Swatch becomes upwardly mobile

Designer: PSD Associates;Manufacturer: Swatch Telecom

The Swatch brand has arrived on the mobile phone scene to shake up the more conventional contenders with a rounded form and clever colouring.

‘We were looking at it in terms of the values of the Swatch brand and took leverage from the watch designs,’ says PSD Associates director of product design Steve Hughes, although he admits that such values ‘do not translate totally and never will’.

Elements of the watch architecture were interpreted into functional, ergonomic designs. The consultancy’s designers worked initial concepts into sketches and foam models, which were then scanned into a 2D CAD package to capture the character of the curves.

An obvious structural departure from existing cordless phones is the removal of the script line, which normally runs down the side of the product, to the back. This gives Swatch’s version ‘a different approach to the architecture and a unique feel’, says Hughes.

Swatch Telecom’s DECT phones initially come in three colours: Utan Orange, Blue Whale and a grey version called Jumpin’ Dolphin. The product will have a life of about two years, says Hughes, with the range being expanded to include different types, textures and finishes and other colours. PSD has also developed the colour study for the product.

The PSD-designed phone, charger and base unit will appear on-shelf in the UK around November in packaging created by the Middlesex-based consultancy.

And PSD is also working on a series of other complementary products to be launched before the Christmas period.

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