June 16, 2010

Time Flies

I just spotted these Timeless Watches by Rogan on the Coolhunting website.
Created with sustainability in mind they're assembled from old watch parts so that each one is, in effect, unique. They come in matte black and gold, and cost $110US each.

Seeing them brought to mind a couple of other bits of watch-jewellery I've encountered along the way. Gia Bahm at Unearthen (who I interviewed recently for Adorn London) covers antique watch faces with pyramid crystals and when I asked her why they appealed to her, she told me: "I'm attracted to vintage watches for the same reasons I like each crystal - it's a one-of-a-kind piece. It's special to come upon each watch and appreciate it for its own unique characteristics."

Natalia Brilli, who creates the most amazing leather-encased works of art – including a lap top and a full drum kit - made this Nolex for AW07. I think she re-issues it from time to time and one of these days I'm gonna buy me one.

Husam el Odeh's another jeweller who specialises in re-contextualising apparently redundant objects. From antique salt spoons and decanter stoppers to pencils and belt buckles he turns trash into treasure and in 2007 he put his own spin on a stash of vintage gold watches.

The appeal of objects such as these is difficult to pin down, but the fact that disparate designers explore it again and again suggests it works on a level other than the purely aesthetic. Is it about holding on to time, running out of time or simply sticking two fingers up at time? Who knows... For me these timepieces that no longer function in the sense for which they were intended work on a couple of levels. The visual puns tickle me, but the fact they've stopped (or don't even exist) makes me ever so slightly sad. Maybe that's the point.

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