The hourglass gets a makeover

We’ve followed Marc Newson’s career ever since we ate at Coast, a restaurant he designed in London in the mid-Nineties, and saw shots of a concept car, the 021C, he created for Ford back in 1999. Newson’s Ikepod brand of watches launched around the same time, and, amazingly, looks almost as far out and futuristic now as it did then. We recently met Newson to hear about his new timepiece, the Hourglass, which really is a big hourglass.

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What’s the thinking behind Hourglass?

“I just wanted to focus on the nature of time, rather than sell more watches. It’s not about telling the time, it’s not designed to be profound, it’s esoteric. It’s a folly, a fun object. The more I think about it the more the spiritual elements of what we’ve done occur to me, but in a fun way.”

Was this the result of an eureka moment?

“It had been bubbling away for a while. It was a logical idea for us to do something other than a watch but getting it made was quite a chore because there are no manufacturers of hourglasses in Europe.”

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What’s inside it?

“Twenty one million nickel plated steel spheres, they’re about 0.1mm across each amd they’re made for use in the medical field. The glass we used is commonly known as Pyrex.”

How has the watch world reacted?

“Everyone loves it, it’s such a weird thing, and we’re struggling to meet demand. A shop in Singapore has ordered one with gold nanoballs, so now we’re having to plate the nanoballs.”

www.ikepod.com

£12,700, available from Marcus, 170 New Bond Street, London W1 020 7290 6500