ReviewThe Movado Museum Classic Watches: The Epitome Of The Movado Vision
'The Watch Guide' puts the spotlight on the latest avant-garde Movado Museum Classic men’s watches that are heavily influenced by the highly venerated Bauhaus movement
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The mainstay of the 137-year-old Swiss brand Movado has been its close ties with the enchanting history of the Bauhaus movement, design and performing arts. Testament to this is the brand’s support for the New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Jazz at Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Miami International Film Festival, Miami City Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
In addition to this, the Movado creations are flaunted by acclaimed brand ambassadors such as actress Kerry Washington and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, who has been associated with the brand since 1998.
Bending the norms is the eccentric Movado Artists’ series, which includes commissioned, limited edition timepieces that were designed by 20th century art stalwarts such as Andy Warhol, Yaacov Agam, Arman, James Rosenquist, Max Bill and Romero Britto. The brand recently collaborated with Kenny Scharf, Proenza Schouler and Chris Benz.
The Artist: Nathan George Horwitt
The Bauhaus school of design, proclaimed as the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century, sets a diktat for modern design that promotes simplicity, tastefulness and function. Founded by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school (translating to ‘building house’ in German) was constructed with very clear motives that included blurring the lines between fine and applied arts. In the face of the modernising industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arts and crafts movement, which was the prevalent doctrine then for how the society looked at manufactured objects, witnessed a metamorphosis.
The world of art, literature, architecture, religion and sciences were then moulded by the mutations of modernism, which brought with it self consciousness and irony. These two pillars of new beliefs set the stage for experimentation with form and laid emphasis on uniting art and industrial design.
Revolutionising design for everyday life and injecting new soul into manufacturing and products, art gained a new purpose in society. Having been through social and political upheavals, this German design school has evolved into a mighty influential movement and inspired many artists to create unforgettable works.
One such artist was Nathan George Horwitt who left an indelible imprint in the world of art, design and horology. A former advertising copywriter, Horwitt in his early years tried to make a living by patenting ideas and trying to sell them to manufacturers. With inventions and innovative designs such as the Beta chair at the Brooklyn Museum, a frameless picture frame and a numberless clock face, the Russian-born industrial designer went on to claim his stake over 18 patents in the United States.
The Pièce De Résistance: The Museum Watch
One of his most momentous works that holds a permanent place in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is the Movado Museum Classic watch—the first watch dial ever awarded this distinction. Crafted with an exceptionally simple philosophy, Horwitt turned around the future of the Movado brand with this pièce de résistance, which was designed in 1947 and added to the MoMA collection in 1960. A pure expression of beauty, this iconic single dot watch with no numbers on the dial complements the brand’s repute as a rule-breaker with a longstanding passion for the arts.
Horwitt once famously said, “We do not know time as a number sequence, but by the position of the sun as the earth rotates.” Inspired by the modus operandi of the sundial, the Museum Classic timepieces feature a solitary gold dot at 12 o’clock, symbolising the sun at high noon and the moving hands suggesting the movement of the earth.
Adorning stainless steel or gold PVD, these characteristic timepieces are presented on calfskin straps that lend a resplendent appearance. Fitted with a Swiss quartz movement, these timepieces offer water resistance up to 30m. Regarded as the cornerstone of the brand and one of the most important designs of the 20th century, these monochromatic timepieces are an icon of modernism and a celebration of the Movado philosophy.
Staying true to its Bauhaus roots, Movado is instilling the ethos of intellectual pursuits and paving the way for new and upcoming artists. Due to its ideologies of obtaining purity in design, this ‘always in motion’ brand remains unrivalled in the history of timekeeping.