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September 9, 2013

The Hour Glass to Unveil Iconic and Avant-Garde Timepieces in Singapore Pop-Up Store

By Chris Boyle

the hour glass_Watch retailer The Hour Glass is set to unveil another groundbreaking project in the form of a pop-up store situated at the heart of Singapore’s shopping center.

Located in Orchard Road at leading shopping center Paragon on 18-30 September, the pop-up store – themed ‘Super Machines and Horological Heroes’ – will stage some of the most iconic and avant-garde timepieces, paying homage to a collective of individuals who revolutionized watchmaking and watch design at the turn of the millennium.

Coinciding with the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix Race weekend, ‘Super Machines and Horological Heroes’ will offer a unique cultural experience to both locals and out-of-town guests during the 13-day showcase at the Main Atrium of Paragon shopping center.

“The Hour Glass is delighted to present its first global pop-up store,” said Wong Mei Ling, Managing Director of The Hour Glass Singapore.

“Our desire is to celebrate the best in contemporary horology and watchmaking of the past decade. And to do so by creating a unique temporal platform where The Hour Glass will both curate and unveil a series of exceptional avant-garde horological machines, many of which have been exclusively created for The Hour Glass.”

She continued: “We have strategically timed ‘Super Machines and Horological Heroes’ when Singapore plays host to the world’s most prestigious international motor sporting event – the Formula One Grand Prix.

“We believe this initiative will ultimately inspire and cultivate the appreciation of contemporary horology in Singapore and beyond.”

A ‘playground’ where inspiration meets manifestation

Stemming from The Hour Glass’ reputation as a pioneering stalwart in promotion and development of contemporary horological culture around the world, ‘Super Machines and Horological Heroes’ is another manifestation of this mission.

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It seeks to play out the virtuosity of visionary watchmakers by profiling their technically innovative masterpieces. The dawn of the new millennium has heralded the birth of contemporary watchmaking: a period where visionaries sought to define a new path for horology with a respect for patrimony, while shaking design conventions of what is considered quality watchmaking.

Hailed by pundits as ‘Superheroes’ in the world of horology, these trailblazing brands and individuals harnessed the dexterity and technological advancement in artistic watchmaking; giving rise to these spectacular ‘super machines’.

The new millennium: the birth of contemporary horological art

The evolution of technology and the courage of a few brave men opened a new chapter in watchmaking at the turn of the new millennium. Timekeepers further evolved from being strictly a time-telling device into sculptural and kinetic works of art; or by our definition, horological machines.

Some of the significant breakthroughs as seen in the movement architecture, case, dial, interface and concepts have contributed to this phenomenon and challenged the traditional. The quest for the employment of new materials such as Silicium, touted as one of the significant materials in movement as it requires little or no lubrication, novel alloys like tantalum and magic gold (a scratch-resistant alloy created through the amalgamation of gold and ceramic) have been brought to the fold.

The ingenious interplay between a watch movement and its dial as seen in the carousel inspired dial or revolving satellite movement are contemporary interpretations of the manner in which time can be told.

The blend of sophisticated aesthetics, uncompromising craftsmanship, technical innovation and ingenuity demonstrate the chronometric excellence of these masterpieces, while maintaining accuracy and efficiency over a long period of time – an essential point that should be anchored in any breakthroughs.

These remarkable technological achievements are manifested in the pop-up through the masterpieces on display – every piece an object of beauty and passion that are created from the hands of true artisans.

“Each timepiece is an objet d’art and not just a mere object of telling time,” adds Ms Wong. “Serving as an educational platform, it seeks to fuel exchange of views and ideas amongst watch aficionados, collectors and watch enthusiasts alike through various activities and plenary discussion.”

Heralding a platform of many firsts

There will be an inauguration of 21 inimitable timepieces, of which seven limited editions are exclusively available through The Hour Glass.

These exclusives editions are Ferrari Big Bang by Hublot, Experiment ZR012 by C3H5N3O9 (an exclusive collaboration between two creative houses – MB&F and Urwerk), Bugatti Super Sport by Parmigiani Fleurier, Freak by Ulysse Nardin, Imperial Fountain by De Bethune, Poison Dart Frog by MB&F and Galet Micro-Rotor by Laurent Ferrier.

Akin to the oscars, The Hour Glass will showcase a selection of masterpieces that had garnered awards at the renowned Grand Prix d’Horologerie de Geneve (GPHG) held in Switzerland from 2006.

A convergence of legendary independent watchmakers and artisans

In a world of mass production, it is laudable that true artisans still exist. Legendary independent grand watchmasters are the exemplars of highly skilled craftsmen honoring ancient traditions to produce only limited numbers of exquisite eponymous timepieces where every piece is painstakingly put together.

The exhibition showcases some of these claim-to-fame masterpieces by luminaries such as Philippe Dufour, Vianney Halter, Kari Voutilainen, Roger Smith and Laurent Ferrier.

Expect a plenary session where these watchmasters convene on Thursday, 26 September 2013, at 7-9pm, by Kevin Tan, Moderator, International Watch Forum.

Artisanal showcase – “Metiers de la Maine”

Witness some of the specialist artisans and master watchmakers on-hand demonstrating the finesse and intricate craftsmanship of their masterpieces:

Reuge, The Craft of Mechanical Symphony – 18 to 30 September

Parmigiani Fleurier, The Art of Restoration – 18 to 21 September

Hublot, The Intricacies of A Chronograph – 22 to 25 September

Ulysse Nardin, The Mastery of the Freak Dual Escapement – 26 to 30 September

In short, ‘Super Machines and Horological Heroes’ sets the stage for a celebration of watchmaking culture in all its glory – with everything from brand showcases, to panel discussions by watchmaking luminaries, and many unique firsts among others.


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