How One Business Decision Led to a Design Giant

Watches and shoes are two items that rarely share design philosophy. Although Accutron, a world-renowned watch brand, and Nike Air Maxes, an American staple, do. Accutron is a brand with a rich history, starting the production of their electric watch in the 1950’s. They were early innovators, and have been important to space travel and architecture alike.

This is all due to Accutrons inside out concept, the window watch. Showing the inner mechanism of a watch is common today, but was revolutionary for Accutron. This one decision started several movements, leading most importantly to the Centre Pompidou’s construction. This building replicated the window watches inside out design, showing off its architectural guts. 

Years later Tinker Hatfield, designer of the Nike Air Max 1, looked to this building for inspiration. Nike’s most iconic shoe got its air bubble style from this building. Opting to move the guts out of the shoe to the outside instead of hiding it. This decision proved to be incredibly successful, and is widely replicated today. 

It’s odd to think that the Air Max’s success can be traced back to a watch, but that’s the case. Businesses lean on and learn from one another constantly, innovation isn’t born of nothing. Time will tell exactly how far this idea can be pushed or innovated on as new generations of designs appear. 

A Gift That Inspired History

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.