How Innovative Wristwatch Design Transformed Sneakers
Most people don’t rely on wristwatches to tell them the time anymore. If someone wears a non-smart watch, the most likely reason is for fashion.
Yet while sneaker shoes often have fashionable designs, many people wear them for their comfort or athletic benefits. Sneakers have remained in vogue for decades.
What ties these two disparate items together? Most people wouldn’t be able to find a connection. In truth, innovations in the wristwatch industry laid the groundwork for the most popular sneaker line in modern history. The Accutron Spaceview watch indirectly inspired the design of the Air Max 1, the shoe behind the famous Air Jordan line at Nike.
How did this happen? When the Accutron Spaceview watch was released in 1961, it was a hit with customers. For the first time, they had a clear window into the workings of a fully electronic wristwatch. This transparent view into the watch’s inner workings inspired architect Richard Rogers to build the Pompidou Centre in Paris, France.
When Nike corporate architect Tinker Hatfield saw the building, he was amazed by the “inside out” design of the complex. The architecture inspired him to build shoes with transparent air bubbles, like the Air Max 1.