Development of Ammortizzato began with rethinking the relationship between a wristwatch and his owner. When you watch the time, often traditional watches faces the sky or your ceiling. Sometimes, when you raise your wrist, the watch just looks away from you, in anger.
Why does my watch hate me? What did I do to annoy it? Sconvolto developed a watch that loves you, a watch that looks you in the eyes when you raise your wrist!
To archive this, the first step was move the dial from the top of the wrist to its side, oriented toward the face of the wearer. The case back was shaped to wrap around the wrist, resting on radius bone and extending up to ulna for stability. This way, an ample surface embrace the arm, giving the watch a solid base where to rest.
The shape and size the watch assumed made it massive, so aluminium was chosen as case material: it's surprising how a substantial watch like this heft so light and wear so compact.
But for everything to work as intended, the case needs to hold firmly on the wrist, that might sounds simple, as long as you don’t think too much about it. To begin with, there are two main ways to wear a watch. One is loose, like a bracelet, with room to move: it’s comfortable, but your watch will face away from you, so loose wearer will often, unconsciously, make a sudden wrist-roll when watching time, like if giving full throttle to an invisible motorbike. The other way is to tighten the strap so much that is doesn’t move: but wrist moves, changes in sizes during the day from heat and fatigue, so this is often sightly uncomfortable, when not blood-stopping harsh.
Some people wear the watch over carpal bones, limiting hand movements and with finger tendons pierced by the crown, other wears every watch on nato straps.
Then, there is Sconvolto Ammortizzato. To keep the watch steady without discomfort, the watch top lug shifts under a carefully selected spring load.
The spring lug was initially developed as a lever system, with an entire section of the case back moving in the tension, but it was later changed to a slider to increase excursion and reduce the size. A rig was built to find the perfect spring tension by empirical testing until the actual 5 newtons value was found.
Despite the unique construction, Ammortizzato’s lugs still use standard 22mm bracelets and spring bars, that can be freely changed at will. For the system to perform at his best though, Sconvolto suggests the use of very soft bracelets, like the Hirsh AG Performance series that comes with the watch.
MRI Wrist image used under CC.