In 1979 Optimef launched the first ever Romanian watch. Now the spirit of the iconic communist-era brand has been revived by two entrepreneurs determined to breathe life into Romania’s contemporary watchmaking industry.
Founders of the reborn Optimef brand Andrei Morariu and Bogdan Costea have unveiled the company’s inaugural design. The “Fărăzece” watch pays tribute to the first watch designed in Romania in 1979 without aiming to replicate the original design, instead employing graphic simplicity and primary colours inspired by the Memphis Group.
“We took the functionality of 60s modernism and combined it with the playfulness of the 70s and 80s,” Optimef told Dezeen. “We aim to create designs that inspire a melange of clean minimalism and Memphis Group-like quirkiness.”
As well as paying homage to the original Optimef, which fell out of production when the state-owned factory closed in the 90s after the fall of Romania’s communist regime, the design also takes inspiration from Romanian tradition. “Fără zece”, which translates as “It’s 10 to”, plays on the local tendency to presume that anyone asking the time already knows the hour of day, but simply needs to know how many minutes past or to the hour it is.
While Optimef watches are currently designed in Romania and assembled in China, the brand hopes to bring manufacturing to Romania.
Find out more about Optimef here.