Every 90s Designer’s Nightmare Returns as a Kinetic Timepiece
There are some memories that have left their indelible mark upon designers who worked throughout the aughts: always failing Zip and Jaz drives, Apple’s migration to PowerPC, finicky SCSI ports, QuarkXpress, and of course, the dreaded MacOS X spinning beach ball (aka the spinning wheel of death). The Trio of Time’s The Spinning Beach Ball watch taps into those way-back-when recollections in the form of an analog-kinetic watch encapsulating then designer’s nightmare into a playful chromatic timepiece.
Designed by Joe Kwan, co-founder and creative director of Anicorn Watches, the iconic symbol of operating system unresponsiveness is recreated in a six color pinwheel as a “touch of familiarity and playfulness” intended in to represent “the anticipation of what lies ahead, reminding wearers to embrace the present while looking towards the future.”
The watch doesn’t actually spin independently, but revolves into action in kinetic response to the wearer’s wrist motion, as shown in the video above.
Japanese Miyota 2025 Quartz movement powers the timepiece, surrounded by mineral glass, 316L Stainless Steel, Diameter 39.0mm Case, with a modern genuine leather strap with a minimalist stainless steel buckle with smart docking system [below].
When one considers a wristwatch icon as the original classic Mac OS wait cursor icon, it seems rather appropriate the designer’s dilemma in both its memorable iterations have come together into an object for apt to evoke a grin rather than a grimace – a reminder of how much time has passed and how the spinning beachball has faded into a distant exception rather than a daily occurrence.
The Spinning Beach Ball Watch comes carefully packaged in a collector’s box with a small product card alongside a unique collector’s card imprinted with the model’s run number. Each watch is available for pre-order for $229 and is scheduled to ship in November 2023.