The Partime timepiece is the descendant of an oversized wall clock made from 4,500 blue bulbs. this miniature version is small enough to wear on your wrist and references an ancient form of timekeeping, the hourglass, writes Kathryn Bishop.
As far as timekeeping goes, one of the oldest methods is the hourglass. Its shape is iconic and its use of sand carries connotations of the ancient. But in a modern day twist on this early form of timekeeping, a Swiss brand has taken on the challenge of bringing the humble hourglass to your wrist.
While your mind might be dreaming up a rotating glass tube with colourful sand, or wondering how such a timepiece could survive the bashes and impact of day-to-day life. But like any Tech Spot timepiece, this is something a little more contemporary.
Swiss designer Andreas Mossner is the man behind the Partime, a watch that offers up time in a geometric picture – an LCD screen – showcased on a simple, round dial. He says it is both “amazing and yet simple”, however the timepiece is a baby version, based on a wall clock first created by Mossner back in 2007. This first design measured 80cm in diameter and featured more than 4,500 blue LED lights. Fast forward five years and a tinier timepiece is now wrist-ready.
The dial shows two sections that depict the hours on a horizontal scale and the minutes on a vertical scale. The time past is the darker section, while the time remaining is the lighter area.
Minute by minute, the darker area reduces in size until the circular LED space is empty, that is it becomes entirely devoted to the lighter colour, which represents midnight. Essentially, says Mossner, the Partime watch cannot be compared with any other type of timepiece because it has no ticking hands, no trickling sand and no blinking digits.
The watch itself is made in Biel, Switzerland, by the manufacturer Xantia SA. It boasts scratch-resistant mineral glass, an ink-blue coloured LCD display and a quartz movement. The case is stainless steel, meaning it is perfectly suited to everyday wear, but as a special hook for those fans of quirkier watches, it is in fact limited to just 500 pieces worldwide.
Mossner showcased the brand for the first time earlier this year at BaselWorld, with special prototypes in black and gold that added a luxe aesthetic to the design.
Indeed this is a watch that will make you do a double take – a timepiece that will have you puzzled for a few moments while you try to work out whether its morning or late evening. But if you’re really stuck a quick push of a button will showcase the exact time digitally. Phew.
This article was taken from the July 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine, out now. To view a digital version of the magazine click here.