Watch enthusiasts: What’s in store for The Hour Glass’s 40th birthday blowout
Then Now Beyond, an exhibition featuring artistic interpretations of time, will run from November 24 at Malmaison by The Hour Glass. Also look out for special commemorative editions produced in collaboration with your favourite watchmakers.
For 40 years, The Hour Glass has set itself apart from other luxury watch retailers by encouraging an interest not just in the intricacies of fine watchmaking, but the art and culture that surround or complement them. Its Malmaison boutique best exemplifies these values, where a gallimaufry of beautiful things, including bespoke shoes, taxidermy, books and candles are displayed alongside tickers from top watch brands. Fittingly, it is here that The Hour Glass will hold its anniversary exhibition, Then Now Beyond.
The retailer’s Group Managing Director Michael Tay wants visitors to explore their relationship with the past, present and future through “contemporary three dimensional reflections on the passage of time”, which is really just a fancy way of telling us to marvel at all the nifty time-inspired stuff they’ve gathered specially for the exhibition.
And he’s assembled quite a team for the task. Milan-based JoAnn Tan Studio, which has dressed the windows of clients like Hermes, Fendi and Khrisjoy, was in charge of reworking Malmaison’s 8,000 sq. ft. space, while a committee comprising auctioneer extraordinaire Aurel Bacs and British architect Sir David Adjaye OBE was responsible for the the selection of the commissioned artists.
Their efforts will bring objets d’art – and don’t count on any of them telling time conventionally – that bring the worlds of horology and art together. Marvel at Marc Newson’s Klepsydra, a bizarre crystal and aluminium clock with tiny cups that slowly fill up with millions of steel nano balls to power the 30-minute counter.
Or heed Japanese design studio Nendo’s call to reset the mind by watching how the hands of its minimalist clock (crafted from a single block of material) meet at 12 o’clock to unite its original form. Dutch designer Wieki Somers and American artist Daniel Arsham have also put their own spin on time-telling with creations like the environmental awareness-raising Beetle Clock and bronze Hourglass respectively.
Wrist-sized highlights will include a selection of commemorative watches developed in tandem with some of The Hour Glass’ longstanding partners such as Audemars Piguet, Chopard, De Bethune, Franck Muller, Longines, MB&F, Nomos Glashutte, Sinn, Tag Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk. Have a look at a selection of them below, or check out all the innovation and artistry from November 24, 2019 to January 31, 2020 at Malmaison.
CHOPARD HAPPY SPORT THE HOUR GLASS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION
You might not think of stainless steel watches as inherently glamorous accessories, but there’s nothing a few freely moving diamonds can’t fix. Chopard’s Happy Sport collection has been doing just that since 1993, and the variations have been enchanting. Take for example this anniversary edition, which features five charms crafted in 18k rose gold – a grinning sun, a diamond-set crescent moon and three diamond-set stars, all dancing on a guilloche mother-of-pearl dial. Limited to 50 pieces.
DE BETHUNE STEEL WHEELS BLUE
If Breguet has become synonymous with blued steel hands, then De Bethune will soon be immortalised as a pioneer in blued titanium everything. While the independent brand is also known for its daring designs and its many technical patents, its unique blue titanium components are likely what catches the eye first. For The Hour Glass, De Bethune has rendered its DB28 Steel Wheels in more of this striking shade, achieved by oxidising steel and titanium.
LONGINES AVIGATION WATCH TYPE A-7 1935 – THE HOUR GLASS LIMITED EDITION
The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 was introduced in 2016 and inspired by a piece ordered by the American army in 1935. Its bold Arabic numerals and 40 degree-angled dial makes it a fascinating piece among the glut of pilots watches out there, but two new dial colours in bronze cases created specially for The Hour Glass have made them feasible as dress watches, too. Beneath the sunray blue or sunray champagne dials, the self-winding L788 calibre with column wheel movement continues to power this handsome watch.
NOMOS GLASHUTTE TAGENTE NEOMATIK 39
With a minimalist design that doesn’t forsake readability for good looks, and a noticeably friendly price tag to boot, there’s a lot to love about Nomos Glashutte’s Tagente Neomatik 39. Which is why we’re glad the brand has released not one but four limited editions for the anniversary. The salmon- and silver-coloured dial versions feature numerals in Chinese oracle bone script, while the ruthenium and midnight blue models use Hindu-Arabic numerals. All four references have a “Little Red Dot” at six o’clock as a tribute to our city. A total of 200 pieces have been made.
SINN 356 PILOT THE HOUR GLASS COMMEMORATIVE EDITION
Despite its comparatively small case size of 38.5mm, Sinn’s 356 Pilot chronographs have had no problem exuding wrist presence thanks to a surprisingly legible dial, sturdy build and retro styling. It’s no wonder the 356 Pilot has been one of Sinn’s best sellers for over 20 years. The Commemorative Edition actually manages to improve on this formula with a matte vintage-style dial and suede calf strap, making it look like it just slipped off the wrist of an actual 1950s fighter pilot.
TAG HEUER MONACO CALIBRE 11 THE HOUR GLASS EDITION
Fans of historic timepieces were thrilled when Tag Heuer released a technically modern yet aesthetically faithful tribute to the 1969 Heuer Monaco four years ago. The Tag Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Ref. CAW211P was the closest a casual collector could get to the real thing, and was a celebration of the original’s many accomplishments, which included being the first square, water-resistant chronograph and the first automatic chronograph offered for sale. The Hour Glass Edition, which is limited to 50 pieces, offers a twist with a beige opaline dial, red indexes, white SuperLuminova and a black PVD steel case and bezel. It’s different, but still rocks a vintage vibe.
ULYSSE NARDIN FREAK X CARBONIUM GOLD THE HOUR GLASS
It was 2013 when The Hour Glass became the first retailer Ulysse Nardin created a limited edition for. It was extravagant by Freak standards, with a hulking yellow gold case and diamond-studded indexes – a theme that continues (albeit with more subtlety) in this year’s special edition. The entry level Freak X is dressed up in a brand new material, Carbonium Gold, which combines the light and sustainable carbon composite with gold leaf to add shimmer to Carbonium’s marbled pattern. It is further complemented by a champagne gold dial. Limited to 30 pieces.
URWERK UR-105 COMMEMORATIVE EDITION IN BRONZE
If you find this version of the UR-105 oddly familiar, that’s because it borrowed design cues from three of its bestsellers during Urwerk’s 15-year partnership with The Hour Glass: The sapphire crystal of the UR-103, the large crown of the UR-200 and the acid green SuperLuminova from the original UR-105. Unlike the standard model, the commemorative piece features a smooth bronze case.
Then Now Beyond runs from November 24, 2019 to January 31, 2020 at Malmaison by The Hour Glass, 270 Orchard Road, #01-01 Grand Park Orchard, Singapore 238857. Tel: 6884 8484