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April 11, 2016
April 11, 2016
Meet Greg Verras, a watch designer whose idea led the watch team to build our newest watch, The Canfield. Greg has been with us for three years now and sits facing the watch factory where he’s inspired by the people who assemble the products he and the watch team design every day. Read his story, and the story of The Canfield, below.
Prototypes of The Canfield from the watch team's meeting desk.
Can you give an overview of the design process behind The Canfield?
It starts with an initial concept sketch. Once the idea is selected it moves into 3D development using digital modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools. Eventually the whole team gets involved and I start working with people that specialize in color, leather, and womens product like Shannon and Carla (Watch Product Development Managers). Even the president of the company gets involved. Everybody gets their hands on it. That's Important.
What was the thought process behind the initial sketches?
We started brainstorming in 2014 and we wanted to be able to top load watches because you can get a more open, modern look to it. (Read about the top loading process, here) So as soon we knew we wanted to push that process, we started sketching ideas around it and this one rose to the top. Sometimes ideas take a while to come to fruition.
One of Greg's preliminary sketches for The Canfield.
This new watch design was based off the fact that we would eventually be able to learn the top loading process?
Yeah, it really hinged on that. We had faith in our assembly team, and the idea went back and forth several times. Initially we did only one women’s version of this watch, then, of course, because people started liking it so much it became 15 watches. This watch evolved from existing brand language such as the coin edge on the side and our signature lug, modified to a swinging lug for a more feminine look and fit.
What made you guys decide to do a men’s version?
We were showing the watch at a huge summit meeting, showcasing the concept, and passing around the prototype, when Daniel Caudill (Shinola’s Creative Director) gets his hands on the watch and tells us he really fell in love with it. He said, ‘I want one.’ The next day we sat down and started the men’s version. It’s the same watch, but we proportioned a few things to make it work for a man.
What do you do outside of work?
This is my second semester teaching product design to freshmen here at College for Creative Studies, which is a little bit weird because I run into my old teachers. This building didn’t exist at CCS when I went to school here, but it’s very cool to be here.
I’m also renovating my home that was built in 1927. My fiancé and I purchased it about a year ago. I gutted the kitchen and we’re trying to restore everything.
I like to collect old and beautiful products from Detroit that were made here. I’ve got this old camera made by a brand called Detrola. It’s really just a simple camera, but it’s old and it’s beautiful.
All Shinola watches are assembled in Detroit with U.S. and imported parts.