Jony Ive’s BFF Marc Newson may have played a role in the design of the Apple Watch, but he’s now turned his attentions to designing an entirely new timepiece. Although this isn’t one that you’ll be wearing on your wrist!
Instead, it’s a $12,000 limited edition hourglass, designed for the world’s leading online wristwatch magazine, Hodinkee. Check it out below.
As the above video shows, the hourglass is hand blown from a single piece of borosilicate glass. The shape is created entirely by eye since no measurement device can be used during the hot glass blowing process. Each unit is filled with approximately 1,249,996 tiny stainless steel spheres called “nanoballs,” measuring just 0.6mm in diameter.
The hourglass runs for 10 minutes, which is the time it takes all the “nanoballs” to make it from the top chamber through to the bottom one.
As Marc Newson stresses, however, it’s more than just a casual time measuring device. The timepiece has been carefully designed so that the flow of the nanoballs create a uniquely beautiful shifting pattern as they move, making this more like a piece of art than just an old-fashioned stopwatch.
Each hourglass features Marc Newson’s signature on one side and is numbered 1 of 100. The custom orange foam case comes with a special leather coaster and white gloves to help ensure that the hourglass doesn’t get scratched. At present, six units are ready to ship, with another four arriving at the start of June. Following that, roughly 10 will be delivered every month.
A history of great design
In the past, Newson has worked on everything from Mac Pro-style beer kegs and beautiful fountain pens to an ornate classic shotgun and an expensive (if not totally comfortable) aluminum-and-fiberglass lounger.
He has also collaborated with Jony Ive on a variety of projects for Apple and elsewhere. Some of their most notable collaborations have been for Bono’s charity Product (RED), where they’ve teamed up to create an ultra-slick desk, although last year they also leant their considerable talents to designing the Christmas tree at London’s famous Claridge’s hotel.
Newson joined Ive’s famed design team at Apple on a part-time basis back in 2014, although he’s taken plenty of time out since then to take on jobs for other companies.
What do you think of Newson’s hourglass? Leave your comments below.