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Umberto Palermo AM Watch II
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Umberto Palermo AM Watch with strap
You'd be the envy of the Mad Max community sporting this rather distressed looking timepiece
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Umberto Palermo AM Watches
The surface finish was all important to Umberto, with the selective laser melting process being used to create the perfect look
What, if anything, do you envisage when considering post-industrial design for the urban environment? Designer Umberto Palermo from Turin has taken inspiration from this motto to create a watch collection entitled WATCH-UP using metals additive manufacturing. The unusual look was presented to the public as part of a charity event called "Event for a Smile" on 1st of June 2012. At the fund-raising event, Umberto Palermo and Santo Versace, President of the Operation Smile Italia Onlus Foundation, welcomed their guests on the roof terrace of Up Design, which is based in Turin.
Umberto Palermo, Italian designer and President of the company Up Design works together with companies such as Fiat, Faw, Indesit, Scholtes, Hotpoint, Ariston Thermo, Cantieri Rodriquez, and Politecnico di Torino. Palermo presents UP Design at international design fairs such as Frankfurt 2011, Milan 2012 and at the motor shows Auto Shanghai 2011 and Qatar Motor Show 2012.
Inspired by the idea of giving shape to abstract ideas, Umberto Palermo began to focus on designing exclusive products. "I wanted to develop a new, unusual design language for objects which are based on completely new fabrication methods. The result of this work was shown off by Palermo in Turin: The BIKE-UP collection, a new bicycle made from carbon and WATCH-UP, a series of watches produced generatively from metal powder without any casting or milling.
WATCH-UP: Metal powder is turned into a watch
The innovative basic idea behind the WATCH-UP watch collection lies in the fabrication of the entire watch-case using the Concept laser's 'LaserCUSING' selective laser melting process. To give shape to Palermo's idea of creating a unique watch, he familiarised himself with all the possibilities offered by this process. Umberto Palermo: "It is very unusual to suddenly be able to choose almost any geometry you want. For a designer, this is of course a huge opportunity to design things with such a high level of aesthetic appeal. The freedoms of design which the laser melting of metals allows initially astounded me and then they inspired me," says Umberto Palermo in outlining his impressions. Nine complete watch-cases in the WATCH-UP collection were made in a single fabrication step on an M1 cusing machine at Concept Laser in Lichtenfels. Ridix, sales partner of Concept Laser, from near Turin helped to bridge the technological gap from Germany to Italy.
Hardness combines with softness
For UP Design, the advantage of this process was firstly the ability to quickly make adjustments to the design of the finished model if necessary. Secondly, use of the additive manufacturing technology made it possible, without any great additional outlay, to obtain the desired surface structure which could only have been produced with a very great amount of outlay using a conventional method. "The surface presents a look of leather and fabric, which acts as a symbol of uniqueness worn on the wrist. For me, it has a very striking and timeless aesthetic appeal when the hardness and the material properties of metal combine, figuratively speaking, with the softness from the tanneries of Florence," says Umberto Palermo in explaining his idea. Palermo still sees plenty of potential for other projects involving metal objects which will allow unusual things to be created from powder by means of LaserCUSING.