INTERVIEW: ART DIRECTOR AND DESIGNER, PATRICK KIM-GUSTAFSON

INTERVIEW & IMAGES: AMANDA KHO

If you’re familiar with our campaign and product shoots, you might recognise Patrick’s profile and photogenic wrists before realising that our usual go-to model has also been our in-house Art Director for the past couple of years. As his last project before running to Paris with his fiancé Emilie Sarnel, he designed a new product line for us, the eponymous PKG01.

Though he’s exploring a new city now (you can find him fishing), we tracked him down to get some final words on the PKG01 and to shine some light on the man making cameos in most of our photos. 

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Tell us a bit about yourself! Where did you grow up and how did you originally end up in Hong Kong?
I’m born and raised in Stockholm with a Swedish father and Korean mother. We traveled a lot, especially to South Korea to visit family, so East Asia has always felt like a part of me.

Between my Bachelor and Master studies I did an internship for Michael Young in Hong Kong and instantly fell in love with the city. Like me it was half Asian and half Western and so I came back a soon as I could.

What made you want to work with product design?
Both my parents are engineers and so I grew up thinking I would be one too, studying towards it and so on. However, after one miserably failed year at computer engineering school I had to rethink it. 

Then, during my break year someone told me about industrial design. I’ve always loved making and building things, tinkering with broken toys and electronics, and so when I applied and luckily got a chance to visit during the entrance test, I felt as if I’d come home. 

Tell us a little bit about the technicalities of this watch.
The PKG01 has an understated design where we worked as much on the backside as on the face side. It’s a classic Ø38mm sized watch with a slim polished chamfer, in contrast to the overall brushed finish, that opens up the dial face. Total thickness is 7mm, which leaves very little silhouette and allows the watch to comfortably slide in under a cuff. To start, the PKG01 comes in two case colours: stainless steel and IP coated gold. These are paired with premium leather straps in toned down colours: dark brown, olive green, dark grey and a classic black. There’s also a version with a stainless steel Milanese mesh strap that was very much in my mind when designing the watch.  

Tell us about the design details of the watch. 
The design of the watch follows the principle of form follows function. It’s round where it needs to be round, straight where needs to be straight and uses as little material as possible without lowering structural integrity. Most of the lines are drawn as the shortest lines from A to B as possible. The case back of the watch is designed, to not just be a lid, but an integrated part of the case with a chamfer creating a shadow-line. This allows the straps to move freely and for the small conical crown to be accessible. 

What inspired you to choose these colourways?
The strap colours are very classic fashion colours but not necessarily as common for wristbands. There’s the classic black, olive and dark brown but also a dark grey that goes tone-in-tone with the steel. 

If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
Perhaps if I would have found the right field of engineering I would still be there, there are many ways to be creative. 

What’s your relationship to time?
I’m a world-class procrastinator. But I do get a lot of other things done when procrastinating so it’s productive in that way.

What’s your favourite time of day?
Early morning, but I’m not a morning person so the only way I can experience it is by staying up all night. 

If you had two more hours every day, how would you invest it?
In a diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical and weapons, then I’ll have 3 hours more per day. 

What would you say are your weaknesses?
Probably that I’m so freaking modest. 

Is there anything you’d like to recommend?
YouTube conspiracy theory documentaries

Take a look at Patrick’s work, the eponymous PKG01.






8 August, 2016
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