Well, it has been a tradition here at ATimelyPerspective that after every show, we take a break from all the product news, all the show reviews and all of the interviews to do something fun and different: showcase the way watch brands offer their vital information to journalists. Year after year, we write about the best, the worst and sometimes the really-tried-hard USB keys of each show. I love the way, at the end of meeting, when I ask for USB key, brands eagerly await my reaction — wondering if they will make the cut. It is just simple fun. This year, there were a few shining stars at the fair, and, interestingly, most revolved around brands unveiling auto-related or auto-inspired watches. The winner this year is tied between two brands we may never have imagined. In the past, if you search the storage wars stories here, there were some regular brands showing up — those who invested in creative presentations that stand out in a crowd. This year, those standouts came from L’Epee and Rservoir.
L’Epee 1839 — clock maker extraordinaire — unveils a stunning new desk clock this year, the Time Fast D8. Created in collaboration with designer Georg Forster, the clock is built in the likeness of a race car — and created in all the great legendary racing colors. (Watch for an in-depth story here soon.) Naturally, the USB key had to be an equally as elaborate product.Voila! a racer USB stick in bold racing red and black. Kudos.
Rivaling the L’Epee storage stick is the USB from Reservoir Watches. For those not yet familiar with this young, up-and-coming brand (is it possible not to be familiar here?), get familiar. This hot brand is on the rise and rightfully so. All of the watches created by Reservoir are inspired by vintage gauges. Not just automobile dashboard gauges, but also diving gauges (new this year and story to come soon), gasoline and fuel gauges, and so much more. So, what does a brand that focuses on gauges turn to to fuel the dissemination of its information: a gas can. Totally cool and highly relevant. Love it.
The two runners up this year include Claude Meylan, and MB&F. Claude Meylan this year also unveils a spectacular vintage car-inspired collection with wonderful three-dimensional dials that depict the racers, the goggles, the iconic moments of symbols of yesteryear racing. The USB key is a car key with miniature sculpted steel car attached to the chain. The brand gets a definite nod of approval as a runner up. MB&F also gets a runner-up mention because — as the brand typically does — it creates its USB key in the form of its most important watch introduction. This year, that introduction was the MB&F Legacy Machine Flying T for women. The three-dimensional timepiece feature a rotor that emulates the sun. As such, the USB key has the sun pattern embossed on it. Not as dramatic as previous MB&F storage keys that emulated robots and octopi, it still deserves a runner-up spot.
From there, I am afraid, it was mostly downhill. I give credit to my friends at Manufacture Royale, whose USB keys didn’t make it in time for the show. Forced to resort to a plain steel key, the creative forces who wanted to show good faith, handed me a key with colorful ribbons run through it — just to offer a special token. Each of these USB keys now occupies a space on my office shelf reserved for the winners of Storage Wars year after year. Sadly, I am afraid, that our bit of fun with USB keys — like everything else in our changing world — may be waning. As more and more computers rae built without a oct fo a USB stick, and as more and more brands are simply providing press links, press rooms and downloads, USB sticks may slowly be becoming a thing of the past.
But, to quote a famous song, “I’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.” So keep on making those great storage wars USB keys.