Using the principle of clockwork used in the creation of many automatic watches, create a fashion accessory that shows intricate movement of gears for decorative purpose only. E.g. a top button with actively moving gears. Or a cuff link with a rotating disk displaying words of wisdom.
To power the
movement each item has a weight that wind up a tiny mainspring, like the more expensive and functional automatic watches.
However as these do not need to run 24 hours a day, the main spring can be smaller/cheaper (1hour storage).
As actual watches with complicated gears can cost as low as $50... a active but simple mechanical decorative accessory would cost around $20 each.
This is clearly affordable for the masses, especially considering that a well designed version would be highly eye catching.
In fact it can become a symbol of status if well designed, and marketed by celebrities. This would encourage the emergence of designer mechanical fashions accessory.(thus encouraging the pushing of both engineering and artistic aspect of clockwork designing. This may even provide a pathway/gateway for aspiring clockmaker to advance themselves to design actual mechanical clocks.)
While some of you would suggest using battery instead... i would not recommend it, as it would lose its artistic engineering value. This product would sell not only by the eye catching movement, but the curiosity of its owner imagining what could have been in the past.
In addition electrical item is unfriendly for the environment, compared to a fully mechanical design. Since a mechanical watch can be simply melted down for reuse. Also it cannot recharge itself via the movement of its user(without expensive mini generator), thus requiring constant replacing of its battery.
IF YOU LIKE THIS IDEA AND USE IT FOR YOUR PROJECT, PLEASE AT LEAST CREDIT ME FOR THE IDEA. (especially clockmaker such as Seiko, who i can see already have the facility to cheaply mass produce a simpler product than their automatic watches)