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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Marc Newson Exhibition in Philly Features Timepieces For Jaeger-LeCoultre And Ikepod

Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos 561, 2008. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

While at the Philadelphia Museum of Art I was surprised to find an exhibition dedicated to industrial designer Marc Newson and that the display included several timepieces.

I shouldn’t have been too surprised by the timepieces. After all, Newson, 50, whose works range from an aircraft interiors and a concept car to home appliances and furnishings, is a partner in the Swiss timepiece firm, Ikepod. Three pieces from that firm were on view at the exhibition titled “Marc Newson: At Home.” There was also a timepiece he designed for the venerable luxury Swiss watch brand, Jaeger-LeCoultre.

In 2008, Newson created 80th-anniversary editions of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Clock (top picture), 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.

Ikepod Hourglass, 2010. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

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 hourglass is turned.

From top: Ikepod Megapode, 2005, Ikepod Hemipode, 2003. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

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 art 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.

Below is the hourglass at work during a promotional film by Ikepod.

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