Legendary Apple designer Marc Newson has collaborated with watch website Hodinkee to produce “The Marc Newson Hourglass,” and it costs $12,000 (£9,300).
“Sometimes you see an object and it just captivates you. You can’t look away. You can’t even really explain what you’re looking at either. Marc Newson’s Hourglass is one such object,” Hodinkee’s blog post intones.
“It takes the idea of one of the most basic time-measuring instruments ever devised, and pushes it to its limits.”
The handmade timer measures out 10 minutes — but it doesn’t contain anything as pedestrian as sand to do so. Instead, it uses “nanoballs,” seamless stainless steel bal bearings coated in copper. There’s a limited run of just 100 of the products (curios? devices? toys?) available, and they cost an eye-watering $12,000 a pop.
On the plus side, there’s free international shipping.
“Watching the Hourglass is a multi-sensory experience that cannot be communicated in words,” Hodinkee says. “Invariably, the first time we show it to someone, there’s a gasp, a big smile, and sometimes even a little giggle as they lean in and get ready to watch for the full 10 minutes.”
Marc Newson, whose website boasts has “been described as the most influential designer of his generation,” has designed everything from cars to clocks. He joined Apple in 2014, joining his longtime collaborator Jony Ive, who is chief design officer at the Californian tech firm.
Rob Price/BIApple and Ive weren’t involved with the creation of the hourglass, but Newson and Ive have collaborated on projects outside of Apple before. In December 2016, they designed the Christmas tree for Claridge’s hotel in central London. It was literally just a tree, with nothing on it. (Visitors seemed to like it though!)
The Marc Newson Hourglass comes with Newson’s signature printed on the side, and a “custom-fitted orange foam box” for safekeeping.
Also in the box: A pair of white gloves, so you can avoid leaving fingerprints, as well as “a copper-foil certificate of authenticity signed by Newson himself.”
“It is perhaps one of the most fundamental objects in the world of timekeeping, and arguably one of the oldest, but I love the fact that it is so sort of deeply esoteric, and it has this strange and mesmeric quality,” Newson said in a video promoting his new project.
“On one hand, you’re witnessing time. But on the other hand, it’s completely sort of timeless, and it actually if anything focuses your attention on the opposite of time, if that makes any sense.”