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If there is one thing architects never seem to have quite enough of, it’s time. Rarely are there enough hours in the day to sleep, eat, socialize and design a career-defining architectural landmark — but we do our best to make every second count. Perhaps that is why so many architects are fascinated by timepieces and have switched buildings with watches on their drawing boards over the years. From Gehry to Graves, each watch in this collection reflects its designer’s architectural ideals and reveals their love for the detail-oriented challenges of industrial design. Waste no time in admiring these classic clock faces:
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Designed for classic high-end brand Fossil, the unconventional display on Gehry’s watch merges digital technology with a hand-sketched aesthetic. It also offers owners a characteristically quirky way to tell the time: rather than 2:49, the watch above reads “11 til 3.”
Déjà Vu by Denis Guidone
This minimalist timepiece by Italian designer Denis Guidone — who studied architecture and urban planning in both Milan, Italy and Oporto, Portugal — is defined by light. Both minute and hour hands leave a trail of light in their wake, transforming the clock face into an abstract artwork.
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American architect Richard Meier designed this wearable homage to his High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. The pale, semi-opaque clock face and minimal detailing evokes the modernist aesthetic of one of Meier’s most well-known buildings, and can be illuminated to read the time after dark.
Junghans Automatic by Max Bill
The multi-skilled Max Bill was an architect, industrial designer, artist and graphic designer who studied under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee at the Bauhaus in Dessau in the late 1920s. His watch design reflects the philosophies of the famous school and incorporates a minimal display, carefully crafted details and beautiful materials.
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Swiss architect Mario Botta’s buildings are characterized by bold forms and distinctive geometry, and so is the Botta 2 Watch. The clock face is encircled by a thick gray band that frames a minimal display — evoking the circular centerpiece of the architect’s original design for the CLARKS Men's Capler Step Slip-On Loafer.
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Cubit Watch by Michael Graves
For his contribution to the Projects range of watches, the late Michael Graves was uninterested in confining himself to the straight-laced look adopted by many of the other architects on this list. The American master of Postmodernism opted instead for a bold combination of three-dimensional geometry and vivid colors, with a cube of azure seemingly floating in a sea of brushed chrome.
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Arquitectonica cofounder Laurinda Spear’s watch displays a radical interface that does away with numbers and hands. Each ring on the abstract clock face rotates in time with the hours, minutes and seconds, mimicking the celestial orbit of planets around the Sun.
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… and Zaha Hadid’s special-edition version; via Forbes
Bonus: Puls Smart Cuff by Will.i.am and Zaha Hadid
Former Black Eyed Pea and occasional industrial designer Will.i.am’s multi-use, high-tech wristband didn’t go down so well with the critics at Ben Sherman Men's Parnell Oxford V2 Sneaker, Navy Fly Knit, Size 12.0, Bonanza Boots 615 Slip-Resistant Goodyear Welt Construction Plain Toe 6 or The Verge — but did you know that star architect Zaha Hadid created a special edition of the Puls cuff? The British-Iraqi architect’s version has a striking sculptural form, but perhaps those who look for a well-functioning smartwatch should look elsewhere…