Fossil Kin: Ryan

Meet Ryan White, our creative director of men's watches and jewelry. Blending superb innovation with style, it’s more than likely that the watch you’re wearing on your wrist was designed by Ryan. We sat down with him to learn more about his background and the intricate art of watch design.

Q: How long have you been designing watches for Fossil?

R: 10 years!

Q: What was your introduction to watches?

R: My great grandfather was the watch repairman of my hometown. I was given his personal pocket watch as an heirloom along with a few of his watch tools. My dad was also an enthusiast and he really got me excited about watches growing up.

Q: Tell us about the first Fossil watch you designed.

R: I've designed many watches over the years, but honestly it took a couple trial runs to get a solid design approved. My first successful design was a sport watch named "Decker". Even today when I travel, I still see it being worn, which makes me smile.

Q: How many watches do you own?

R: A lot—I literally have boxes full of designs from current styles to prototypes that never made it in the line, even a few high-end watches. I'm an avid watch collector and admirer to say the least.

Q: How do creativity and curiosity play a role in watch design?

R: Watch design in many ways is the perfect balance of fashion and industrial design. There are engineering details you need to pay close attention to, but the more you know and learn, the more you can support creative ideas that make your product different.

Q: What's your favorite watch word?

R: Tachometer or Tachymeter—it's an instrument on a watch used for measuring speed or units. I really like the technical application it brings as a tool as well as the perceived value it carries.

Q: What watch are you currently wearing?

R: I'm wearing a Limited Edition Fossil Swiss GMT on one wrist and our new Q Founder watch on the other. (A "wise watch" and a "smart watch" respectfully.)

Q: Describe your personal style in three words.

R: Smart, casual and enduring.

Q: Where could we find you on a Saturday afternoon?

Landscape architecture is a hobby of mine, so you'll probably find me in my backyard doing yard work (or just playing with my kids).

Q: Where did you find inspiration for this year’s mechanical collection?

R: The collection was inspired by an exhibit we saw in London around cut paper. I liked how the intricate cutouts were in many ways similar to gears and shapes found in a mechanical watch. Each cutout works together to create the art much like how gears in a mechanical watch serve a purpose in operating it.

Q: What is your favorite thing about mechanical watches?

R: You're essentially wearing a small machine on your wrist that's comprised of multiple miniature gears and small parts working together. That's pretty cool!

Q: What is it about a mechanical movement that captivates the watch enthusiast?

R: If you were to open up a mechanical watch today, you'll see pretty much the same mechanisms that ran watches 150 years ago. That enduring style and evolution commands a level of appreciation and respect.

Follow Ryan on Instagram to see more watch designs and travel inspiration.
Tags:  Behind The Design