The Nike Air Max 1s, a popular line of sneakers, were influenced by the Accutron watch, a timepiece that revolutionized the watch industry in 1960. The Accutron, created by Bulova, was the first fully-electronic watch to use a tuning fork to mark the passage of time, creating a unique ‘hum’ sound and smooth sweep for the watch hands.
The design of the Accutron, specifically the open-worked dial which allowed a glimpse of the inner workings, caught the attention of Nike designers and served as inspiration for the Air Max 1s. Released in 1987, the Air Max 1s were the first sneakers to feature a visible air pocket in the heel for added cushioning, similar to how the Accutron’s technology was visible in its design.
The Air Max 1s were not only a technological breakthrough, but also a cultural icon that continues to be popular among sneaker enthusiasts. The Air Max 1s successfully combined the innovation of the Accutron watch with the aesthetics of a sneaker, making them a perfect example of how technology and design can come together to create something truly iconic. The shoes are now revered as one of Nike’s most revered and coveted shoes, and have paved the way for many streetwear fashion trends.