Movado Edge

Throughout its 134-year history, Movado has been closely associated with modernism, design excellence and innovation. The 1947 Museum Dial, designed by Nathan George Horwitt and part of the MoMA collection, is one the most important designs of the 20th century. With no numbers on the dial but for a solitary gold dot at 12 o’clock symbolizing the sun at high noon, the Museum Dial is as pioneering today as it was more than 68 years ago.

As a designer, it is both a daunting and an exciting challenge to design for a watch brand that is both universally recognized as a modern pioneer, and at the same time accessible. Current trends have made analog watch dials highly detailed 2-dimensional graphic exercises, making each watch company identifiable by brand signatures. The other much talked about trend is digital watches – their dials switch between black shiny craft-less screens, to user interface-based digital graphics. Most analog and digital watches today keep the user’s eye on the 2-d world of a watch’s outer surface.

The opportunity to stand out, to stand for something can be rare in watch design. The central idea of the Movado Edge design was a simple question: how can we draw the eye into the watch dial? We explored a new way to craft a watch with numerous form and material experiments that led to a simple concave shape. To accommodate for the raised dot, we worked with Movado engineers to elevate the watch hands, creating an additional, delicate dynamic.

The most notable design element on the dial is the textured ridges that outline the circumference. Sixty ridges in total, one for every second in a minute, or minute in each hour, that elegantly balance minimalism and intricacy. By carving out the interior volume made of an aluminum textured surface, we were able to give it life and reflectivity. The machined, subtle 3-dimensional ridges arranged in a circular pattern reflect the light in patterns that constantly change. Like the movement of the sun throughout the day reveals the topography of the earth from desert sand dunes to mountains, the Edge dial relief plays with light and transforms. As the user’s wrist moves, the design changes constantly, symbolically speaking of time as the indicator of change in our lives.

The bezel was kept as narrow as possible to visually emphasize both the structural details and the expansive negative space, which in itself carries its own beauty. Another detail literally emerges from the interior surface: the dot is shaped like a volcano, bringing it off the face of the dial to create dimensionality. Polishing on the dot also highlights it in a subtle way by contrasting it to the more porous aluminum surface. The dot instantly becomes suggestive of the sun, an allusion that directly pulls from Nathan George Horwitt’s single dot dial.

Recognition

  • Core77, Professional Notable, 2016
  • International Design Awards, Gold, 2016
  • SPARK Awards, Silver, 2016