Last Fall, we shared the news that designer Yves Béhar of fuseproject collaborated with watch brand Movado on a new collection that enhanced and modernized Movado’s iconic “Museum Dial”, which was designed by artist Nathan George Horwitt in 1947.
They’ve just released two new designs in the collection to kick off this week’s Baselworld watch and jewelry show in Switzerland:
This ladies’ Movado Edge is made with yellow gold with a bangle bracelet, and a yellow gold-toned sandblasted dial.
This men’s Movado Edge chronograph dial watch features a polished gray pvd case, copper dial with gray accents, and a brushed gray PVD bracelet. Both have Swiss quartz movement.
I spoke with Yves about his collaboration with Movado and how it all came about:
What was it like working with Movado?
Movado is a fast and very sophisticated partner; they provide the perfect platform for me as a designer to explore creatively, and we work very closely and collaboratively with their team to push the boundaries of what is possible. For the Edge collection, the challenge has been to get the face as shallow as possible so there is plenty of carved out dimensionality inside the watch. In that space, the design is created out of a single aluminum part that is expressive by allowing light to bounce in the crater, while the Movado dot at noon and the 60 minutes raised edges are also modeled in the form. Technically, this required raising the watch dials and balancing certain aspects of the engineering such as having a compact movement—risks that Movado is eager to explore and push for.
How did you first get involved working with them?
I met Efraim [Grinberg] at the Aspen Ideas Conference in 2013 and we immediately clicked; Movado has a deep appreciation for design, and holds a significant place in watch design history for their iconic museum dot which is part of the MOMA collection. We discussed the idea of a collaboration to rethink the existing visual language. What made me excited and inspired is that I am the only external designer in the last 50 years they wanted to work with since the original Nathan George Horwitt museum dial design—we knew we had to make it happen!
What inspired this new extension of the Edge collection?
These new watches are a continuation of our Edge exploration process; while the visual themes remain the same, we wanted to continue to explore new materials and details, as well as new combinations of colors. For BaselWorld specifically, we are showing work with exciting new material choices, new bands and bezels—the detail changes on each watch, as you’ll see, really transform it into something new and surprising.
You work with a lot of new technology, what was it like working with a design that is a little bit more old school?
Funny enough, being a designer from Switzerland you’d think I would have done a Swiss watch sooner! Working with technology is really about designing an experience—how do I engage with this technology. With watch design, it’s a pure visual design exercise, but the approach for me was unique as the idea was to build a three-dimensional feel to the watch, something missing from the current era of graphically branded design.
How do you feel that we can modernize and update the wrist watch in the future?
After all these years, there is still so much innovation in this space. It’s a very exciting area to explore for me!
There are many innovations to bring to the craft of watchmaking. I am working on new materials and processes, and new types of bands that alter the wearability and comfort. There are an infinite number of ways to do this—through material exploration, playing with space and dimensionality, digital and analog features… I suppose you could easily “modernize” watches by adding technological features to them, and while I am exploring directions there, I think we need to understand better the “why people buy watches” first. It’s something we think about a lot in this partnership with Movado… I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.
These two new pieces will be available this September on movado.com.