Last week I got to open exciting box that I had been waiting for, for some time. I few months ago I invested in a kickstarter project that seemed very swell. I also knew when I finally saw the piece, it would be blog worthy for sure. so here it is the eone Bradley.
The first thing of note, and what made me take interest in the first place is that this watch is made for the blind. Now there have been other watches made for the blind; braille watches, and talking watches, but none designed so ingeniously and with such quality and ease of use. Talking watches can be difficult to hear in loud environments, and analog watches can break easily when the delicate hands are touched and are costly to repair. Similar to a braille watch, with the Bradley you can tell time by feel, but in a much more intuitive way. Instead of traditional watch hands, time is read by two ball bearings — one indicating minutes (top), and one indicating hours (side). These two ball bearings are connected, with magnets, to the movement beneath the dial. The magnets make it so that even if the ball bearings are knocked loose when touched, they spring back to the correct time with a gentle shake of your wrist.
Designed by eone, and inspired by, and named after Lt. Brad Snyder. Brad lost his sight from an IED while he was serving in Afghanistan as a bomb defuser. After leaving Afghanistan he vowed to continue his active lifestyle, he did this by competing in and winning two gold and one silver medals in swimming at the 2012 Paralympics in London. Brad has inspired the development of The Bradley, he breaks stereotypes and misconceptions towards the blind by taking his disability in stride and not letting it stop him from accomplishing something extraordinary.
The Bradley is a tactile timepiece that allows you to not only see what time it is, but to feel what time it is. At the same time it is a great looking piece that everyone, including the blind, can touch to tell time. It changes the way you interact with your watch, and looks great doing it. The watch is very well executed, being a watch that is intended to be touched, it has a sealed 40mm titanium case that protects the Rondo quartz movement from dirt, water, and grime. The titanium case also makes it sleek, easy to clean, and durable. I imagine that the channels the ball bearings ride in could get dirty, but will rinse clean with a simple brush or splash of water without harming the watch. The case is 40mm in diameter, and 11.5mm deep with a titanium caseback, this all makes it water resistance to 50 meters. The Bradley is available on classic stainless steel mesh, or in canvas & leather in three different colors: mustard yellow, olive green, and silver blue. It is all designed together in a modern minimalist approach.
What I didn’t expect was the care taken in the packaging. It came in a nice long blue box sleeved in an opaque cover with braille writing on it, I assume it reads “the Bradley” what’s inside. Inside is a stark white case with the watch and a very visually appealing book/manual overlaid with braille writing as well. It is all very well thought out and matches the quality of the watch that it carries.
The Bradley is executed so well, designed so thoughtfully, and helps all people, including those without sight keep track of one of the most valuable resources that we as human have – our time. This piece holds a special significance for me, aside from being another great watch. My grandfather was blind, one of my favorite customers is blind. What better thing to do for these people than to furnish them with a basic life tool that is designed specifically for ease of use for them. When I first was shown the Bradley on kickstarter by a friend, I loved the idea and thought it was very noble and practical idea, now that I have mine I can guarantee you it is swell.
(Some images courtesy of eone)