Inspiration for watches can come from a lot of places, and industrial design is a frequent launching spot. The Swiss Railway watch is a perfect example. Now, with the Normalzeit Wrist Watch, a new historical standardizing clock is being ported to your wrist, distinctive case at all. This project, available at select locations, honors the Vienna Cube Clock, a fixture of city life there for over 100 years.The new watch features the distinctive faceted shape of the clock body, as well as the handset, indexes and branding that looks very much like the markings on the Vienna Cube Clock. It was created with support from the City, the tourism board and the Chamber of Commerce, and it was introduced at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in 2015. To commemorate the date of the original clock, 1,907 numbered pieces were crafted.
The watch features a brushed stainless steel case and a sapphire crystal, providing 50 meters of water resistance. Driving the two hand watch is a Seiko NH35A automatic movement. One very cool feature is the fully lumed dial, which backlights the hand set in the dark. With the blocky case shape, watch looks like it will wear bigger than the 40 mm x 40 mm x 11.3 mm tall dimensions would indicate.
Since this is an art project, it is only fitting that the point of sale would be a museum. The brand identified a couple of retailers, but the one I can link to, with an e-commerce portal, is the Neue Galerie in New York. The Museum shop has the watch available for $500. If you want to see it in person, you will have to go to New York to check out the museum shop or Wempe or Aaron Faber jewelers It is also available in Vienna, but I don’t know where. If you are a fan of industrial design, and think that the Swiss Railway clock look is too ubiquitous (your fault Apple), then this could be right up your alley. Likewise, if you have a connection to the City of Vienna, here is a way to show your love, or trigger back that fond memory. lichterloh.com/en/normalzeit
- Brand & Model: Normalzet Wrist Watch
- Price: $500
- Who we think it might be for: Lovers of industrial design, art lovers, and anyone who has fond memories of Vienna.
- Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: I have never been to Vienna, so I don’t have the emotional connection to the city that would put this on my wrist.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: What am I going to suggest, to make it look less like the clock? It is good as is.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It is a great realization of the clock on which it was based.
Tech Specs from Iichterloh:
- Movement: Seiko NH35A automatic
- Functions: Two hander
- Case: Stainless steel
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Water resistance: 50 meters
- Lug width: 22mm
- Straps: Silicon or optional leather strap
- Diameter: 40 mm
- Thickness: 11.3 mm