Interview with Mikael Sandblom, Founder of Caliper Timepieces


Kickstarter Campaign Now Live: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1672677610/the-view-a-stunning-self-winding-mechanical-watch

Interview with Mikael Sandblom, Founder of Caliper Timepieces 1

  • Thank you Mikael for taking the time to speak with us today. Please share us more about yourself and your background in this industry.

Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you and present our new watch.

I’ve always been interested in design.  I have a degree in architecture and I’ve also developed software and websites.  I have a designer’s mindset – I pay close attention to how objects and our environment effect our lives in many subtle ways.  I get excited about such diverse things such as architectural spaces, the arrangement of knobs on a radio and elegant typography.  And of course, I appreciate the care and attention that goes into thoughtful watch design.

Design is very much about paying attention. To generate ideas we must closely examine what already exits. How have things been done in the past? What are the possibilities?  Is there a way to do things differently? Then, when an idea starts to develop, it’s about paying attention to the details – the slow meticulous refinement of a concept. This is the process I’ve brought to our first watch design: the Caliper View.

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  • How did you get started with Caliper?

Like so many other watch aficionados, I’ve spent years looking at, and thinking about, watches.  I have opinions about what I like and don’t like. As a designer, it was inevitable that I would start thinking about creating something myself.  My ideas have developed over years and now I feel compelled to make them a reality!

Caliper Timepieces offers products that are subtle and elegant but also reflect values of quality, precision and a focus on innovative technical details.  Our watches will appeal to those who see their own values reflected in our work.

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  • Where do you get the idea to create this brand. What inspires you when it comes to design?

The Caliper brand is inspired by precise mechanical tools from the last century.  Think of mechanical calculators, camera lenses, slide rules and surveyors’ compasses.  These devices not only feel solid and well made, but it’s also very clear how they work. A slide rule is a simple device but the concept is brilliant; it has no hidden parts. The mathematical magic happens in plain sight!

We’ve taken our name from the Vernier Caliper, a device common in horology.  It’s also a tool that embodies the physical qualities of weight, precision and elegance that we hope to reflect in our timepieces.

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  • Let’s talk about your various markets. Which countries and/or cities do you think will be your biggest market for this launch

At this point it is unclear that there will be a particular geographic appeal for our design. The online interest that we’ve seen so far seems to be distributed across the world.  No single watch will appeal to everyone, but the people who like what we’re doing are not clustered in any one particular place.

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  • Do you plan to create more watches in the future, or will this be more of a one-time, one-design idea?

I’ve been thinking about watch design for years and I’ve got lots of ideas!  We’re already working on another exciting design that will be ready for prototyping in a couple of months.  The next product after that is still at a conceptual stage and is at least a year away from launch.  Both of these new designs will share the aesthetics and design philosophy of the Caliper View.

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  • Is there anything you’d like to highlight to the Gracious Watch readers related to your current model?

The Caliper View is the embodiment for me of the perfect watch. It’s visually interesting but not flashy.  It’s got a sober case and dial with balanced proportions. As you look closer, you discover more.  With the dot-screen version, you may first notice something odd about the face – on further inspection you discover that you can both see, and see through the surface to the workings within.  On the didactic version it may take some time to discover the arrows and call-outs that describe parts of the movement.  These timepieces reward your attention and become more interesting the closer you look.

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  • Where will the watches be available after the launch?

We’ll have them available on our site at calipertimepieces.com and we’ll ship anywhere in the world.  We have not established any retail distribution partnerships yet but we will be considering this in the summer.

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  • What are your goals for Caliper Timepieces in the next 5 years?

After the launch of the View, we have two other designs in the works. I think there are still further design options to explore and develop within the aesthetic framework that we’ve established. We’ll continue to focus on mechanical timepieces and you can expect our future products to continue to be based on the look and feel of precision mid-century tools and devices.

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  • What do you personally look for in a timepiece?

My aesthetic preference is for clarity and simplicity – but without being simplistic. Some of my favorite designs are Junghans, Braun and the simpler designs by Fortis. They have in common a certain quietness but are also visually engaging.  Like our design, they reward those who pay close attention!

Interview with Mikael Sandblom, Founder of Caliper Timepieces 10Interview with Mikael Sandblom, Founder of Caliper Timepieces 11

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add to this interview?

This is a quality watch milled from high grade steel and we’ve used sapphire glass for the crystal. We’re using a 21 jewel automatic mechanical movement.  With two face designs and three colour combinations, there are a total of six designs to choose from. We’re launching the Caliper View on Kickstarter and we’ve got some excellent pricing for this event.  If you like what you see, please visit our Kickstarter page, we’d really appreciate your support!

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