jotting down anything and everything to do within context of the brief, but when the two complete opposite things are connected, that smile in the mind is achieved…it’s really the little things that make up the bigger picture.

  2. My little love of detail (being a tshirt designer) is getting the simple balance of colours. Keep it simple with 3 colours that shine. It makes or breaks the design! (p.s pick me as 11/10/13 is my 40th birthday!)

  3. Sarah Gibbs

    I used to hunt skinks when I was a kid and I loved the iridescent blue streaks down their sides. So tiny!

    And I love Uniform Wares!

  4. Hundreds and thousands. Whether you are creating a typeface from them, eating them on chocolate freckles or relieving your childhood through fairy bread.

  5. Ana

    I really like the texture of the wristband; it suggest something that would embrace the hand feeling like a second skin.

    The clockface would match my ideea of a simple design, yet elegant and casual enough to want me wear it all the time.

    Also, I wouldn’t mind sharing it from time to time with my boyfriend; our personal accesory.

  6. I love all tiny objects as the world is full of and made from beautiful detail if you look close enough. Uniform Wares’ meticulous way of designing shows how superfluous ‘extras’ are when the simple things are cared for. Just like in nature, it’s sophistication through refinement.

  7. Curtis

    I love when brands have a focus for the quality of the materials used and craftsmanship and it is reflected in even the smallest of their items. They don’t compensate by trying to mask their faults with wild patterns and designs. My favourite basic white t-shirt from A.P.C. doesn’t ‘wow’ anybody, but it fits amazing on my torso, feels fantastic and if you look closely enough the stitching along the hem is quality.

  8. Julie

    The seconds markings on a watch face. There are so many watches that look nice but are useless to me because they don’t have numbers and markings along the circumference. I like to know the exact time!

  9. Yongho Moon

    - Designing of the sound of ticking
    - Designing of the second-hand movement (how it bounces when it moves to the next second)
    - Designing & styling of the product photography, 10:10:30

  10. Hayey

    In a time where designer’s are able to produce artefacts quickly, easily, and at very little cost, it’s tiny details and meticulous craftsmanship that will make a design stand out from the rest. Personally, my favourite tiny thing is finding strawberry seeds in hand-made ice cream.

  11. mel

    When designing, it’s all about getting those little nodes in Illustrator at just the angle, right curve and right spacing for that perfect shape.

  12. Small details make the difference! Simplicity is nothing without the small details, for me it’s usually the small details and punctilious designs that grab my attention. I have seen wall mounted christmas trees made out of small/antique objects – it’s a simple but different and very meticulous way of building a christmas tree and you would be looking at it for a long time to find out all the small details on each and every single object!

  13. I sometimes like to ponder on the intricate and meticulous designs of the most basic components of everyday life, like the computer I use. Based on the foundation of 1 and 0 binary code, it makes me appreciate the tools I have which allow me to communicate any design at my whimsy.

  14. Anthony

    In an age where people are trying to push their brand onto everything, I appreciate the fact that Uniform Wares don’t. In MADE Quarterly when asked about the minimal pared-back watch face, they responded saying “We didn’t see any reason to have a logo on the dial.. Why emblazon a logo onto the surface that essentially interrupts the design?” That small attention to detail that matters. Putting the aesthetic first has helped to elevate the brand. More design should strive for this.

  15. Chesney

    The shimmering streaks of silver left behind by the snails after a bout of rain. Intricate patterns on the footpath, unseen by most.

  16. AmberB

    I love straight lines, primary colours, and sleek modern designs. Anything uncomplicated and functional is right up my alley.

  17. James

    If you look up at the sky you realise that any objects in your life are tiny in comparison. Therefore you can comment saying you love anything in this world.

  18. Tiny details often have character, and reveal integrity on a larger scale, the true intentions of a designer. Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do. They command respect.

  19. Rodger

    Correct spelling and punctuation, and kerning.

    Those ‘small’ things make all the difference (for me at least). Automated kerning pairs are a great advancement, but I still prefer to manage my own, especially with scripts. Perhaps it comes from being a pedantic compositor.

    I love the watch design, simplistic at first glance but so precise upon closer inspection … and I don’t think i’ve ever seen a different coloured minute hand (to the hour hand).

    Very nice placement of the hands for the shoot btw, perfect balance.

  20. Toothpicks.

    The ones where there is a little ‘ridge’ at the top, a few millimetres from the end. That carving looks simple, and almost like a design element, but really it is a lot more. It allows you to ‘snap’ that tiny top off of the toothpick.

    What? Why would you want to snap it off? Good question Ash. This creates a little stand for the tip (the pointy bit) to rest — elevating it from a possibly unclean dining surface.


    Great I know. And it’s almost invisible. The smallest of details. So neat and so simple. But yet it works every-single-time, doing its ONE task flawlessly. A rare instance where if you were to make it any more detailed it would become less useful.

    It is almost-so-small-you’d-miss-it, but it is there, day after day, being perfect at what it does.

    • Ryan

      Chef Marco Pierre White says that ‘Perfection is lots of little things done well’. To me this is a great methodology to follow. But it’s often the imperfections and happy accidents that make an object truly unique and beautiful.

  21. Jasmine

    The tiny details are what takes good design to brilliant design. Those meticulous, seemingly insignificant details that when noticed make a design truly shine. One of my favourites is beautiful buttons on a garment, whether it be 5 or just one very well placed solitary button. A button is primarily a function oriented piece of design, however, depending on the material of the button, the feel in your fingers or an expertly chosen colour, a button can transcend a garment. Small detail is what finishes a design.

  22. For me, the little details are always the most important because they reveal the intentions of the designer. Big things can be fluked, but it takes intelligence and diligence to get the little things right.

  23. Vic

    Without the small things nothing can be complete. If you had a jar and filled it up with big rocks, it won’t be full, there will be gaps. It’s only when you put in sand will the jar truly be full. It’s the small things in life that complete everything we are and do and should be appreciated

  24. The little L and R on my Muji socks that indicate which is the left sock and the right sock.

  25. Kaitlin

    Impressionist artwork is made up of thousands of soft brush strokes. The little details are what make the big picture.

  26. When driving; if you peek down to all your little dials on your, speedometers, other domoters, and whole slew of thing-a-ma-jigs, you will notice your fuel gauge. Super simple. Tells you when you need fuel.

    Pretty cool. But that’s not the detail.

    To the left or to the right of that little fuel pump icon is an arrow. Is it just a little design embellishment? Nope! It tells you what side the fuel tank is on! So if you are in a hire car, a new car, or if you stole a car, and need to know what side of the pump to pull up alongside, take a look at that tiny little fuel icon, and see where the arrow is. if it’s on the left. It’s on the left. If the arrow is on the right, your tank opening is on the right.

    Such a small detail, and once you know about it, it makes life SO much easier.

  27. Thomas Morris

    The devil is in the detail.
    When you get the small right, you get everything right.

  28. Nicki

    Dots on the back of a ladybird, and the teeth of tiny shiny cogs

  29. Nikki

    A home made four bristle brush I made cause I couldn’t afford to buy one.

  30. I loved the little squishy refresh animation that iOS6 had in the mail app… they removed it with iOS7 and that made me sad…

    That and I love it when brands and products respect the user enough not to dumb down the user engagement. e.g. Don’t tell me the hour numbers on an Analogue watch! I know what they are… There is beauty in reduction.

  31. Claire

    Pressed pennies.

    These small souvenirs carry the tiniest detail, crop up in the strangest places and by using your own coin are completely unique.

    Around for over a hundred years, they are categorized as oldies, modern and contemporary (1985-present) with the modern, mostly private creators being called ‘rollers’

    Uh huh, totally cool.

  32. Rhys

    Detail is everything you don’t see at first glance, but upon closer inspection the detail is the only thing that matters.

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