A design for the future,
based on the past
Suunto has a long history of creating products for people who are serious about outdoor sports. When the time came to design the new watch face system for the Suunto 7 watch, they brought the challenge to us – create a modular concept that could guide future watch face design without abandoning the rich Suunto heritage.
The Suunto 7 was Suunto’s first watch to be powered by Wear OS by Google. We created a visual language to bridge between the look and feel of the Suunto 7 and Wear OS by Google. The idea was to create a concept that showcased Suunto’s heritage even when using a new OS – while also helping to communicate the available features.
Building on a rich heritage
To create a watch face that could inspire future design concepts, we turned to Suunto’s past. We looked at over 150 products in the Suunto archive ranging right back to their first compass in 1936, as well as numerous diving compasses, marine compasses, and watches.
The heritage of Suunto is diverse, with an amazing range of products and styles that span over 80 years. To be able to turn an old product into a modern watch face, we looked for designs that stood out and were clearly differentiated from the rest. We then began to deconstruct them and extract the essential element out of each.
Three iconic products were chosen as the basis for three new watch faces – the M311 compass from 1936, the TK.2 compass from 1967, and the K.14 marine compass from 1988. From here, the designs were further polished to capture the essence of each product in a modern and aesthetically pleasing watch face.
Hundreds of iterations were carried out to find just the right combination of legacy, functionality, and forward-looking design for each of the three new watch faces. In the end, we merged the past and future to create a unique design that keeps the essence and heritage of the brand at its core.
The Original watch face design is inspired by the very first Suunto marching compass, the M-311. The M-311 was created in 1936 when Tuomas Vohlonen founded Suunto to produce stable and accurate compasses. From there, Suunto compasses have been an essential navigation tool for outdoor enthusiasts, athletes and professionals.
The Rose watch face is inspired by the Suunto pocket TK-3 compass, which was created as a tribute to explorers who helped fill in the blank spaces on the world map, using just a compass and stars as their main means of navigating.
From 1953 to 2011, Suunto produced marine compasses. The Marine watch face is inspired by the Suunto K-14 marine compass, which became a standard in boats around the world due to its stability and easy use.
Connecting Wear OS by Google
The Suunto 7 is the first Suunto watch powered with Wear OS by Google. As part of creating the overall concept, we needed to make a seamless transition from the Suunto product to the Wear OS by Google. This required us to create a visual language that serves as a bridge between the two. The animations serve as an intermediary that creates a fusion between the more playful Wear OS by Google to the visually precise Suunto look and feel.
Promoting the product
As a part of the overall concept, we needed to find a way to showcase the core concept of the Suunto 7 watch. We created short videos with music for social media that were inspiring and convey the excitement of sports. The videos give context by not only demonstrating the features, but the entire philosophy of the Suunto 7 watch – how it creates a seamless experience between sports and technology.