Marc Newson among the design stars at The Hour Glass watch spectacular

The Singapore watch emporium hosts an anniversary exhibition of commissioned works by respected designers and artists, and presents commemorative timepieces by brands such as Audemars Piguet and Chopard

The main hall of Malmaison by The Hour Glass
The main hall of Malmaison by The Hour Glass | Image: Courtesy of The Hour Glass

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.

Marc Newson, Klepsydra, 2019
Marc Newson, Klepsydra, 2019 | Image: Courtesy of the artist and The Hour Glass
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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.

Nendo’s artwork for the Then Now Beyond exhibition
Nendo’s artwork for the Then Now Beyond exhibition | Image: Courtesy of nendo and The Hour Glass
Beetle Clock by Studio Wieki Somers,  2019
Beetle Clock by Studio Wieki Somers, 2019 | Image: Mathijs Labadie

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. 

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 The Hour Glass Special Edition, about £5,130
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 The Hour Glass Special Edition, about £5,130 | Image: Courtesy of TAG Heuer and The Hour Glass
Chopard Happy Sport 2019, commemorative Edition of 50 pieces, about £5,580
Chopard Happy Sport 2019, commemorative Edition of 50 pieces, about £5,580 | Image: Courtesy of Chopard and The Hour Glass

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.

De Bethune Steel Wheels Blue, 2019 Commemorative Edition of 5 pieces
De Bethune Steel Wheels Blue, 2019 Commemorative Edition of 5 pieces | Image: Courtesy of De Bethune and The Hour Glass
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