Watch & Jewellery
ICON: Hourglass by Marc Newson for Ikepod
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Marc Newson
Marc Newson's 'Hourglass' for Ikepod
An 'Hourglass' features millions of coated nanoballs
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Marc Newson's 'Hourglass' for Hodinkee

The thing is, no one asked for a better version of an hourglass. But Marc Newson – the Aussie who created otherworldly lazing fixtures like the Lockheed Lounge in the ‘80s and most recently the world’s most popular wristwatch in the Apple Watch – decided to recreate one anyway thanks to his track record of making the most obvious and banal objects look like prototypes. So in 2011, under a label he co-founded called Ikepod, he launched his idea of the ancient time measurement apparatus at the Baselworld fair which was then known for setting the tone for tomorrow’s watch and clock designs. Mention the beauty of an hourglass at such a highly respected event would be akin to talking up the wonders of swapping your state-of-the-art wristwatch for a sundial. But lo and behold, the result was so shockingly good that it probably became one of his auditions to secure that coveted Apple job just a couple of years later. Named simply as the Hourglass, it is made from a single piece of hand-blown borosilicate glass and offered in two sizes – the smaller version counts down 10 minutes and the larger one tackles an hour. The Basel-made glass is thick, and dare we say, Kardashian curvy. Both ends are flattened too so that it acts as a natural base, eschewing the addition of any metal or wooden features that are common with such devices. Now what makes the Hourglass one of the most enduring objects of our time is Newson’s take on its content, which you can guess, isn’t sand. Instead, he proposed millions upon millions of coated nanoballs which are made from a variety of materials (depending on the model) such as gold, copper, and stainless steel. There are roughly 1.3 million in the smaller Hourglass and eight million in the largest. Now, imagine the soothing sounds of rainfall; it’s this soundtrack that automatically plays when the Hourglass is flipped to allow its contents to make the travel into the other glass pod. Then, watch the first batches of nanoballs bounce off the base before hundreds follow in quick succession. It’s a cathartic release for anyone witnessing this visual spectacle of which words probably don’t do it any justice.


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