Erykah Badu performing at the Fabulous Fox, August 1, 2008, sporting a gold Zot V.
What do Erykah Badu, Lil Wayne, and the Go! Team‘s Nkechi Ka Egenamba have in common? Aside from being performers I've photographed, they all rock Nooka watches.
Nooka is the breakout brand of timepieces by artist and designer Matthew Waldman, who first conceived of his first alternative watch design in 1997. Flash forward to today and Nooka has amassed a who's who of multi-platinum, celebrity endorsements, including Alicia Keys, Miho Hatori (Gorillaz/Cibo Matto), and Kanye West.
Since his first design, Matthew has expanded to several variations on his concept of a timepiece as a display of “visual mass,” with finishes ranging from neon polyurethane to metallic leather.
Matthew Waldman first contacted with me after I'd photographed Erykah Badu at the Fox Theatre last May, as she was wearing a gold Zot V. Every since, I'd been on the look out for other performers wearing his distinctive design.
After a few conversations surrounding several recent Nooka sightings, Matthew made the incredibly generous offer to send me one of his designs. Not being a famous rapper, singer, or musician of any sort, I went with the Nooka Zen H in black.
The watch arrived today, and needless to say, this thing rocks.
The watch shipped flat in a neoprene slip case, with all the metal surfaces covered with protective film. Unwrapped, the Nooka is a beautiful piece. From the buttery Italian leather to the slick face, I have to say, I'm loving this watch.
Here are a few snaps of the Nooka Zen H:
The display of the digital watch is housed in a 35mm x 35mm stainless steel case with a mineral crystal face, and comes in at 10mm thick for a really nice presence on the wrist. Substantial without heaviness, simultaneously bold and sleek, Nooka Zen H is great bit of design.
Telling time with the Zen H is fairly straight forward once you understand the concept. Time progresses linearly across the face, measured in three increments stacked in ascending order, smallest to largest.
Hours occupy the top two bars, with six hours to each row. Minutes follow, with 60 subdivisions along the third row. Seconds progress along the fourth and final bar, while the designations 12-hour period and alarm follow below.
Think of it like a modified abacus for time. Time builds bottom to top, starting with seconds. As the seconds row fills, it overflows to one unit in the next increment – minutes – and resets. Minutes flow to hours in a like manner, and the display resets every twelve-hour period.
A tremendous thanks to Matthew Waldman for his generosity in the gift of this watch, which I foresee enjoying for quite a long time.
Check out the rest of Nooka collection at www.nooka.com. Matthew has put together a distinctive set of timepieces, and I'm excited to see what he's going to do next. In addition, you can keep up with all of Matthew's news on his blog, including future Nooka sightings by yours truly.
Here are a few more shots of Nookas “in the wild,” with the full frame followed by a detail.
Lil Wayne performing at the Chaifetz Arena, July 30, 2008, wearing a grey Zen H.
Nkechi Ka Egenamba of the Go! Team performing at Lollapalooza, August 1, 2008, sporting a gold Zot V.