In 2016, Android Wear 2.0 (now Wear OS by Google) was released to developers, opening the floodgates for fashion watch brands like Fossil, TIMEX Group, and even Tag Heuer to enter the smartwatch arena.
GUESS Watches, run by Sequel a division of TIMEX Group, saw a clear opportunity to translate their brand history of fashion first into digital products. The challenge? Their watch team had never created anything for Wear OS.
Since 2016, ustwo has worked with the GUESS team to design, develop, and launch multiple Wear OS watch face collections. We’ve consistently broken new ground with GUESS, working together to evolve from direct translations of physical watches to a natively digital design aesthetic that still creates a visceral and emotional connection with customers.
What We Did
Launching A New Product
GUESS’ first collaboration with ustwo began as their team solidified hardware specs for a new smartwatch collection launching at Baselworld 2017. In order to respect the brand heritage and to test the waters of this new business area, adhering to familiar designs was critical. ustwo was tasked with developing a series of watch faces modeled on existing best selling fashionable designs.
Together with GUESS, we created and optimized physical watch faces for digital and created animations to wink at the future capabilities of the platform.
The first GUESS collection for Wear OS
A New Season for Digital
In our second collaboration, we launched an entirely new spring 2018 collection of watch faces. This time, we began with a strategic workshop to chart a path forward not only for the Spring collection but for the future of digital brand expression and alternative business models.
This collection included two heritage faces with digital animations and a new face dreamed up entirely by ustwo and GUESS. Digital Bloom blends real flower photography (shot in-studio) with subtle movement and animation made possible with Wear OS. The results are stunning.
Digital bloom collection
Pushing Boundaries in Spring 2019
After two years and thousands of watches sold, GUESS has embraced a digital-first watch face approach.
Spring 2019 is all about the 80’s. Rather than rely on physical watches, GUESS came to us with a new set of watch straps, mood boards, colorways, and imagery that embodied the bold colors and neon style of the era. Our design team quickly designed a number of inspiration faces and agreed that the Arcade style most embodied the era, the brand, and the possibilities of digital.
GUESS x Jason Naylor
This collection also brings new inspiration for GUESS through a partnership with local New York artist and Instagram sensation, Jason Naylor. His bright colors and affirmative messages inspired GUESS and we’ve had the opportunity to guide them through expressing a new collaborator’s work.
Jason is a master of design on a massive scale and for his first-ever digital experience, he had to fit his message on a smartwatch. Our expertise designing and developing for WearOS, paired with his creative vision, breathes new life into existing hardware and sets an exciting precedent for future artist collaborations.
Jason Naylor Faces
What We Learned
More Than Creativity
We pride ourselves on making beautiful products and selling smartwatches in a crowded field of competitors is tough. Hardware is constantly advancing and the timelessness of timepieces simply doesn’t apply here. So, we’ve used our digital expertise to build emotional connections with our users and a pipeline of new faces to keep the hardware looking fresh and performant for customers whether they bought two years ago or two days ago.
Make, Teach and Learn
We’re thankful for a close relationship with the GUESS team that has allowed us to make beautiful, functional, and shippable product over the last three years. More exciting than good work, however, is how our teams have learned from each other. ustwo has been given a window into the fashion world and GUESS has built its own digital practice. Ever changing hardware, business models, and a nuanced customer profile has meant we are constantly learning from one another as we push toward meaningful customer experiences.
This has been an epic journey of learning on both our parts. The skill, creative ideas, design aesthetic and great partnership that ustwo has brought to our Guess Watch world has been incredible. We look forward to where we together take digital space next in fashion.