Analog Explorer
Analog Explorer Podcast
AE. 19 | Typsim Watches
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AE. 19 | Typsim Watches

Designs inspired from the past, tested in the PNW, and made to age with time with its wearer.
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Once upon a time, at Seattle Redbar…

AJ on the streets of seattle looking at camera with backpack on and funky mirror lens purple sunglasses (left). 5 models of Typsim watches on a counter  (right)AJ on the streets of seattle looking at camera with backpack on and funky mirror lens purple sunglasses (left). 5 models of Typsim watches on a counter  (right)
In Seattle for RedBar and to meet up with Matt of Typsim watches

While meeting up with my fellow watch enthusiasts at RedBar Seattle, I was able to catchup with Matt Zinski. Matt is a classically trained architect, founder of Typsim Watches based in Seattle, Washington, and a friend of ours in the #watchfam.

As an architect and watch collector, Matt's classically trained eye for form and function, design, and his hands-on attitude in doing anything he explores are deeply rooted in his watch design and materials within Typsim watches. Combine that with his passion for vintage watches, and their patina today, and you have the perfect storm of what Typsim is founded on.

Mat Zinski on the mic in a highrise somewhere in SeattleMat Zinski on the mic in a highrise somewhere in Seattle
The Matt, the myth, the Typsim legend.

On the episode we chat about Typsim's start, it’s watch models, including a diver watch not yet released, the newly announced a field watch (The Guide), and I get to pick his brain as to what he has in store for his Seattle watch brand.

If you are new to Typsim, a hallmark to the brand is Matt’s commitment to using materials that age gracefully allowing wearers to form a unique connection between their timepieces and a wearer’s lifestyle. They are a completely modern manufactured watch, but designed gracefully to patina like vintage watches of the past. Matt discusses his experimental approach to luminescence, designing a new lume composite that will age uniquely to UV exposure and time, like vintage watches once did. He isn’t stopping there, we also hear about some of his other material design plans he is experimenting with (hint, not bronze, but something equally interesting and historic to watch case design).

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First diver to dive with a Typsim Diver 200M

Typsim diver next to scuba equipment that is bokehed in the background Typsim diver next to scuba equipment that is bokehed in the background Typsim diver next to scuba equipment that is bokehed in the background
First diver to dive with a Typsim

Back in October of 2022, Matt kindly loaned me a Diver 200m to take down on a couple of dives I had slated that week. One, for the annual underwater pumpkin carving contest in Marine Park hosted by the local dive shop Gone Diving. And the the others were part of a series of three check-out dives for the Deep Dive Specialization course in Bellingham’s Lake Whatcom. The water temps in the PNW quickly fall as autumn shifts to winter here. There are a number of us who dive year round in the PNW, but extra insulation layers are much needed under a drysuit to stay anything that might be called comfortably warm.

Subsequently, those dives bestowed upon me the title of the first ever diver to dive with a Typsim watch, as well as the first to take one to any kind of practical diving depth. A cool accolade in my book both as a watch enthusiast, and as bit of local pride as a PNW diver especially as Matt was genuinely interested in feedback on his design from a PNW diver’s perspective.

Wrist shots of the Typsim Diver and AJ's dive computer Wrist shots of the Typsim Diver and AJ's dive computer
Wrist shots of the Typsim Diver and AJ's dive computer Wrist shots of the Typsim Diver and AJ's dive computer

Searching for the Rapture of the Deep

As part of the Deep Diving certification, my dive partner and I were to also to experience, and work through, the effects of being “narc’d," or the effects of nitrogen narcosis on our physiology. Being “drunk as a hoot owl,” as cool as that may sound, at depth takes a different effect of everyone.

A post shared by @ajbarse

Nitrogen Narcosis in our emerald green and dark winter waters of the PNW can have some alternative effects. Instead of the euphoric feeling, some can feel the opposite. With an almost creepy feeling seeping into a diver, causing disorientation, and almost a since of underwater claustrophobia. Because our waters can be quite dark and have lower visibility waters (I mean, sometime 10ft viz can be a good day), getting narc’d can cause some to feel creeped-out, especially as you have a bit of tunnelvision coming from only seeing what your dive light can bring into light in front of you.

I’ve felt both feelings on deeper dives in our waters, but on these dives my dive partner and I felt fine and just hyped to be doing the course. Well, by fine I should say we were fine other than our dive instructor wanting us to stop picking up all the golfballs at the bottom of the lake we were finding around 90ft 😆. So maybe we were feeling a little more than just fine…as we both had hand fulls of golfballs! Yet another effect of nitrogen narcosis is your mental acuity can slow down, and a diver can become a bit fixated on a task. I’ve read that it is thought that in the early days of diving, that particular mental effect may have contributed to the pre-scientific term of nitrogen narcosis being called the ‘rapture of the deep.’ Having a diver be so focused on what they are doing down below, that perhaps forget they can’t stay.

“Effects of inert gas narcosis were first described in the early 1800’s when divers breathing compressed air exhibited “symptoms of intoxication.” Caisson workers (crews who worked under pressure for bridge and tunnel construction) were observed to break out in song at inopportune times, and Jacques Cousteau coined the phrase “rapture of the deep” during his early diving years. Appearing to be drunk is a common description of narcosis. These observations spawned the “Martini’s Law” mantra that states a depth of 100 feet is like consuming one martini, with each successive fifty feet of descent racking up another one. So, at 150 feet, it would be like drinking two stiff alcoholic beverages.”
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California Diver Magazine

“Nitrogen Narcosis | Typsim x Seconde/Seconde

About a year later from those dives, Typsim x Seconde/Seconde create the TipsY “Nitrogen Narcosis,” a playful take on being “Deep Drunk” and I couldn’t be happier to see it on a watch I was able to take down to those depths.

“The chief symptom of Nitrogen Narcosis is, to put it bluntly, the sensation of becoming as drunk as a hoot owl”. -J. Y. Cousteau

For more on Typsim

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Analog Explorer
Analog Explorer Podcast
Embark on a journey through the world of horology and the connections many of us have to watches. With host AJ Barse, The Analog Explorer connects with fellow enthusiasts in the #watchfam and beyond, from avid collectors to creative watchmakers. As a professional photographer, active hiker, and recreational diver based in the Pacific Northwest, exploration holds a significant place in his life and he encourages others to make time for their passions. Through insightful interviews and engaging discussions, The Analog Explorer celebrates the impact and art of horology. After all, we all share in the most universally limited resource; time. And the Analog Explorer reminds us of the need to Fac Tempus Ad Explorandum i.e. "Make the Time To Explore."
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