PURITY BY DESIGN
“It’s the simple things in life that are extraordinary.” While Paulo Coelho might not exactly be a Swede, his words hit upon the very essence of the Scandinavian design ethos – which in turn is the inspiration behind our Nordic Collection. Here’s the full story on these extraordinary yet pure leather watch straps from Bulang and Sons.
Scandinavian design has long been an internationally recognized mainstay of understated creativity. From the mid-century furniture of Arne Jacobsen or Jens Risom to classic car shapes from Volvo or Saab and from the hypermodern buildings of architect Bjarke Ingels to the perennial style of fashion brands like Filippa K: The Nordic approach to creating things for our daily living is often as modern as it is timeless, as pure as it is elegant.
As a designer, but also as the founder and creative force of Bulang and Sons, Bernhard Bulang has long been an admirer of this aesthetic: “I have collected design furniture, and naturally, there were always some Scandinavian pieces. The simplicity that informs a big part of this Northern design philosophy has always impressed me. Even though it’s often very reduced, it’s still grounded in livability. There is a feeling, a human emotion to it still.”
This is also what Bernhard aims to achieve with the Nordic Collection of leather and suede watch straps created exclusively for Bulang and Sons. To him, the most important thing about this range of strap designs was a certain reserve, “to find a richness simply in a combination of materials. Mixing soft and hard, suede and leather or certain stitchings which again mirror certain furniture designs that meld wood and leather or certain colours.”
A point of reference for Bernhard were home listening appliances from the heyday of famed Danish company Bang & Olufsen: “The intention of their designs was and is to become a part of the customer’s living space. Take one of their classic record players, for example – at first sight it might appear plain when in fact it has proportions, materials and colours that carry a lot of suspense, but without any gimmickry. Everything appears simply natural.”
This combination of timeless design and a certain kind of minimalism carries a lot of luxuriancy, says Bernhard: “What’s interesting about these things – and that is something I hope people will find in our Nordic Collection as well – is an initial appearance of clarity which shows the richness of the materials and their composition upon a second glance.” Richness in the sense of livability – things that are reduced but there’s nothing missing.
The Nordic Collection places its focus on understated colours, the interplay of pure and untreated materials – and little details. One example is the stitching of many of these straps. While the stitching – and especially the white linen side stitch – has become a trademark of the more vintage-inspired watch straps from Bulang and Sons, here it becomes a smaller detail that creates a certain contrast by bringing in a touch of colour.
“What’s important to me: These objects from the Northern sphere of design, they are built to last” states Bernhard, “and not only in the sense of their actual quality, but also in their actuality. A certain timelessness that has always interested me. At Bulang and Sons, we’re not about whether it’s a new or a vintage watch, rather it’s about every piece itself. That’s why the straps from this collection are intended to go with both old and new watches.”
The straps in the Nordic Collection can render a vintage timepiece more modern, or they can lend a certain timelessness to a brand new watch – not necessarily by promising to provide ‘soul’ but by giving it more edge, more details, more richness, while remaining pure and essential themselves. It’s that simple. And that extraordinary.
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