James Dyson's Favorite Gadgets
The vacuum virtuoso and engineer on self-adjusting watches and the pros and cons of painting with an app
Clockwise from top left: 2015 Range Rover, Livionex dental gel, Caran D?Ache Varius Carbon fountain pen, Oun electric pencil sharpener,Moulton New Series Double Pylon bicycle,Dyson PHOTO:RANGER ROVER(CAR);SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION(PENCIL SHARPNER)
By Chris Kornelis
Updated June 13, 2016 3:44 p.m. ET
Whenever I would go to the dentist, he would attack my mouth with a pick-axe. I’m a diligent toothbrush user, so I couldn’t understand why. Now I use Livionex Dental Gel, which is a form of toothpaste, but it chemically attacks the plaque that’s built up on the teeth
About 15 years ago, I bought a beautiful Oun electric pencil sharpener [now out of production] designed by Sir Kenneth Grange. You dip your pencil in; it’s sort of therapeutic, allowing you to think while you’re getting ready to draw the next thing.
I never use a pen except to write letters and for signatures. As we do more and more by email and Facebook, where every communication is very un-graphic, there’s something even more powerful about a handwritten letter. I have a very engineered-looking Caran D’Ache Varius Carbon fountain pen with a broad nib.
I don’t enjoy doing engineering drawings on the computer or iPad, but I enjoy painting with the SketchBook Pro iPad app. One of the interesting things about it is you can paint [on the backlit screen] even through it’s getting dark. The only thing is that, of course, the colors change as everything gets dark, so you’re constantly changing the colors.
I wear a Seiko Astron GPS solar watch. When I go to a new country or different time zone, it automatically adjusts by GPS. There’s pleasure in not worrying what time it is when you arrive or having to get new batteries every six months.
We had one of the original Minis when I was a teenager. The modern ones are great but the original was a brilliant design. Today I drive a 2015 Range Rover because I live in the country and occasionally have to go up snowy hills
I ride a Moulton New Series Double Pylon bicycle, which was designed by Alex Moulton. He designed the wheels and suspension for the Mini [car]. I ride around the roads for a bit of exercise and with my grandchildren as well
-Edited from an interview by Chris Kornelis