For its latest collection, Movado Edge, the legendary Swiss watchmaker formed what might seem like an unusual collaboration with the celebrated industrial designer Yves Béhar, allowing him to reinterpret the brand’s single most iconic design: the Museum Watch. But in order to understand how this partnership came about and how it neatly fits into the heritage of artistry, innovation and craftsmanship at Movado — a company that’s won more than 200 international awards, has more than 100 patents and whose products are even part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection — we have to go back to the very beginning.
Movado began its life as the passion project of an entrepreneurial 19-year-old, Achille Ditesheim, whose goal was to develop timepieces that would surpass all others in quality, with a particular focus on technological innovation, Swiss craftsmanship and, especially, design excellence. Ditesheim found success quickly: in less than 20 years, his company had grown from six employees to a total of 80, and his watches were already making history.
Though Movado has produced innovative designs throughout its history — including groundbreaking innovations and collaborations with artists such as Andy Warhol — none have become more iconic than the Museum Dial, the conceptual marvel that signifies 12 o’clock (and the sun) with a single dot. Created by artist/designer Nathan George Horwitt in 1947, the Museum Dial has become both an icon of Modernism and the bold signature of the Movado brand. “We do not know time as a number sequence, but by the position of the sun as the earth rotates,” said Horwitt by way of explaining his design concept. Thus, the dot provides an image of the sun at high noon, while the moving hands suggest the movement of the earth.
Over the decades, the design has appeared in many different styles, but the basics have remained the same: two hands, no second hand, one dot, no other indicators of time, and a flat face free of ornamentation aside from the solitary dot, usually in gold or silver. However, just because a design is iconic doesn’t mean it doesn’t occasionally need some updates.
Which, of course, brings us to the present and the introduction of Movado Edge, which launches in Greater China this month following its wildly successful release in Western markets. For this new collection, the brand reached out to award-winning, world-renowned industrial designer Yves Béhar and his firm FuseProject, whose clients include Apple, GE, Google, Samsung and Prada, among many others. The task presented was monumental: reinterpret one of the most important designs of the 20th century without ruining it. Like Horwitt, Behar is a Swiss-born designer, and it’s not hard to imagine the level of pressure he may have felt in tackling his fellow countryman’s legendary creation.
The resulting collection, Movado Edge, is more than just a series of timepieces — it’s more accurately a beautifully produced set of small design pieces that you can wear on your wrist. Movado Edge, which was inspired by the edges of nature, takes the Museum Dial and reinterprets it through the lens of industrial design, giving it a tactile element that’s never been seen before now.
Giving the faces a three-dimensional aspect, the curved, textured landscape features 60 raised lines in a circle that suggest the rays of the sun while noting the minutes, while the famous dot seems to rise from the face of the watch itself, making it more prominent than ever. Including men’s, women’s and chronograph models, this transformative new collection on stainless-steel link bracelets with push-button deployment clasps, and black leather or black silicone straps with polished stainless-steel buckles, while most styles feature an exciting subtle, unexpected touch of color on the dial. The end result is a thoroughly 21st-century collection that will capture the imagination of any design lover who nods to the past while looking to the future.
To promote the new collection, Movado hosted a large media event in Beijing last month, featuring a special appearance by fashion model and actress Gaile Lok, who discussed how Movado Edge related to her own life and career. Meanwhile, the brand has kicked off a social media campaign encouraging its fans to show off their fashion-forward sensibilities using the following hashtags: #HelloEdge and #LiveEdge.
At the same time, a special online pop-up store has been launched for those who want to get their hands on Movado Edge as soon as possible. From now through 30 September, any customer who purchases a new watch from the site and opts to pay for and pick it up at a selected retailer will receive 15% off the price in addition to an HK$300 City Super Cash Coupon.
This feature is presented by Movado.