Interview with a watch designer: Josh Chadwick

Timemongers sat down with Josh Chadwick to talk about his work in watch design. Josh has done work for Movado and other fashion companies, but he got his break when he won a watch design contest with Cadence Watch Company. His winning entry, the Josh Chadwick Digital Analog Watch, is available at

How did you find out about the Cadence Watch design contest?

Josh Chadwick: One of my professors at the University of the Arts was helping to organize design Philadelphia introduced me to the event. As I was browsing on what was going on, there was something that caught my eyes and thought that the competition sounded like a lot of fun.

What motivated you to enter the contest?  I was in the MID program, it focused on product design in which I had a background and was interested in. At that time there was a fun exercise that keeps those tools sharp. I just wanted to have fun with it while I was just new in the city and wanted to know more about what is design in Philadelphia. It is more for myself rather than thinking on how to win the competition.

Josh Chadwick digital analog watch
Josh Chadwick digital analog watch
How do you describe your watch?  It is fun and digital, appealed to the nerdy side of myself, but also classic and traditional.

Were you involved in production?  I was really pleased to be involved in the production process. Very often when you come up with an idea what comes back is far off from what you had envisioned. Being part of the refinement process is really crucial. I am very happy that Cadence let me involved to that.

Looking back, what would have you done differently?  I am extremely pleased with how the watch looks and how it has been executed. What I would have done differently is to get some of the prototypes and would have tried to wear them for a period of time. There are some little things that I thought I would have done differently but there is nothing that makes me regret with the watch.

Is there a new design that you dying to make? I have three sisters and a wife, who all wants me to do a woman’s watch. I am not saying that’s going to happen but that has been at the back of my mind for some time now. Has winning the design competition helped your career? Absolutely. Since the watch has gone on sale, I have been doing some work with Movado. I was able to show not only my design skills, sketching ideation and refinement but I was also able to show that this watch on my wrist is a product of my skills. It goes a long way to state yourself as an accomplished designer.

What influences or inspires you? A lot of the thing that comes out of Apple is elegantly designed, although I say that with a grain of salt because I don’t use any Apple products, besides my iPod. I draw a lot from my day to day life. I consider myself pretty observant and pay attention to what’s going on with my surroundings. Whether it’s a cool typography or nice taillights on a car on the highway I try to draw from well done products.

What are some of your challenges and rewards of designing the watch?  For me designing a watch definitely is a different challenge. More so than anything I had done previously, it was so focused on the visual aesthetics. There is incredibly saturated market of what is out there and you need to do something unique and connect with the audience to really captivate a consumer. That for me is a huge challenge and it was nice to see the watch being well received.

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