HM5 On the Road Again may appear relatively simple, but it’s complicated: the hour and minute displays look straightforward, but they are bi-directional jumping hours with indications inversed, reflected 90° to the vertical and magnified 20%; HM5 has a futuristic case design, but it's from the 1970s; HM5 has a mechanical movement, but it was inspired by an era when quartz was King; the rear louvres on supercars block light, but on HM5 they let it in; HM5 has exhaust pipes, but they drain water; HM5 is “On the Road Again”, but its inspiration barely left the garage.
The last decade or two have seen an exponential growth in inventions that have revolutionised our lives. Robots may not cook dinner, but they can build cars, vacuum the home and mow the lawn. Sending a man to Mars is not a question of if, but when.
But imagine the exciting anticipation of the future in the early 1970s with the arrival of supercars, hovercrafts, the supersonic Concorde, Apollo moon landings… and high-precision quartz watches. Everything seemed possible: humanoid robots, jet-packs and flying cars. In the 1970s the future wasn’t tomorrow, it was today!
In 1972, one plucky watch brand, Amida, decided to take on the quartz usurpers at their own game with the Digitrend, which featured a fashionably futuristic tapered case and vertical digital LED-look display powered by a mechanical movement. It looked just like a cutting-edge quartz watch and it eventually became an iconic timepiece. Unfortunately, appreciation came too late to save Amida.
The unmistakable wedge-shaped case of HM5 On the Road Again is direct homage to the daring Amida Digitrend. However, it also takes unmistakable cues from the sleek low-slung supercars of the epoch, with louvres on their near horizontal rear windows blocking sunlight and heat. Conversely, the slide operated louvres on HM5 open to allow light in to charge on the Super-LumiNova numbers on the time disks.
Another distinguishing feature of supercars are throaty exhaust pipes. HM5 has dual exhausts to drain water, in case – like James Bond’s Lotus in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ – HM5 gets wet. An inner water-resistant case keeps HM5’s Engine nice and dry.
An optical grade sapphire prism reflects the horizontal hour and minutes so that they display vertically and a convex lens magnifies the numeral by 20% for improved legibility. The vertical forward-facing display makes HM5 an excellent driver’s watch as there is no need to lift your wrist from the steering wheel to read the display.
HM5 takes these 1970s icons and now, 40 years into the future, puts them “On the Road Again”.
Dimensions: 51.5mm x 49mm x 22.5mm