On Friday night I paid a long overdue visit to one of my favourite up and coming design brands in Glasgow, "Instrmnt".
I visited the shop with the intention of picking up a new watch from their sample sale. I don't necessarily need a watch, but their styling and quality could persuade me to part with my money if the right price was offered! I felt like it was a perfect opportunity to support a growing local business. Rather unfortunately for my student budget, I arrived to find the "up to 60% off" advertised online to be misleading. All watches were priced at £100 which in fact is only 45% off. The financial side of my brain kicked in and my budget remained in my pocket. After realising I couldn't afford the watches, I stepped back and decided to take in the Instrmnt experience.
From picking the watches up and trying them on, just to see what I was missing, it was obvious the styling is inspired by the Braun watch range. The resemblance between the form of the Bn0021 and the Instrmnt 02 is uncanny! However, there are sensible and tasteful differences. The chamfer on the base of the housing allows for a more comfortable watch when the user's wrist is flexed in the reverse position.
The packaging is one aspect that sets Instrument apart from other watch brands.
The shop's interior also shares Instrmnt's beauty through simplicity.
Of course, when it comes to laying out such a shop, there's no more fitting product than Dieter Ram's 606 Universal Shelving System. Adjacent to this icon is Instrmnt's own "Day Bed" designed in collaboration with Edinburgh furniture manufacturer, Namon Gaston.
The furnishing creates a spotless, relaxing atmosphere where people are exposed to a unique buying experience. The shop doubles as a cafe serving coffee and teas. Chatting to the designers is encouraged and they're a down to earth group of lads!
Both founders graduated from Caledonian University after studying Graphic and Product Design. Two years after graduating, they set up Instrmnt in 2015 with the objective to "to create minimalist, high-quality goods that are accessible to all". Their sales have grown exponentially since collaborating with Dezeen on an annual basis and being recently featured in The Wall Street Journals "Global Holiday Gift Guide".
It's great to see such an inspiring company set up by recent graduates representing Glasgow on a global scale. Instrmnt tap into desirable lifestyle branding using the fundamentals of minimalist design. They seem to follow the "10 principals of good design" defined by Rams, but execute it in such a way that the products mean more than just a watch. They're selling a design statement and belief in simplicity. They create more with less in the ultimate sense of minimalism. For this reason, I believe Instrmnt are paving the way for great independent design in the Glasgow area.