Stay Above The Crowd With The New Q&Q Smile Solar x Gwen Stefani Watch Collection
Gwen Stefani doesn’t need a lighter to “spark the fire” — the red-lipped Orange County pop icon can easily set the style world ablaze with her unique aesthetic and her flair for quirky and colorful design. For her second collaboration with watch brand Q&Q SmileSolar, Stefani designed a limited-edition collection of affordable timepieces with vibrant straps featuring Harajuku Lovers-inspired motifs, song lyric references, adorable and Instagram-ready emojis, and bold graphics in lively color combinations. In keeping with the Q&Q SmileSolar ethos, all the watches in the collection are 100% solar-powered, so that there’s no need to worry about buying batteries or disposing of them (which can be quite the environmental hazard), and they’re made using recycled material, showing an even stronger devotion to facilitating an eco-friendly lifestyle for the masses.
Available later this month for $50 each at Nordstrom and Nordstrom.com, the Q&Q SmileSolar x Gwen Stefani collection incorporates a number of cheeky designs — from “Donut Be Serious,” pictured above at top, which features a gradient baby pink strap meant to resemble strawberry-flavored frosting and multi-colored sprinkles scattered along its length, to “Get Off My Cloud,” a clever reference to a lyric in Gwen Stefani’s “Spark the Fire” song made via the sky blue strap adorned with fluffy clouds and bearing an illustration of a cartoonish version of Stefani atop her very own cloud.
Other adorable options include: “Pizza Time,” shown third above, which boasts a yellow strap with two slices of pepperoni pizza in the portion atop the round dial and smiling pepperoni slices practically dancing along the longer section of the strap beneath the dial; “So Sweet,” shown eighth above, which pays homage to juicy watermelon slices with its red strap accentuated by seed-like black specks and the bright green buckle and dial case; “Smoochy,” shown fourth above, which features a yellow dial and a checkered black-and-white strap with pink lips stamped atop the chess board-worthy backdrop; “L-O-V-E,” pictured next to last above, which is inspired by the familiar lovestruck Emoji with heart in its eyes but, instead, replaces the round yellow face with a cartoonish version of Gwen Stefani (as seen throughout the history of the Harajuku Lovers brand); and “OMG,” shown fifth above, which again incorporates a black-and-white motif with a pop of yellow, this time in the form of a white strap with black polka dots and a yellow accent buckle and dial case.
The millennial tech references in the collection are particularly apparent in the “Emoji Part” watch, pictured second from top, which features a magenta dial and a quirky strap with unique emoji characters: a round yellow face with oversized black shades featuring pink lenses, a slice of pepperoni pizza, a diamond ring, a pair of cherries, the aforementioned Gwen character with hearts in her eyes, a lipstick bullet, and more. Another great emoji-inspired design is the “Spark the Fire” watch, shown second from top, which features a turquoise strap with emojis inspired by Gwen’s hit single — among them a fire emoji with a smiling face (so that it looks like its tiny head is on fire), an emoji of this fire-loving character propped atop a smiling heart and another one of it stepping out of a panda costume.
If the different caricatures or emojis seen throughout the collection — the pepperoni pizza slice, the watermelon wedge, the bow-topped frosted donut, the lovestruck baby Gwen, and so on — it’s because they were first unveiled in December, when the video of Gwen Stefani ‘s Pharrell Williams-produced “Spark the Fire” debuted. Similarly, the juxtaposition of black-and-white polka dot motifs and pops of yellow nod to the visuals that characterized the contrast between the outfits Gwen donned and the surreal landscapes through which she traversed in the “Baby Don’t Lie” video.
These watches perfectly marry the past with the future, their silhouettes and design framework nodding to the classic ’80s Swatch aesthetic, but their solar- powered nature and social media-steeped references positioning firmly in the modern era.