In 1609, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler published three laws of planetary motion that demonstrate how planets orbit the sun. Now known as the father of modern astronomy, Kepler has inspired centuries of astronomical discoveries, including the recent finding of the five-star planetary system that bears his name. For Hong Kong-based designer Joe Kwan, Kepler's work also sparked the idea for his latest watch series. The K452, now raising funds on Kickstarter, ditches traditional dial hands and instead tells time with three rotating discs that recall orbital movements in space.
The K452—named for the recently discovered, Earth-like exoplanet in the Kepler solar system—is the second series from Anicorn, the company Kwan and entrepreneur Chris Chan launched in 2013 with a focus on beautifully crafted timepieces. The face of the watch cleverly plays off of Kepler's "law of equal areas," which is used to describe the speed at which planets move around the sun. It features three concentric discs: the disc closest to the center (or "sun") rotates the fastest, marking out the seconds as it turns. The larger minute and hour discs are read through an aperture with an engraved line at the top of the watch, a nod to the imaginary line Kepler drew from the sun to a planet to calculate its orbit. Like the inaugural Series 000 before it, the K452 doesn't have a battery and is instead powered by the wearer’s natural movements.
The watch even has a space-themed typeface. Kwan chose "Coupé," designed by French studio Nouvelle Noir, for its similarity to the stenciled font on the Kepler space telescope.
The K452 is available on Kickstarter. Early backers can get the watch for $249 (for later backers, the price will raise to $329).