I was pleased to read about The Bradley Timepiece being up for a design of the year award at London’s Design Museum. The watches I’ve seen before for those with visual impairments have been functional. They tell the time. They don’t look stylish! These days people wear watches like sunglasses, yes they serve a purpose, but they are also worn to add style. So why shouldn’t those with visual impairments be afforded the same luxury?
The Bradley Timepiece, named after a gold-medal-winning Paralympian swimmer who lost his sight in Afghanistan, allows users to not only see what time it is, but to feel what time it is. It is being recognised as a desirable watch, not just for those who are blind, with many being pre-ordered by those without visual impairments.
Hopefully this watch will pave the way for other designers to create good looking objects and accessories that combine the practical with the stylish. The view that blind people care less about their appearance is incorrect and unhelpful.