Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, has long been fascinated with the skateboarding community, which has inspired the brand’s latest watch collection, the Grip. Taking its name from the grip tape skaters use to make their sneakers cling, the design is as distinctive and quirky as Michele’s ready-to-wear collections. The cases are curved 35mm or 38mm squares, housing rotating dials that display the hour, minute and date with three small apertures. There’s no dial, or face, as the rest of the case is covered by engraved or plain gold or silver PVD. It manages to be both timeless, with a nod to vintage watches from the 1920s, and contemporary, offering flair and simplicity, without flourish or embellishment. It’s available with a matching metal bracelet or a large number of colourful alligator leather straps.
Michele has reached out to a number of skateboarders and artists from different cities around the world to participate in a project to share their stories, as a visual exploration of the global skateboarding community. Celebrating the collaboration, Gucci has unveiled a new instalment of its Art Wall project, showcasing the Grip watch, just off Brick Lane. It features an illustration by British artist, designer and art director Kieron Livingstone, who fused Gucci house codes and graphic elements in his signature whimsical style. Livingstone is the lead designer of multi-platform creative collective Project Zoltar, which has been involved in the British punk rock scene for more than a decade.
But even if kickflips and tailslides aren’t your thing, think about the watch’s name in terms of a hearty handshake, a grasp of friendship and respect, as the Grip embraces the wrist in a cinch that is solid and stylish.
From £1,150; gucci.com