Tag Heuer Knee Brace
DESIGN PROJECT 1
A knee brace designed for tennis professionals, who are recovering or are at a risk of suffering from ACL injuries. The knee brace has been designed for Tag Heuer keeping the principles of the brand in mind.
Tag Heuer is a Swiss manufacturing company that has been designing luxury watches and fashion accessories for more than 150 years which has faced down every challenge and then pushed past it. By defying the time-honoured conventions of Swiss watchmaking, it has led it to even higher levels of precision and performance.
I started out by designing a buckle for Tag Heuer, to better understand the design language and the core values of the brand.
TAG HEUER BUCKLE DESIGN
After sketching out several ideas, I created paper mockups and clay models to better understand the 3-D form and to test out these concepts.
This knee brace was designed keeping in mind the innovation and excellent craftsmanship that Tag Heuer brings to the watchmaking industry and similarly would be brought in the knee brace industry as well.
The upper frame was designed with perforations running along one side, which would allow for breathability at the same time not compromise the actual strength. This would allow for less sweat to be accumulated in the thigh region.
The upper cuff has two parts connected through a silicone piece, which allows the muscles to flex and relax as per the movement of the leg as these are one of the most important movements that are required to play tennis efficiently. At the same time, the silicone piece was small enough that it would only allow slight movements to take away the strain without affecting the rehab process. ( The inspiration behind this comes from the watch bands that have the ability to stretch a bit, which allows the watch to be just tight enough to stay in place, but not extra tight which might cause restrictive blood circulation.)
BOA Closure System
The most unique feature of this knee brace is the BOA tightening mechanism. Traditional knee braces have straps which are used for tightening and loosening the knee brace, which more than often times results in the knee brace loosening frequently, the velcro getting destroyed pretty quickly and the rashes that are caused due to the extra tight fastening of these straps. Not to forget that tennis is a dynamic game and if a person has to tighten the knee brace or loosen it quite often, it takes up a lot of time and valuable energy is wasted. With the BOA, the knee brace could be easily tightened by pushing the dial and turning it, while it can be loosened by simply pulling the dial out. Both the upper and the lower straps feature a BOA closure system eliminating the velcro straps completely.
The hinge cover has the Tag Heuer logo embossed similar to the Tag Heuer logo which is always present on the crown of their watches.
The lower frame features the Tag Heuer stripes, which is their signature branding on some of their most iconic watches such as the Tag Heuer Monaco. This design element completes the knee brace as a whole for the Tag Heuer brand and adds a unique sense of design to the otherwise boring knee brace.
Tennis players have to change their direction quickly and move their entire body weight instantly in order to play the game effectively and win points, but this, unfortunately, is also the main reason that leads to ACL injuries. In addition to this, they also suffer from tendonitis, commonly referred to as the jumper's knee and meniscal tears.