Watches are getting a creative makeover. Singapore retailer The Hour Glass is celebrating its 40-year history with an exhibition of commissioned works by respected international designers and artists. The show, titled Then Now Beyond, will be held at its 8,000sq ft boutique, Malmaison by The Hour Glass, designed by Milanese group JoAnn Tan Studio, from November 23 to January 31, 2020.
The artists and designers involved are impressive. They include Marc Newson, known for his ergonomic futuristic forms; cult artist Daniel Arsham; Japanese designers nendo; and strange and surreal Studio Wieki Somers. Unsurprisingly, the exhibition’s main focus is the concept of time – ranging from ideas around our perception of everyday time to concepts of past, present and future.
These four designers were chosen by British architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, international watch specialist Aurel Bacs and Michael Tay, managing director of The Hour Glass. “We are delighted that our passion of the past four decades can be expressed in this single exhibition,” Tay says. Not all the objects on show are straightforward timepieces. Instead, they are objets d’art exploring ideas around craftsmanship and innovation. Newson’s piece, for example, is inspired by the hourglass and features two signature bulbs which each hold more than 2.8 million metallic dusted “nanoballs” that accurately record time.
A selection of commemorative-edition watches are also being released by the emporium, including names such as Audemars Piguet, Chopard (whose Happy Sport The Hour Glass 40th Anniversary watch is priced about £5,580) TAG Heuer (the Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph, a 50-piece edition, is about £5,130) and Longines, as well as numerous other Swiss brands lauded by collectors such as Urwerk (its UR-105 Commemorative Edition is about £57,030), De Bethune, and Ulysse Nardin (the Freak X Carbonium Gold The Hour Glass watch, limited to 30 pieces, is about £21,935). The Hour Glass has 40 boutiques in the Asia Pacific region, so this special show is big news for horology aficionados.