National parks are where outdoor enthusiasts can find some of the most spectacular sights in nature. While nothing can replace seeing these places in person, creative brand Asterisk Watches has designed beautiful and stylish ways to carry these places with you. The National Parks collection is a series of five watches, which tell time through gorgeous animations.
Featured in this lineup are watches based on Arches National Park in Utah, Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska, Channel Islands National Park in California, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, and Olympic National Park in Washington. Artist Kenneth Crane created colorful illustrations for each watch, drawing inspiration from the wilderness in each of these spectacular locations.
While the faces of these watches are beautiful on their own, what makes them extra special is how they move to help tell the time. The Arches and Gates of the Arctic watches possess day and night movement. This means that the time of day is reflected in the skies of these pieces. So, in the case of the Arches watch, it displays daytime from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the sun pointing to the hours. And it shows nighttime from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. using the moon to indicate the hours. The Gates of the Arctic watch has a similar animation in which a star and moon show the hours during day and night. However, this piece has another special feature: when the light goes out, the aurora borealis on the watch will glow in the dark.
The other three watches in the collection are jump hour automatic. Asterisk explains: “A self-winding, mechanical movement with a unique jump hour complication. As you wear your Asterisk automatic, a rotor on the back of the movement winds the mainspring which stores and then releases the power needed for timekeeping—no batteries! No charging!” This looks slightly different in each piece of the collection. In the case of the Channel Islands watch, a sea lion swims around the face, using its nose to indicate the time. However, in the Olympic watch, the minutes scroll by in the water and the sky, while the hour peeks through the dense foliage. Lastly, Hawaii Volcanoes displays minutes in the flowing lava at the bottom of the face, with a small hour shown just above.
“Asterisk watches are a playground for artistic endeavors, and our artist collaborations bring fresh thinking into the watch world. Our goal is to modernize illustrative watches and make you smile when you check the time,” it says on their website. “We’ve tapped into the creative talent of hand-picked artists to bring you time displays you’ve never seen before, allowing illustrators the freedom to bring their unique ideas to life. And with a combined 50 years of watch industry experience, we’re able to deliver high-quality timepieces without an extreme price tag.”
You can purchase Gates of the Arctic and Arches Day & Night watches for the early bird price of $179; the Channel Islands, Olympic, and Hawaii Volcanoes Jump Hour Automatic watches for $199; or all five watches for $850, via Kickstarter. They are expected to ship in early 2024.
Asterisk Watches has designed a series of five watches based on U.S. national parks.
Arches Day & Night Watch
Gates of the Arctic Day & Night
Channel Islands Jump Hour Automatic
Olympic Jump Hour Automatic
Hawaii Volcanoes Jump Hour Automatic