Update: Since we published this piece, VersinnageTV has posted a nice interview with Behar, complete with an animation of the watch in action. Watch it below.
With its single hand, and pristine face, the Vue watch by Yves Behar for Issey Miyake makes an existential statement about the fleeting nature of time. "You have to look quickly," Behar told us in an early look. "You only see one number at a time. It's a view into the past and future."
In conceptualizing the design, Behar said he was troubled by the ADHD nature of our world. "Why do I need to see all twelve numbers when only one is needed?" he said, like a man for whom multitasking is anathema. "The magical appearance [of the number] reminds me of the time just past and the future incoming—it says, "time is precious, yet always presents us with a surprise ahead. The watch is a way to feel time's appearance and disappearance in our lives."
In the Vue watch, users see only the current hour, while the preceding one and the upcoming one fade in and out visible only through partial arc slits. Tempus fugit indeed!
If you're racing for the 5:13 train, its imprecision is likely to be a little challenging, but if you want to get all anal about time, that's what your cell phone is for, right?
The watch debuts today at Baselworld, the big Swiss watch fair. Manufactured by Seiko, it reportedly will retail for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400. Since 2001, under the direction of Issey Miyake, Seiko has been teaming with designers. Past collaborations have included Tokujin Yoshioka, Naoto Fukasawa, and Ross Lovegrove.