The “desk puzzle” belongs to that odd group of unprofessional products for professionals. They’re a paradox. It’s a kid in a three-piece suit. It’s a distraction when you should be focused. And so, to pull off a toy that calls your office desk home, you have to be careful. (You’d never see Don Draper, vexed over the tone of a Lucky Strike ad, pawing at a Newton’s cradle.) Enter Craighill, the NYC-based design company that deals mainly in milled steel and brass to produce, in their own words, “enduring objects that ignite a sense of wonder.” Their line of minimalist, tactile, and surprisingly difficult brain games are a pre-internet solution to distraction, blended with rare moments of blissed-out meditation. But what sets these puzzles apart — and sets them on our office desk — is that, while not in use, their beautiful exactness lends them a feeling of sculpture. These are works of art, best fiddled-with during a conference call.

Craighill Desk Puzzles

1. Jack Puzzle:
Craighill’s first desk puzzle seems simple enough. Six notched brass bars interlock to create a classic “jack” shape. However, the puzzle, which measures 3” x 3” x 3” when assembled, is deceptive — the bars can only interlock in one specific way. (Hand-drawn instructions are included for the spatially challenged.)

2. Venn Puzzle:
Craighill’s latest puzzle is more abstract and requires a good deal more dexterity. The Venn Puzzle is comprised of three identical, die-cast stainless steel pieces. Completing the puzzle requires lining up six points simultaneously — without being able to see all six at the same time – to create a perfect sphere the size of a pool ball, but nearly five times the weight.

3. Continuous Innovation:
Craighill, founded in 2015, has a short but impressive history of pushing boundaries in the amorphous world of beautiful things to put on your desk. Their creative process is slow and exacting — they also sell a perfect cubic inch of Invar, the most dimensionally stable metal alloy in existence — but steady; their next iteration in the desk puzzle series, The Tycho Puzzle, is set to release early next year.

This post is presented by the Gear Patrol Store. Purchasing products from our store supports our editorial efforts.

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