Blog
Stories of Sound
and Sleep:

Rewrap the Gift

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Our holiday traditions around giving and receiving are due for a redux. Here are our tips.

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Sing to Me: The Power of the Human Voice

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

It’s time to warm up those vocal cords. How singing and being sung to have kept us surviving.

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Object Story: The Safety Razor

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Why a 120-year-old razor is still the one you want to use.

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OneClock Reads: Super Normal

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

In Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary designers Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fakasawa draw our attention to the phenomenon of everyday objects.

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Meet the Team: Jamie Kripke's Studio of Life

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Artist, cyclist, skier, and OneClock co-founder, Jamie Kripke brings the same curiosity and creative energy to everything he does.

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Meet the Team: Howie Rubin's Architecture of Experience

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Experiential marketing aficionado Howie Rubin on music, design, clocks, and living life to its fullest by slowing down.

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OneClock / Wake Up Better

  • Jamie

No good clocks were harmed in the making of this film.

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Something About Nothing

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Three books for resisting the attention economy and restoring a mindful life.

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In Your Dreams

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Humans spend several years dreaming, yet this phenomenon remains mysterious in both purpose and meaning.

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Object Lessons

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

What the world of touch teaches and tells us.

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Get Up!

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Tune your body and mind with some Valentine’s Day morning sex. Or, why we recommend getting down while waking up.

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Introducing...Captain Planet!

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

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OneClock Anthem Video

  • Jamie

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How Do You Sleep at Night?

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Your chronotype determines when and how well you sleep, and much about how you feel while awake—but few people know what theirs is, or how to live in harmony with it.

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Jon Natchez on Writing Music for OneClock

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Composer and musician Jon Natchez shares insights and inspirations for OneClock’s initial seven waking tracks.

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A New Way for the New Year

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

It’s that time again! The New Year invites us to set intentions for self-improvement and change. Here’s how you can best prepare for a successful refresh.

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A Guaranteed Audience of One

  • Jamie

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Buy Nothing, Sleep In / Thoughts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

As the Black Friday alarm rings at its early hour, we invite you to make a new ritual of sleeping in. And then, once you wake up? Go sit and have coffee with your mom, dad, kids, neighbor, or dog. Watch the sun travel across the kitchen window. Appreciate. Connect. Make it a thing.

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OneClock // 1 minute waking music samples

  • Jamie

Listen to 60 second samples of the 7 waking compositions that Jon Natchez created for OneClock.

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It’s About Time: The Magic of a Meaningful Morning

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

The quiet of morning is beloved by the creative mind. Find out how you can wake up gently, establish a daily ritual, and reclaim the magic of morning with the help of OneClock.

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Fitter, Happier, More Productive?

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

The near constant use of technology in contemporary life can be overwhelming, affecting our health and relationships. Use a less-is-more approach to find physical, mental, and emotional balance in a world dominated by devices.

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1000 True Fans

  • Jamie

Assorted feedback from the first few OneClock owners.

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Jon Natchez Launch Concert

  • Jamie

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Natchez created some music to celebrate our 2/2 launch.

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Video: Behind the Music

  • Jamie

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Product before price

  • Jamie

We set out to make exactly what we wanted, not what the market wanted. The price is what it is because that’s where the price ended up once we'd designed the clock we wanted.

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The Snooze Button is your Frenemy

  • Jamie

If you find the idea of quitting the Snooze button intimidating, look at it this way: Snoozing does not equal sleeping. Snoozing is a sad, stressful imitation of real sleep.

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Scaring Yourself Awake

  • Jamie

From the adrenal gland’s point of view, there’s no difference between the shock of that blaring alarm and the sight of an incoming tsunami. And why would you want to start your day like that?

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A Brief History of Alarm Clocks

  • Jamie

It seems clear that the need for alarm clocks will never go away. But if the 1787 version of the U.S. Constitution can be amended 27 times, can’t we evolve our alarm clocks, too?

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Threat Vigilance, your Smartphone, and why you can’t sleep

  • Jamie

Many of us use our phones as our alarm clocks. It’s simple and easy and it works. But when you bring your smartphone to bed with you, you’re also bringing that fiendish little source of stress into your bedroom, too.

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All Posts

Object Story: The Safety Razor

At OneClock we believe the things we handle, use, and rely on daily should be the best designed things we own. Not only should these objects be made to endure wear and tear without frequent maintenance—and look good doing it—they should also utilize their capacity to bring real meaning to everyday living.

It may sound counterintuitive, but we have the most intimacy with utilitarian objects. Kitchen and dining utensils, pens and pencils, personal grooming items, garden tools, doorknobs and handles: these items know our touch best. And when done right, these objects’ at-hand functionality is so beautiful nothing else is needed. If a brush of ornament or style adds to an object’s appeal without impinging on its purpose, fine. But sometimes, good design just lets the thingness of the thing be the thing.

Which is why the resurgent interest in safety razors has caught our attention.

A Close Shave

If you’re initiated in the world of curated lifestyle media, you know that gone are the days of self-lubricating shaving implements donning turquoise or pink plastic armor from bulbous handle to blade. Instead, it’s back to the basics for this most intimate of tasks.

Safety razors, with their sleek metal armature, thin, sharp blade, and weighty handle, are steeped in over a century of history. The razor carrying the story—and the one you almost certainly have in your mind’s eye—was designed in 1900 by King C. Gillette. Now a landmark name in the world of body hair, Gillette took a close look at how he and those around him were keeping up with turn-of-the-century shifts in facial hair styles and saw an opportunity to simplify.

The safety razor’s name differentiates it from its predecessor, the straight blade, which was a big leap from prehistoric seashell epilation, but still proved a risky endeavor when used outside of a barber shop. The straight blade, the 1762 invention of French cutler Jean-Jacques Perret, was unwieldy for the home groomer and needed routine sharpening to keep cheeks and chins coiffed. Struggling to find ease or comfort with his daily hygiene routine, Gillette honed in on the implement’s leading edge. Why not design a device where only that piece, the blade’s razor-sharp tip, was replaced?

Gillette’s first safety razor was an easy-to-grip handheld tool with disposable flattened steel blades that slotted into a cartridge with a toothy guard that acted as a barrier between skin and blade. It came onto the market in 1903, bucking tradition and impressing engineers; according to Gillette’s website, the disposable blades were “so thin and so strong they were deemed impossible to forge by MIT-trained scientists.

In the century since, Gillette has gone on to make incremental changes to the original—adding personalized settings and adjustable angles for differences in hair thickness and anatomical contours, introducing twin-blades (then triple and quintuple, becoming a punchline), pivoting heads, responsive springs, and yes, even baked-in lubrication and heat.

But it’s Gillette’s unfussy, early-on designs that are drawing today’s followers. What’s the appeal?

Comeback King

Maybe it’s how it feels.

All-metal safety razors made from steel, brass, titanium, or copper have a heft, a presence in the hand. At the philosophical level, that’s a good feeling for those of us who are trying to stay grounded in a world that’s afloat. A safety razor is the antithesis of virtual disembodiment. It’s used on the body and has a measurable body of its own.

That heft has a mechanical purpose, too. The weightiness of a safety razor helps in all matters of follicle folly, maintaining consistent contact with the skin, keeping wayward hairs in line, and generally lessening the chance of slips or nicks. A safety razor’s use does require some learned finesse, offering an element of mindfulness to your morning routine.

The feeling is confidence-inducing, writes simple living guru and blogger Erin Boyle in her bare-all how-to: “Multiple blades and plastic guards found on modern cartridge razors cause undue irritation in the form of bumps and ingrown hairs…a closer, smoother, and all-around superior shave can be had with a far simpler tool. If it’s not already clear, I count myself among the enthusiasts,” she writes.

Or maybe, it’s about what it saves.

For the eco-conscious consumer, safety razors are about as close to heaven as you can get. Vintage safety razors can be easily restored for continuous use (see RazorEmporium’s resources for doing so here) while new off-the-shelf versions provide a low- to zero-waste option in the face of countless plastic derivatives.

For those who don’t want to seek out the antique, there are plenty of contemporary safety razor makers, like Leaf Shave, Oui the People, and Carbon Shaving Co., as well as longtime cutlers like Merkur Shave and Edwin Jagger. (See the best-ranked options on the market, as selected by notable barbers, on The Strategist.) You should never, or very rarely, need to replace the safety razor apparatus itself, only the blades, which are easy and economical to replace and can be recycled through proper metal sharps collection services.

Or could it be the timeless distillation of the design itself that is captivating today’s shavers? Body hair hasn’t changed that much in the last century, and neither, really, has razor technology. Having run the gamut on features and optimizations, the age-old models—uncomplicated, easy to use, and precise—continue to hold their archetypical appeal. We want the time-tested ingenuity and engineering that has seen generations through countless shaves.

It’s beautiful, it works. Nothing else is needed.