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NAME: James Thompson
OCCUPATION: Canadian industrial designer and founder of Black Badger Advanced Composites, focusing on jewellery design and timepiece collaboration.
Tell us about your daily watch.
That would be my Bell & Ross BR01. It was the first watch I ever bought, in 2008. I inherited a small amount of money when my grandparents passed away, and as my grandfather was always really interested in the how and why of things, I thought a mechanical timepiece would be a nice thing to spend it on. Oddly enough, that watch is what started the series of events that led me into the watch industry and my current career. I wear it almost every day and I plan to give it to my son someday. I won’t ever sell it. The only thing I’ve found it no good for is wearing while cycling on cobblestones. The back of my hand got all bruised up from that big square hunk of steel!
What’s your daily ride (car/motorbike/dragon)?
Stepan Sarpaneva’s coat tails! Ha ha. Actually my studio, the Badger Den, is directly beside the building where I live. So I don’t really have any need for a vehicle right now.
So, how did you end up ‘making stuff’?
To be honest, I got into making things in design school because my sketching skills are absolutely horrid. Just the way my brain works I guess! I started making my first titanium and carbon rings in the machine shop of my design school in Vancouver around 2000 and that became the foundation of Black Badger in 2006. I think the blend of design and actually making things is a bit of a unique edge in the design industry where far too often the creative process is entirely contained to 3D modelling and rendering programs. Get those hands dirty, muddafukkas!
And what are you working on at the moment?
Fair enough! How do you unwind?
Haha, I don’t! I’m always in a cat-like state of alertness. That is actually a problem though, because so much of my work is via online social media platforms, it’s always afternoon somewhere on the planet. Someone is always wanting to discuss a design or see updated images of their pieces. It’s exhausting but it’s better than having nothing to do!
What other watches do you own?
-Bell & Ross BR01-92
-Sarpaneva / Black Badger Northern Lights
-Sarpaneva / Black Badger Seasons
-MB&F HMX Black Badger edition
-MB&F Starfleet Machine Black Badger edition
-Seiko Giugiaro Aliens re-release