Marc Newson is arguably the most prolific and recognized industrial designer in the world today. His works range from aircraft interiors and a concept car to home appliances and furnishings.
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The 60-year-old designer also creates timepieces that often perform in unusual ways and employ a variety of materials. An exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art titled “Marc Newson: At Home” shows four examples of his timepieces. One for the venerable luxury Swiss watch brand, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and three pieces created for Ikepod, a timepiece company where serves as a partner.
In 2008, Newson created 80th-anniversary editions of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Clock, a timepiece that runs on temperature and atmospheric pressure changes in the environment. It never needs winding. The model on display at the exhibition is the Atmos 561, a pared-down and contemporary model of the eternal clock.
The clock’s mechanism runs on a mixture of gaseous and liquid ethyl chloride that expands and contracts with the temperature. The clock must be hermetically sealed for it to operate. In this interpretation, Newson built a bubble-like case made of Baccarat crystal that creates the appearance of a timepiece that floats. Hour and minute hands, month indicators, moon phases and the Atmos 561 name are accented in blue.
For Ikepod, he created a timepiece that is as much a sculpture as it is a mechanism to tell time. It’s an hourglass. This version, built in 2010 (like the others) is made of a single piece of blown borosilicate glass. Instead of sand, millions of nanoballs are used, which produce an extremely accurate 60-minute interval when the glass is turned.
In addition, there are two watches from Ikepod, a 2003 version of the Hemipode chronograph, which also provides a second time zone display, and a 2005 version of the Megapode watch, also a chronograph with dual time capabilities and a circular slide rule display.
All of the timepieces are from the collection of Adam Lindemann, a New York entrepreneur, avid collector and partner in Ikepod.
The exhibit itself features many of the Australian-born, London-based designer’s domestic products inside an abstracted 2,000-squarefoot house and garage. It will run till April 28 in the Collab Gallery on first floor of the museum’s Perelman Building.