Behind the Camden + KPP watch
“Let’s go back three and a half years, we had just launched The Camden Watch Company and were running our first ever pop-up on Camden High Street. Kitty happened to pass by to take a look at what we were doing and later that day, she became the first ever person to share our company on social media. It was a small gesture that felt monumental, like a huge clap on the back, a sign that the months and years of work were worth it. Because people liked what we were doing.
By now, you may have seen the cycling watch but you might not know about the great person behind this collaboration. So we sat down with Kitty to talk all things design, inspiration and of course, cycling. ” - Annie and Jerome, Founders of The Camden Watch Co.
What got you into cycling in the first place?
I've always been driven by sport. Fitness. Being part of a community. Having routine. Aesthetics. It wasn't until 5 years ago I realised cycling brought all of these preferences together. I worked with several cyclists who forced me to go on a ride with them in Windsor Park. I borrowed a bike, was embarrassed by my lack of understanding with gears and completed the ride in running leggings and trainers. I didnt know how to pronounce chamois, let alone use one. It has then been a 5 year journey of evolving as a rider, both on the bike and off the bike. Building a community in London. Starting a career in a cycling company. Beginning to race. Going on adventures. Making mistakes. Earning memories.
How did you first hear about The Camden Watch Company?
When I first moved to London, I lived in Chalk Farm. Spending most of my wage on rent and exploring every weekend in an attempt to understand the big smoke. On one of those weekends, I walked past a small pop up. I've always been driven to watches and design, and walking into the Camden Watch co. pop up was an instant feast of both. I reached out to the guys on social media and later learnt I was the first person to ever mention them on instagram. Since then, I stayed in touch with Anneke and Jerome and it's been amazing to see the growth of the brand.
What was it like to design a watch?
Full of obsessing over detail and progression. Two things I find huge comfort in. The beauty of this project was having a clear understanding and passion of the subject matter (cycling) whilst having such talented people to lean on for support and knowledge, giving me the perfect blend of creative space and boundaries. Most of my design experience has been graphic led so to work on something physical brought new challenges but the incredibly gratifying payback of having something to touch and feel and call your own. I'd almost compare it to a ride - you start with an open slate, knowing there's several paths you can take. You'll end up taking different routes and making changes along the way. But it's all about progression, keeping on keeping on and finding your way to the end.
Tell us about the design process, about the inspiration behind the watch?
Cyclists are obsessed with details and aesthetics. This formed most of the research process. Diving into vintage cycling, bikes and culture to find all of the aspects that truly meant something to riders. I was interested in finding nuances from the era but also the similarities that haven't changed over the years. Those things that all cyclists, old or new, could relate to. After stripping back all of the potential ideas and going through several design options, we began forming the basis of the KPP watch. You quickly learn with design that the skill isn't adding more, it's knowing what to take away. Just like when riding, the smallest change can make the biggest difference. So what we created was a watch full of considered details. From the handlebar inspired strap to the hidden detail of the back of the watch forming a full wheel when combined with the face of the watch.