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From humble beginnings as an idea from the mind of a German artist, critics and fans around the world have helped shape the unique design of Ziiiro watches. With two constantly churning whirls that simulate the continuous passage of time held inside a minimalist case, each Ziiiro watch is everything it needs to be, but nothing more. In a time of extravagance and immediacy, Ziiiro is the relaxed watch you need when it’s time to take a break. The happy accident of Ziiiro’s creation is to your benefit in expressing the one-of-a-kind person that you are.
Often viewed as tiny, wearable works of art rather than conventional wristwatches, Ziiiro watches blend minimalism with cutting edge style.
What started off as a design whim sent to an online magazine for discussion and feedback became the actual birth for Ziiiro watches. As co-founder Robert Dabi says, it was all a complete coincidence that the brand ever got off the ground and onto consumers’ wrists.
In 2010, designer and artist Robert Dabi submitted a rudimentary prototype of a watch he had dreamt up to the online magazine Yanko Design. The buzz was immediate, and Dabi’s submission began to go viral in the design community. Other online publications like Engadget and Gizmodo soon began showcasing the model; Dabi was flooded with questions and requests. The one he answered though was from his friend in Hong Kong Derick Ip, who was ready to partner and create this brand from scratch.
Before they knew it, Dabi and Ip had several different real models manufactured and two more new designs in production. They were nervous when they launched because they didn’t know how watch fans would react now that they could actually wear them and not just see them. But the demand was overwhelming, and Dabi was working overtime to create new pieces while Ip kept making sure they got made and moved out the door. Through trial and error, the Ziiiro brand arguably became the go-to brand for Generation-Y and millennials looking for the most uncommon of uncommon watches.
Flash forward to present day, and Dabi and Ip are still hard at expanding their brand. New series and models are being released semi-annually, and customers keep craving more. Dabi’s vision of putting less emphasis on the actual time-keeping aspect (which is why no Ziiiro watch will ever have a second hand), still remains a prevalent force in the brand. And while fashion-conscious people in their 20s and 30s are the most popular demographic, the Ziiiro watch is being expanded to more experienced watch wearers as well. From the dock of the bay to the desk of the office to the dark of the club, you’re never too far away from seeing someone sporting a Ziiiro.
Dabi, who is German, has rejected the current notion of what watches need to be. He has said he doesn’t like following rules and expectations, and it is often with this feeling that has produced some of the greatest ideas of modern day horology. Dabi and Ip will often sit down with a new design and eliminate any extraneous aspects, breaking it down to the watch it needs to be at a minimum. Dabi says it best on his Twitter bio when he calls himself an “accidental watch designer”, because that’s exactly what he came to be.