by Smitha Sadanandan, Images courtesy of SevenFriday

Playful pop of hues take centrestage in the new SevenFriday C-series Leoline and Lotus sacré, which brings a colourful cheetah- and a vibrant lotus-inspired design to the watch face.

Daniel Niederer, founder of the Zürich-headquartered watch brand, and Shubhika Sharma, founder of the Mumbai-based Indian fashion label, Papa Don’t Preach (PDP), are on a mission to translate their design aesthetics into a creative wearable: women’s timepieces.

Read on, as Daniel and Shubhika chat about the ‘squircle’ watches drenched in riotous colours and whimsical patterns.


Conversations That Sparked the Idea

Daniel: I met Shubhika coincidentally at an event in Mumbai. She turned out to be a friend of my business partner (in India) and we got talking. We realised how much we had in common and quickly decided to pool our energy and launch a collaboration.

Shubhika: When I first met Daniel, four years ago at a social event, we were excited to discuss our respective brands and found that our ideologies matched. I found the opportunity to design a watch, particularly in collaboration with Seven Friday, to be immensely stimulating. My vision for Papa Don’t Preach has always been to extend our offerings into multiple categories. A collaboration, four years in the making, had us taking calls and meetings across time zones — and over the course of the pandemic. We knew that no matter how long it took, we would create works of art; I’m extremely proud of how it turned out. These watches mark an exhilarating new phase in our journey, enabling our customers to embrace a fragment of the ‘Papaverse’ on their wrists.

Vibrant design route and contrasting styles

Daniel: Strong colours have always been a part of Seven Friday’s DNA, as has taking the unconventional road less travelled. What made the project with Shubhika and her team even more intriguing was the challenge of finding a balance between fashion and watchmaking as well as Indian and Swiss culture. It is also the first project in which all aesthetic elements were designed by the all-female PDP team in collaboration with our male head designer. I believe that overcoming or, better yet, embracing all these perceived differences is what made this one of our most exciting and satisfying projects.

Shubhika: Working alongside Seven Friday, whose ethos and values align closely with ours, promised to be a venture brimming with innovation and potential. Our collaboration resulted in timepieces that seamlessly blend our distinctive aesthetic with their renowned design sensibilities. The C1/01 Leoline and C2/01 Lotus sacré models embody a fusion of nature-inspired motifs and Papa Don’t Preach vibrant colour palette. Each element, from their signature ‘squircle’ shape to the detailing of the lacquered heart-shaped crown reflects a harmonious balance of minimalism and maximalism, emblematic of both brands’ identities.

About That ‘Squircle’

Daniel: The ‘squircle’ (square + circle) is strongly inspired by the TV shape of the 50’s and its soft, yet charismatic form. We always try to walk the line between classicism and modernism, and the ‘squircle’ shape plays an integral part in this.

Shubhika: When crafting a timepiece with a unique ‘squircle’ watch face, our focus was on achieving a synthesis of functionality and aesthetics. We considered factors such as proportions, curves and ergonomics to ensure an optimal balance between style and comfort.

Design On the Dial and Its Construction

Daniel: The C-series were designed between Mumbai and Zürich. The movement is from Switzerland and the other components were produced by our trusted partners in China. Most importantly, the watch was made by people and friends that we like and trust.

Shubhika: The main concept for our watches circled around nature integrating into our realities to form a better future — and it is how the evolution of leaves, forests, animals and humans, all coexisting, came about.

The element that we really played around with was the eye. I chose the cheetah partly because I am a cat mom and partly because it has such a striking appearance. With its quality of grace, the cheetah symbolises divine guidance.

The Lotus sacré dial features a lotus in a typical Papa Don’t Preach colour palette, surrounded by other floral elements. The lotus featured here is in full bloom, embodying an enlightened soul.

The construction involves a meticulous layering process: the external dial ring and central dial feature multi-layered colour printings, creating depth and dimensionality. The relief printing techniques employed on the gilded elements showcase Indian floral motifs and infuse the design with a tactile and ornate quality.

The timepieces are available in two versions — stainless steel and stainless steel treated in gold PVD. The built-in NFC chip allows authenticity verification through the SEVENFRIDAY App for iOS and Android.

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