Marc Newson does what Marc Newson does best – designing “all kinds of things” including hourglasses. People at luxury watch website HODINKEE see Newson’s previous hourglass creations at their office every day and wanted more. They had to have their own-branded Marc Newson Hourglass. So, they did what any sane person with an hourglass infatuation would do – ring Marc Newson at Apple and ask him to design a special hourglass for them. We don’t really know how it happened, but they connected with Marc and we/they have the $12,000 – Marc Newson Hourglass for HODINKEE.
It is made in Europe from hand-blown borosilicate glass (PYREX for casserole fans) which is a lot stronger than crystal and offers clear views.
The hourglass measures 5.9 inches tall and 4.9 inches across at the widest point. Instead of sand or similar material to keep time, Newson filled this special edition with about 1,249,996 little balls called “nanoballs”. So small, each solid stainless steel made nanoball measures just 0.023 inches. The balls are covered with a fine copper coating and an anti-corrosion layer to make sure they won’t discolor in few years’ time. Precision made nanoballs are seamless, this ensures they won’t get entangled with each other or scratch the glass. And they move beautifully together when set in motion. In all nanoballs weigh about 2.42 pounds, and together the hourglass weighs around 3.30 pounds.
Contrary to what most of us think, it doesn’t take an hour for whatever material inside to trickle from one glass bulb to the other. With this hourglass, timing is set for 10 minutes, and it is mesmerizing to watch million plus nanoballs move from one bulb to another. The goosebump-inducing process makes a unique sound similar to a whispering wind. It is interesting to watch the transfer of first few thousand balls – slightly louder when they touch the bottom of the bottom bulb, while the departing balls leave a beehive like a pattern in the top bulb – ten minutes of your life well spent.
This is not the first hourglass Newson designed. Back in 1994, he designed one for Ikepod, a watch brand Newson co-founded and part of until 2012. That too had copper nanoballs like this new model. The Marc Newson Hourglass for HODINKEE is a limited edition collection of 100 pieces. Newson can’t stay away from watchmaking endeavors, so in 2015 he started HG Timepieces, a new venture with new partners. And, he really wanted to improve everything about hourglasses from quality to beauty to longevity. The first big result of those improvements is the $12,000, one million plus nanoballs filled HODINKEE hourglass.
Accompanying accessories include a leather coaster and a gift ready orange foam-made case.Watch the video below to see beautiful work of art in motion and listen to Newson’s soothing voice. Head over to HODINKEE online shop reserve your piece with a deposit.