Fashion

DIY time with Kinstrukto’s Lego-inspired watches

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Kinstrukt something different each time you wear these Lego-inspired watches

Why would a mother and son duo bid goodbye to a thriving law practice to create unique watches? For Mumbai-based lawyers-turned entrepreneurs, Rashida and Malek Shipchandler — who started their watch brand, Kinstrukto, in November last year — it was the pursuit of making something that embodied Japan’s Harajuku street fashion, which centres on self-expression.

Crafted using miniature Lego-like bricks, the watch allows wearers — or, as Malek calls them, ‘kinstruktors’ — to self-customise the design, colour and even the size of the watch, to complement their attire, showcase a mood or just tell a story. He explains the eclectic choice, saying, “From a design functionality perspective, there’s no other element that could have provided this degree of customisation.” Rashida adds that they also provide instant relatability.

DIY time with Kinstrukto’s Lego-inspired watches

“Everyone connects with and remembers Lego with fondness,” she says. The watches are powered by Japanese quartz machines of Seiko-Epson for the flagship krater series, which come in 13 variations, including two gold-plated versions. The arkitekt and zikkurat lines, which have 16 models between them, have the Miyota-Citizen.

Watch it

The brand took shape in their minds during Rashida’s time as a supply chain consultant at a Swiss watch manufacturing company. On occasion, she would buy employee-discounted straps and have it fixed on the one watch (a Swatch) that Malek owned at the time. She recalls, “For some reason, an old watch with a new strap brought him the joy of a new watch. Kinstrukto was created for those who want to feel that emotion and sport a ‘new’ watch whenever they want.”

To achieve this, the Shipchandlers understood that a thorough grounding in design was essential. Malek took a sabbatical last year (from being a corporate lawyer) to complete a design course at IIT Bombay. Today, he uses this knowledge for conceptual designing and detailing. Their roles at work are clearly demarcated. Malek also looks after the management and operations, while Rashida is responsible for the prototyping, supply chain, product development and branding initiatives. While it was challenging at first — “I did end up using the ‘I-have-more-experience’ card once in a while,” she admits — with time, they understood and relied on each other’s skill sets and instincts to do what’s best for the business, and compartmentalised it from their personal relationship.

DIY time with Kinstrukto’s Lego-inspired watches

Work matters

In addition, they carried forward their expertise as lawyers into their evolution as entrepreneurs. Malek feels it has been an asset, as both fields are largely dependent on an eye for detail and a knack for articulation. “Advising other businesses and founders, I’ve had access to entrepreneurial perspectives which have definitely helped me shape my own,” he shares. But Rashida shares that both of them have also had to unlearn and relearn. “Lawyers are trained to think in a very clinical, dispassionate and structured manner. Whereas, as design entrepreneurs, your best work happens when you are able to think freely and passionately,” she explains.

As for the future of the brand, plans are afoot to expand beyond wristwatches, and they are currently designing, modelling and prototyping these products. They are also waiting to hear back about a Guinness World Record for being the world’s most self-customisable wristwatch. And closer home, they have been shortlisted for the jury rounds at the Lexus Design Award India — to identify the best works of industrial design created by Indian designers — with results to be announced in January.

From ₹4,500 to ₹14,500, on kinstrukto.com

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 2:00:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/diy-time-with-kinstruktos-lego-inspired-watches/article30297881.ece

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